Hello! My name is Carrie and I am the person behind the Jacksonville Women’s Small Biz. Let me take a moment to introduce myself and tell you how it all got started. The Facebook page came from a little idea my husband had. Seeing how well I do with social media, he suggested that I start a Facebook page to post for both our small business and other mom-owned businesses within my Mom’s group at church. I liked the idea, but as I mulled it over, I decided that if I was going to do something like this, I was going to go a lot bigger than just my Mom’s group….I would post for women-owned businesses all over Jacksonville. Thus, the Jacksonville Women’s Small Biz Facebook page was born in September 2012. As of the time of this writing, I currently post for 275 businesses on the page.
(Taken at our last networking event, March 2012.)
My husband and I own Safety First CPR & Safety Training, LLC. Our business is about two years old, but my husband’s experience as a safety instructor goes back 20+ years. We offer various safety courses such as Community CPR, Basic First Aid, Child & Babysitting Safety, Basic Life Support, Private Swim Lessons and more. You can find us online at www.SafetyFirstJax.com. My husband is our Lead Instructor who teaches all of our classes and I am the Business Manager who does all the behind-the-scenes work, dealing with the marketing, finances, etc. I also co-teach the Child & Babysitting Safety courses with him.
I grew up here in Jacksonville, FL from 6 years old on. We lived in the Arlington area of town and I attended Ft. Caroline Elementary School, Ft. Caroline Middle School and Terry Parker High School. Upon graduating from high school, I went down to Kissimmee, FL to Florida Christian College. After graduating Valedictorian with a Bachelor of Arts in Counseling and Christian Education in 1997, I moved to Longmont, Colorado to do an internship in Children’s Ministry at a local church out there. After the internship, I stayed in the area and worked with troubled teens for a couple of years and then I ended up in Human Resources for the City of Westminster, a Denver suburb. I was there for 6 years and that’s also where I met my husband, Tukz (pronounced like Tux.) In 2006, we each moved back to Florida (he was from FL, too, coincidentally) and then we got married and settled back here in Jacksonville in 2007.
One of the things I always wished and prayed for, even before I was ever married, was that I could be a stay-at-home mom after I had children. I worked at Christ’s Church as an Administrative Assistant up until just a few months after our daughter was born, but I thankfully have been able to be home with her since she was four months old. I still work, but I am able to do it from home. I do some independent contracting work for a marketing company and I also handle the business side of Safety First, and of course now I also manage the Jacksonville Women’s Small Biz page and group. (And take care of our daughter and manage our home! Can’t forget those two important things!)
Back to the Facebook page….I wasn’t quite sure how it would do or where I was going with it when I started it. But God often gives us pleasant surprises in life and this has been one of them for me. I never thought I would be leading a networking group of women in business….but here I am, and I’m just following the path as it unfolds. The Facebook page has been growing steadily, both in fans and in businesses and so it seemed to me that the next logical step was to create a website to go with it. I wanted a place to be able to list all of the businesses involved, both alphabetically and by category. I chose a blog because that would also give business owners a platform to post articles and information longer in length than what a Facebook post allows.
Besides working on social media, my favorite hobbies include reading, gardening and going to festivals and events with my husband and 3-year-old daughter. (And sometimes our little Shih Tzu comes along!) We are also very active in our church and I enjoy spending time with the ladies in my Mom to Mom group.