This is the first month Strictly Business is running a Women-Owned Businesses feature, and we could not be more thrilled. The reason we felt it was important to highlight female leaders in our community is to inspire other women with entrepreneurial ambitions. We promote supporting all local, reputable businesses, but this is a neat opportunity to showcase a minority group in the business community. It’s an increasingly shrinking minority, though, as there are 114% more women entrepreneurs in the U.S. than there were 20 years ago (fundera.com). According to the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), 40% of U.S. businesses are currently women-owned and they generate $1.8 trillion a year. As a women-owned and run business ourselves, there is a certain pride we can take from these statistics. By no means does this take away from the achievements of our male counterparts, but when women rally behind each other, amazing things happen. All women are powerful—stay-at-home moms and business owners alike. As a business publication, we feel it’s our duty to run these types of features, and we look forward to continuing to expand our editorial calendar in this direction.
Many of the following women were brought to our attention by their collegues, clients, staff, friends, or family. It’s clear that they have touched the lives of many through their work and their passions. All of these women felt strongly enough to invest in their own stories and share them with our readers. We are honored to have this opportunity to present them to you here.
Please join us in celebrating the following women-owned businesses in Omaha. Read their story, support their work, do business with them. Who knows, one of them might even become your future mentor!
“Never start a business just to make money. Start a business to make a difference.” – Marie Forleo. Jenny Moraga is the owner/operator of LaborMAX Staffing Nebraska (www.labormax.net). Jenny’s staffing career started in 2010. With no previous staffing history and a background in sales and management, she started as a branch manager in the Reno, NV office, eventually moving into the role of regional manager of eight states and 26 branches. Jenny feels that her largest success has been developing branches by developing her team members, six of whom have moved on to become owner/operators of their own LaborMAX entity. One of them was the first woman owner in the company’s history.
In 2017, Jenny accepted the offer of a partner and moved to Bellevue with her husband and children. She took ownership of the Omaha and Lincoln locations. After working to build the LaborMAX name in the market, Jenny had the opportunity to open a third location in Des Moines.
“I love being a member of our community and the beautiful state of Nebraska. We take pride in the joy of finding people jobs that sustain their families and help rebuild their lives as well,” said Jenny.
The LaborMAX Staffing motto is, “Changing people’s lives is what we do, putting them back to work is how we do it.” To learn more, visit www.labormax.net or call the Lincoln office at (402) 805-4720.
Manna Industries (mannaindustries.com) is the first beauty company of its kind in Omaha. It is fully owned and operated by women. Manna Industries was founded by Marcie Manna in 2018. Marcie, who has been in the beauty industry for over 20 years, realized that the Midwest needed more education for cosmetologists and products for the everyday consumer.
Marcie currently has three lines: Manna Glow, Manna Hair, and Manna Cosmetics. Manna Glow has four professional spray tanning solutions, sunless mousses, and bronzing mist. Manna Hair includes hand-tied hair extensions, tape-in extensions, and custom hair pieces. Manna Cosmetics has a base line of products for face, eyes, cheeks, lips; and limited edition collections which include eye shadow palettes, lip kits, and highlighters. During the nation-wide shut down, Marcie realized that despite the pandemic, her sales skyrocketed, which helped her realize that women love to feel beautiful regardless of what is going on in the world. At that point, Marcie decided that makeup and sunless tanning products were the front runner for helping women feel confident in their skin.
In her spare time, when she is not working on Manna Industries or working at the salon she owns, Manna Salon, Marcie enjoys spending time with her husband, four kids, and friends. Marcie has high expectations for Manna Industries, and hopes to one day become a well-known nationwide beauty company. Learn more online at mannaindustries.com.
Zeal (www.zealhelps.com) is a local lifestyle management company that connects people who need help with life’s busy to those who can provide help through a marketplace of trusted, vetted personal assistants and service providers. Kelly Spurgeon, Zeal’s founder, lived the life of a busy professional and it was here where her work and personal life reached a point where life’s enjoyment was diminished because she often felt too busy to do all of it well. She needed help and it was difficult to find. She founded Zeal to solve this problem for herself and others by providing a platform to easily source and schedule help.
Zeal helps busy people and businesses alike. Specifically, Zeal partners with businesses to host employee engagement events and to provide employees the employee benefit they most often want—help. To learn more, go online to www.zealhelps.com or call (402) 936-7399.
Carol Neff started the Remedy Intelligent Staffing (www.remedystaffing.com) franchise in Omaha 21 years ago. A veteran in the staffing industry, Carol was inspired by the impact she could make in the lives of others by helping them find gainful employment. She quickly grew the franchise from a team of two with her husband John to one of the most respected franchises under the largest industrial staffing company in the United States, EmployBridge.
Remedy Intelligent Staffing in Omaha is proud to offer short- and long-term temporary staffing assignments as well as opportunities for permanent hire in the light industrial, clerical, skilled, and professional areas. Carol and her staff love developing lasting relationships with customers and consistently exceeding expectations and standards.
Along with growing a thriving business and mentoring young professionals, Carol enjoys spending time with her two children and three grandchildren, reading, and gardening.
To learn more about Remedy Intelligent Staffing, visit www.remedystaffing.com.
Providing a patient experience based on a philosophy of compassion, care, and the highest treatment standards was the driving force behind Hilary Muhle and Leanne Bata’s opening of Allure Health & Med Spa (www.AllureHealthMed.com) nearly four years ago. Since opening, Allure has been voted Best of Omaha’s First Place for Female Hormone Replacement and First Place Med Spa. “Helping our clients discover the quality of life, health, and happiness they’ve been searching for is the most rewarding part,” Hilary explains.
Whether visiting Allure for bio-identical hormone replacement—a plant-based, safer form of hormone replacement—or for the variety of med spa services, customers feel welcomed, listened to, and have confidence in the quality of their treatment and results. Leanne summarizes, “The Allure experience is our foundation and we’re excited for continued growth of our female owned business with the values and standards our patients have come to know and trust.”
To learn more about Allure Health & Med Spa, visit www.AllureHealthMed.com or call (402) 881-3638.
Nikki Wulff is the local owner of Assisted Living Locators of Greater Omaha (www.assistedlivinglocators.com/omaha), a no-cost community service that frees you to focus on the best care options, information, and resources available to you in finding care for your loved one. Nikki earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska–Omaha. After a successful career in telecommunications and healthcare, she stepped into the role of an Assisted Living Locators franchise owner to provide care and guidance to seniors and families in the community. Nikki’s passion for seniors comes from her own family experience. She acknowledged that there was a huge need for a senior referral and placement service in Omaha. She’s been in business for nearly three years. In addition to running a business, Nikki has a passion for traveling the world and loves spending time with her family.
Instead of trying to handle the maze they call healthcare alone, let Nikki with Assisted Living Locators help you! She will guide you through the entire process. You can contact her at (402) firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.assistedlivinglocators.com/omaha to learn more.
Judith Ngozi Obodougo authored a book titled God’s Got Your Back (ggyb.store), which was released in September 2019. Judith then turned the name into an LLC in March 2020. Now, God’s Got your Back is a brand name for her clothing lines like Golf Polo shirts unisex, sweaters, long sleeves, and hoodies in different colors.
“I always wanted to open my own business, create jobs for people especially young girls, and be a great role model to them,” said Judith. “Although my company is not big enough to hire people, I see that happening in the future by God’s willing.”
Judith is inspired by the odds, and she is determined to be amongst the hardworking female entrepreneurs in Omaha and in Nebraska. She noted that, according to statistics (www.nawbo.org), only one in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned. Judith is passionate about helping other females find their strength, and she is grateful to provide health and wellness products and accessories to both men and women.
God’s Got Your Back is located at 10154 Maple St. and items are available online at ggyb.store. Judith can be reached at email@example.com / (402) 686-3559 and followed on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedln.
Wendy Fletcher, a third-generation beekeeper, is the owner of It’s All About Bees! (www.itsallaboutbees.com) Wendy wanted to share all the potential health benefits that honeybees provide with everyone. She started her company in 2000, soon after her mom Margi partnered with her to create gourmet artisan food recipes and all-natural formulas for the body care line, all made in small batches. Wendy’s honeybees pollinate crops for local commercial growers and, whenever possible, that locally grown produce and honey are used in their homemade recipes. It’s All About Bees! is an environment- and health-conscious business that encourages all glass jars that they sell to be returned to be reused.
Located in Ralston in the 84th and Park Drive Plaza, the current product line at It’s All About Bees! includes these popular items: a variety of raw, local, creamed honey, jams, jellies, salsa, BBQ, Elderhoney syrup, mustard, fruit butters, insect repellent, lip balms, bee magic salve, 100% bees wax candles, and a unique selection of bee themed gifts. To learn more, visit www.itsallaboutbees.com or call the store at (402) 216-4545.
Suzanne Wilke started out grooming in her aunt’s pet store as a teenager. That was 50 years ago. Suzanne’s passion for dogs and their owners eventually lead her to open her own business, Bark Avenue Omaha ( www.barkavenueomaha.com), specializing in overnight stays, daycare, and grooming for dogs. Her one-room facility, which was only open on alternating days, quickly evolved into what is now a 12,0000-square-feet, five-room space complete with four outdoor play areas for small and big dogs operating all seven days of the week. There are even individual sweets for each dog being boarded! Suzanne is most proud of the caring staff she has rallied together at Bark Avenue. They engage each dog in fun activities and give them constant supervision. Suzanne continues to educate herself and staff as the industry progresses in an ever-changing world.
“We face many challenges as women, let alone as business owners! Time management, confidence, self-sacrifice, and tenacity—you need a lot of moxie to continue down this road. We are proud to be celebrating 20 years of serving the Omaha community’s dogs and their families,” said Suzanne.
Bark Avenue Omaha, 13706 C St., continues to make additional services available to their family of clients and will soon offer puppy training classes. To learn more, visit www.barkavenueomaha.com or call Suzanne at (402) 933-4007.
Jodie McGill is impassioned about supporting women and others who strive for independence, diversity, and recognition.
Jodie’s training and experience in Collaborative Divorce are unmatched in the Omaha area. Since 2011, she has helped families in Nebraska reach amicable, swift, and peaceful resolutions to their legal issues. Jodie’s mastery of family law and unique understanding of the trauma and stress families can experience with divorce are a few of the reasons why she has been locally and nationally recognized.
Jodie founded McGill Law (www.mcgilllawomaha.com) in 2011 so that she could combine her passions, skills, and expertise to help more people. McGill Law now has three highly skilled attorneys and a dedicated support staff who help families achieve the best outcome for their legal issues. They specialize in family law issues including divorce, modifications, adoptions, estate planning and guardianships.
Learn more about McGill Law and their unique approach at www.mcgilllawomaha.com
Growing up in Russia, Valeriya Kettelhut followed several family members into the medical field. With a strong compassion for people in need, Valeriya earned a medical degree and practiced as a surgeon while promoting preventive cancer screening. Upon immigrating to the United States, she earned an MPH and a PhD in Biomedical Informatics from the UNMC. After 10 years working in a hospital, she decided to share her experience and expertise in another way—helping others achieve a healthy appearance and delay signs of skin and body premature aging.
With the opening of Valeriya Life ( www.valeriya.life), Valeriya’s dream became reality. She assembled a team of dedicated professionals who share the same passion for helping men and women of all ages improve their health and look their best. Today, Valeriya Life offers natural, toxin-free natural skin rejuvenation and body contouring treatments through a holistic, multimodal approach based on science, advanced technologies, and the most recent biotech breakthrough.
Valeriya Life is not just another medical spa, but a center that gives back to the community. To learn more about all the services offered, visit www.valeriya.life or call (531) 777-2752 to make an appointment.
The term powerhouse comes to mind when talking about Barbara Moore, co-owner of Moore’s Concrete Construction, Inc. (mooresconcrete.com) Barbara has always had an inclination for customer service and leadership, and found her niche in the construction industry. She and her husband, Steve, started their own company in 1996. Barbara earned her certification as a concrete flatwork technician from the American Concrete Institute. She handles daily operations of the business, including payroll, bookkeeping, and customer service. As a lead estimator, she responds to customer inquiries to give them the scope of their commercial or residential projects. In addition, she oversees the scheduling of contracted projects and manpower requirements.
Moore’s Concrete Construction, Inc. is family-owned and locally operated, serving the Omaha metro-area with 36 years of experience. They are fully insured and employ ACI-certified concrete finishers on-site and a certified technician in the office for estimating. The team takes great pride in their work, whether commercial properties/ADA work or residential driveways, garage floors, sidewalks, and elegant decorative stamped concrete projects—and they strive for 100% customer satisfaction. To learn more, visit mooresconcrete.com or call (402) 491-3622.
Founded by Kimberly Remmereid in 2015, Contour Construction (contour-construct.com), a commercial rough and finish carpentry company, has overseen seen intricate and detailed woodworking projects come to life in commercial establishments around the Omaha metro. Under Kimberly’s leadership, the company has grown from a core team of professional craftsmen and women to employing over 30 talented carpentry experts. Women working in construction numbered 1.5% of the entire U.S. workforce in 2018, according to the National Association of Women in Construction.
“For years, the construction industry was dominantly lead by men. I’m so proud to be in the construction industry as a female and make a difference on how women are viewed in construction,” said Kimberly.
Kimberly’s passion for excellence in construction is evident in her company’s success and contributions to the Omaha Metro community. Kimberly can be reached at (402) 238-2362 / firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about Contour Construction online at contour-construct.com.
Teresa Elliott is co-owner of NextHome Signature Real Estate (nexthomesre.com), a progressive real estate franchise with consumer focused technology, a thriving culture, and world-class marketing.
Teresa works to be an award-winning real estate professional with a purpose for providing a luxury client experience. If asked why she chose this industry, she always answers that she loves helping people. For over 29 years, Teresa has counseled, contracted, and collaborated with a diverse client base in Omaha and surrounding cities. The amount of activity swirling in her community has provided great networking opportunities and, more importantly, a fulfilling and ever-growing philanthropic impact. Teresa’s dedication to encouraging and mentoring others extends beyond her professional responsibility, personally investing in the growth and success of her team members into impeccable producers. Real Estate is more than a job to her, it is her calling.
NextHome Signature Real Estate is an innovative and connected boutique of real estate professionals empowered to deliver an exceptional real estate experience throughout the community. To learn more, visit nexthomesre.com or contact Teresa at (402) 445-4899 / Teresa@ElliottOmaha.com.
Emily Gilli recently launched her own business: Reveal & Heal Health and Wellness Coaching. Emily worked in large healthcare systems as a Registered Nurse for 16 years. When she discovered functional medicine two years ago, she knew she would be making a shift in her career. Functional Medicine (FM) is a patient-centered approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause and underlying factors affecting one’s health and well-being. The FM model fosters an individualized, whole person approach with a focus on creating health rather than continuing to respond to symptoms.
As a coach, Emily is passionate about filling the gap that is currently missing in the healthcare system. She helps her clients find their “why” for change; feel empowered as the expert of their own body, mind, and circumstances; and implement proactive and personalized health strategies. Ultimately, Emily creates transformative conversations and provides a safe container for her clients to explore their deepest challenges and obstacles. When Emily is not working, she can be found playing pickleball, enjoying nature, and spending time with her husband and three children. Learn more about Reveal & Heal at www.revealandheal.coach or contact Emily at email@example.com.