National Women’s Small Business Month Interview
Dr. Christina Boover Lawrence of Lawrence Speech and Hearing
A serial entrepreneur, Dr. Christina started a successful audiology and speech pathology practice in Colorado, and has expanded into Mexico and Puerto Rico. Christina also owns and operates Beehive Boutique and Spa in Mancos, CO.
Please tell us more about Lawrence Speech and Hearing:
We are Audiologists and Speech Pathologists. We help people to hear and speak better. We sell products for treatment, such as hearing aids and program cochlear implants. We also have an aural rehabilitation program which is developed to help people not only hear better, but understand speech better. We have patients with hearing loss, tinnitus, and patients who have suffered a stroke who now have trouble communicating. We also see children for speech therapy.
What are the secrets to your success?
I really love what I do. My brother is Deaf, and I grew up learning sign language. My aunt has cerebral palsy, and her speech is difficult to understand. It’s been my life‘s work to help people communicate better and to understand one another. It’s why I ended up obtaining two degrees, Speech Pathology degree first and then a Doctor of Audiology degree. I was in school for 11 1/2 years and everyone thought I was crazy. I knew, however, that there was a burning passion for me to learn as much as I could to truly help people. I needed to learn how to conduct speech therapy and audiology to not only help people hear and speak better, but to fully understand. That’s what gets me up in the mornings.
How have you persevered through tough times?
I’ve made a lot of mistakes. It’s the only way anyone ever learns. Let’s just say I have learned a lot about cash flow, what to invest in, what not to invest in, and when you need to spend more money to make what you believe in, actually work. Also, I have a strong support group. Anytime the world seems dark and success seems unobtainable, my friends and family were there. They kept me going.
What are your tips for growing a company?
Do your market research. Really know your community and what your message is that you want out there. It’s not always easy to make hard decisions and course correct.
What does success mean to you?
Success means having just enough money to enjoy your life, and spend time with people who mean the most. I have not always been successful in this way, and it’s a struggle to not overwork, every single day.
What do you want to achieve next?
I would love to teach people about communication in a deeper way. I want people to understand one another and also to be able to do this at affordable prices. We accept insurance, but not all insurances pay for hearing aids. Most don’t so we’ve had to be creative in helping people afford them.
As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?
I think being both female and Latin, the wealth gap has been the biggest obstacle. I’ve had to work harder and my family didn’t have the finances to support me early in life. I’ve been on my own since 15 years old. I was never given anything in life. Times were tough and I didn’t have the luxury to fail upward as men do. I have to course correct rather quickly when mistakes are made. I have oftentimes felt overlooked when there was a male counterpart. I have definitely had to prove my worth on so many levels.
What are some things outside of work that you are irrationally passionate about?
Skin care and design! I [also] own Beehive Boutique & Spa in Mancos – my true esthetic is reflected there. I love to design rooms and make people feel good about their skin.
What mistakes have you made along the way and what did you learn from them?
Not letting go quick enough. Whether it’s an employee or a product. I’ve learned to act more quickly in the past to let go.
What’s been your biggest win so far for the business?
Patient loyalty. I can honestly say that my patients feel like they are family and I do of them. About half even have my cell phone number!
Have any women inspired you, and why?
I worked for Melissa Rufty of MMR Interiors in New Orleans, my home town. Other than my grandmother who taught me spunk and grit, Melissa was the most influential person in my life. She not only taught me design, she taught me how to persevere and to pay kindness forward.
How Can We Contact You?
Website: Lawrence Speech and Hearing Services
Social: Facebook Page
Thank you, Christina, for sharing your stories, inspirations, and dreams with us.
Southwest Colorado is lucky to have you and your business!