“Successful people are not gifted—they just work hard, then succeed on purpose.” – G.K. Nelson

The Purple Orchid (purpleorchidflowers.com) owner, Rachael Sjn, is originally from Lincoln. After Rachael graduated school, she moved to Texas where she started her designing career. Rachael worked and grew her craft in Texas for five years. Nebraska had her heart, though. She moved back and started working at some of the biggest flower shops in Nebraska, including Oak Creek Plants & Flowers in Lincoln, and Janousek Florist & Greenhouse and Mangelsen’s in Omaha.

“I got to do amazing things during this time, decorating homes and businesses,” said Rachael. “I’ve worked with Channel 8 on decorating their set for the holidays, and I’ve contributed decor to the Durham Christmas Tree in Omaha. I have also designed for the Saint Cecilia Floral Festival in Omaha. In 2016, all my hard work and dedication paid off—I signed my letter of intent for my own flower shop.”

The Purple Orchid opened February 2017 in Bellevue. Since then, Rachael has won Bellevue Chamber Small business of the Year (2018), and she was also voted Best Florist in Sarpy County for 2020.

“My business is thriving and growing,” said Rachael. “I love what I do and where my passion for the floral industry has taken me. The Purple Orchid delivers ‘Kick-Ass Flowers with Rockstar Service!’”

Learn more about The Purple Orchid for your home, gifts, or special occasions by visiting purpleorchidflowers.com or call (402) 609-0900.

Molly M. Blazek is an attorney with over 10 years of experience. She owns Blazek Law Group, LLC (www.BlazekLawGroup.com) and Nebraska Guardianship Counsel, LLC. Blazek Law Group specializes in guardianship, conservatorship, and other surrogate decision-making cases. Nebraska Guardianship Counsel serves as professional guardians and conservators for over 30 vulnerable adults! In 2019, Molly was appointed to serve on the Nebraska Supreme Court Commission on Guardianships and Conservatorships and she is grateful to be a voice for local guardians and conservators.

As a professional guardian and conservator with her level of legal and practical knowledge, Molly can relate to other guardians and conservators in a way that most attorneys cannot. Because of this, she can serve clients beyond their initial appointment as guardian and/or conservator. Molly’s passion is to unite the surrogate decision-making community and provide a platform to learn and support one another, so she created Guardian Connect as a public service for Nebraska. Guardian Connect features a social media community, tutorials, pre-recorded webinars, and resources for Nebraska’s judicial branch.

To learn more about Blazek Law Group and its services, go to www.BlazekLawGroup.com or call (402) 933-1010. To learn more about Guardian Connect, go to www.GuardianConnectNow.com or call 1-(833) 471-2308.

Founded by Kimberly Remmereid in 2015, Contour Construction (contour-construct.com), a commercial rough and finish carpentry company, has overseen intricate and detailed woodworking projects come to life in commercial establishments around the Omaha metro. Under Kimberly’s leadership, the company has grown to employ more than 30 talented professional 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 Contour’s success and contributions to the Omaha Metro community. Kimberly can be reached at (402) 238-2362 / kimberly@contour-construct.com. Learn more about Contour Construction online at contour-construct.com.

Gladys Harrison is a Nebraska native and the mother of three adult children and one grandson who is the apple of her eye. The fourth of four daughters, Gladys attended Omaha public schools for her primary education—Holy Name Middle School, Marian High School, and College of St. Mary’s and Bellevue University.

In 2007, Gladys and her sisters helped their mother achieve her lifelong dream of owning a restaurant, opening Big Mama’s Kitchen & Catering (www.bigmamaskitchen.com). Understanding the importance of the relationship between the community and local business, one of Big Mama’s core values is to provide job opportunities for felons and job skills opportunities for members of the community who have never been employed. Big Mama’s famous soul food has since become a fixture in the Omaha community and has also gained national notoriety, appearing on the Food Network, the Travel Channel, Sundance Channel, the Cooking Channel, and a host of local and national publications.

Sadly, Big Mama passed away in 2018, however the restaurant remains family-owned under Gladys’ leadership as the owner and president. Gladys works alongside three generations of Big Mama’s daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to keep her legacy alive. In January 2020 the restaurant moved to its new location at the Highlander Dining Room which is North Omaha’s first and only food and drink hub. Big Mama’s is collated with Best Burger and Dena’s Place, a bar and grill also owned by Gladys, Seneca, and Tricia Harrison, grandchildren of Big Mama’s.

In honor of their late mothers’ legacy and dedication to changing lives, Gladys and her family have also established the Patricia “Big Mama” Barron Scholarship Fund for culinary students targeting those students needing a second chance. To learn more, visit www.bigmamaskitchen.com.

Kristie Egan is the president and owner of SEE THE TRAINER® (seethetrainer.com) in Omaha, an orthopedic, sports medicine facility dedicated to keeping a diverse population functioning through a variety of bracing and support products. What was originally thought to be a temporary job turned into a life-long career that Kristie is very passionate about.

Born and raised in Omaha, Kristie graduated from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in psychology. Growing up, she was constantly surrounded by sports. Whether it was playing volleyball or watching her two younger brothers compete, Kristie enjoyed being around sports throughout high school. Professionally, she worked at a Family Practice office for a number of years. This offered her experience working for and interacting with patients and medical professionals. Kristie has always had an interest in a career in the medical field. She has now been with SEE THE TRAINER® for 14 years and decided to purchase the company in October 2020.

SEE THE TRAINER® offers a full line of in-stock bracing, home health, and rehabilitation products. The company is dedicated to improving your quality of life, and their knowledgeable staff will do their best assisting you in selecting the appropriate product to best fit your individual needs. To learn more, visit seethetrainer.com or contact (402) 493-4747 / Kristie@STTMidwest.com.

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 in 2000, Bark Avenue Omaha (www.barkavenueomaha.com), specializing in overnight stays, daycare, and grooming for dogs. Her original one-room facility, which was only open on alternating days, quickly evolved into what is now a 12,000-square-foot space complete with four outdoor play areas for small and big dogs operating all seven days of the week. There are even individual suites 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. Their grooming staff has years of experience, and the grooming department has state-of-the-art equipment. The staff also pursues continuing education!

“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 22 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 state of Nebraska. Since 2011, she has helped families 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.mcgilllawyers.com) in 2011 so that she could combine her passions, skills, and expertise to help more people. Jodie recently expanded McGill Law and now has an office in Lincoln as well as in Omaha. McGill Law has five 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. Jodie is also now proud to offer the services of McGill Mediation, an alternative dispute resolution method led by a neutral party who facilitates the problem-solving process for all involved.

Learn more about McGill Law and their unique approach at www.mcgilllawyers.com

“The Lord has given me a gift, and my prayer is I use it for His glory,” said Theresa Bradley, owner of Lady Bradley’s Salon (@tbradloveshair). Theresa spent six years with the Inner Beauty Program at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center. This opportunity gave her a start in the medical world with clinical cosmetologist, and she is grateful to continue this great work today at her salon.

After 27 years in the industry, Theresa finds the most joy in helping cancer patients feel beautiful and confident while going through their journey. She has women and girls ranging from ages 12–82 who have hair-loss needs, from alopecia hair loss to medication-related hair loss and chemotherapy-induced hair loss. In addition, some women have hereditary thinning. Theresa consults with them and customizes a style, partial hairpiece, or a full wig. A lot of women want to cut off and save their hair prior to starting chemotherapy. Theresa helps them through this process. At times, family members will donate their hair.

Theresa also loves to conduct classes for multiracial children and parents on hair care. She produced a DVD called Speaking the Curly Hair Language. This video resource has benefitted adoptive and foster care parents of multiracial children and has been utilized by various agencies in Nebraska.

“Women who juggle a family and a business have to apply the oxygen mask rule to our lives—we have to make sure we are secured before we can secure others,” said Theresa. “For me, spending alone time with the Lord and getting on the treadmill in the morning is how I fill my bucket so I can, in turn, pour myself out to others.”

Lady Bradley’s Salon is located at 13819 T Plaza—it’s a fun and welcoming atmosphere. They specialize in hair extensions and custom wigs. To book an appointment, call (402) 391-7979 or visit the Facebook page (@tbradloveshair).

Emily Gilli owns her own health coaching business, New Reality Wellness (www.emilygilli.com). Emily facilitates a 90-day health transformation program called WILDFIT®. The program’s foundation is based on food psychology, nutrition, and self-care education. Through the program’s uniquely layered approach, clients can expect to learn to pinpoint and conquer cravings, create new habits, boost their metabolism to fat burning mode, and create a healing environment for their body.

As a coach, Emily is passionate about reversing inflammation and “lifestyle” diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease. It is her mission to provide education that helps people improve/maintain health in a way that keeps them non-reliant on the healthcare system. She believes there is one key substance that unlocks everyone’s wellness: food. When Emily is not working, she can be found playing pickleball, enjoying nature, and reading. Learn more about New Reality Wellness at www.emilygilli.com or contact Emily at emily@emilygilli.com or (402) 431-2404.

Carmen Tapio, president and CEO, North End Teleservices, LLC (NET, northendteleservices.com) has a head for business. More than that, though, she has a heart for people.

Six years ago, Tapio founded North End Teleservices, the fastest-growing organization of its kind in Nebraska, and No. 754 on the Inc. 5000.

Such exponential growth is due, in large part, to Tapio’s commitment to “creating jobs and changing lives”—a workforce model that has meant success for NET, as well as unprecedented professional development for the organization’s employees.

“When it comes to building an organization, having an inclusive, aspirational attitude that invites collaboration, diverse thought and encourages innovation, is essential,” Tapio says.

Tapio, who also recently launched Nebraska Black Women United, also credits a commitment to inclusive economic development as vital to business growth—including the growth of North End Teleservices.

With only 14% of women CEOs on the annual Inc. 5000 list, Tapio says she feels a responsibility to mentor and grow talent.

“Organizations and communities are only as good as their next leader. As women—and as humans—we need to elevate our next generation of leaders who will ensure business continues to make a positive impact on communities and the economy,” Tapio says.

To learn more about North End Teleservices, visit northendteleservices.com.