Virtual Pink Sister moves office into Perham
Laura Richter of Bluffton is not too different from Mary Kay Cosmetics founder Mary Kay Ash.
They both are strong women who built businesses from the ground up.
Ash started her company with a $5,000 investment after a divorce and being passed up for a promotion in favor of a man she had trained.
Laura began hers to help her family after her mother was laid off at Lund Boats in New York Mills.
"I thought long and hard about what I could do to help my family," she said. "I decided to take my mom's 20 plus years of experience in office work, and my love for Mary Kay and create a business to help others."
Virtual Pink Sister Assistants is owned by Laura and her mother, Roxanne Harthan, who recently moved their offices to Perham. The company began in 2008. Laura and Roxanne work the business full-time, along with two other part-time employees who work from their homes. The company designs and prints monthly unit newsletter (catalogs), thank-you and reminder postcards, scratch and win games and more for Mary Kay directors.
Laura has been a Mary Kay Consultant for nine years. In January 2009, Laura attended the company's first Mary Kay Leadership Conference in Phoenix and set up a vendor booth to offer their virtual assistant services to directors across the country. Since then the company with a distinctive pink and zebra print style has attended leadership conferences in San Diego, and most recently in Houston. By attending and sharing the company's services, Laura and Roxanne have been able to win over Mary Kay directors across the country.
"We've doubled our business from 2009 to 2010, and again from 2010 to 2011," Laura said. "We're in almost every state. Which is very exciting to see"
The company went from 19 clients in 2009 to close to 100 or more today.
With business growing, Laura and Roxanne are hoping to hire another full-time employee in the future and market various services to other businesses in the area. While most of the company's services are exclusive to Mary Kay directors, two items any business can use are scratch off games and SendOutCards.
"Any business or individual looking for an appreciation marketing tool or way to send thank-yous, follow ups, etcetera, SendOutCards is a great tool," Laura said.
Anyone interested may send out a free card online at www.sendoutcards.com/lauramarie.
Laura and Roxanne also plan to get more involved in the Perham community.
The company plans to join the Perham Area Chamber of Commerce and is very involved with Lakes Area Networking promoting SendOutCards to local individuals and businesses.
In her free time, Laura enjoys spending time with her fiancé, Jasen Host, as they plan their February 2012 wedding. Roxanne is married to Doug Harthan, director of the Perham ambulance, and they enjoy fly and trout fishing in their free time. The couple owns a guide business, Front 20 Outfitters.
Laura and Roxanne invite the public to stop into their new office and say hi or send out a free card online at www.sendoutcards.com/lauramarie. The office is located on the west side of the Refreshing Designs building.
For more information on Virtual Pink Sister Assistants, go to www.virtualpinksisters.com or call 218-346-4899.