I’ve been busy since I first posted my plans to open a community birth and family center in Edmonds! I’m really hopeful and even more in awe of anyone who’s ever managed to pull off opening a brick and mortar business.
I’m having an open meeting this Thursday at the Great Starts Classroom in Mountlake Terrace at 10am (6912 220th St SW, Mountlake Terrace WA, 98043 suite 10). Everyone is welcome, we will be planning and brainstorming and hopefully people will be signing on to help with various aspects of getting the birth center started. If you can’t make it, but are interested in staying up to date with the birth center, just drop me a note and I’ll put you on the email list.
A couple of weeks ago I had a preliminary meeting with a business consultant. He helped me to think about what kind of business structure I might need, and how to set it up. My good friend Janice, who’s been a bookkeeper for small businesses for quite a while, gave me a couple of insights about investors—we’re meeting again in a week or two. I met with one potential investor and this helped me to start thinking about how such a relationship would exist. Are my investors going to be part owners—or more simply, lenders to get this off the ground? Or something else? Will I rent and have some limitations from a landlord or try to buy a property and have more (secured) debt, but more freedom? A landlord may help with constructions costs—or not. There are so many things to think about.
I was very fortunate to talk with one of the founders of Puget Sound Birth Center, Lee Shelley. She gave me some wonderful information and lots of things to consider. Her thoughts echoed some I’ve heard earlier—“Take your time to set up your partnerships and finances carefully and thoughtfully, it will pay off in the long run.”
Although I’m quite adventurous (see previous posts on Uganda!), I also tend to think things through before jumping in fully. This may mean that the birth center takes a bit longer to actually get started—but when it happens, I hope my planning will pay off in having things go relatively smoothly.
I have plans to talk with more people—an architect, a commercial real estate agent, a business lawyer, and some other birth center owners.
I’ve been reading through the “Essential Home Birth Guide” that just recently came out. It reminds me of many of the reasons I want this birth center to exist—for the humanity, the kindness, the gentle birth experiences, free from unnecessary medical interventions both big and small. This birth center and community center is just what we need around here. There are so many good reasons for this to happen, that I have to believe it WILL happen! I hope you’ll join me.