Gemma Beylouny is the CMO with Rejoice Maids. She graduated from Kennesaw State in 2016 and established Rejoice Maids in 2010.
Rejoice Maids is a locally owned house cleaning service based in Woodstock GA. They are licensed, Bonded, Insured, with liability insurance and Workers Comp.
They service Cherokee County; Woodstock, Towne Lake, Canton, Holly Springs as well as surrounding cities like Acworth, Kennesaw, Marietta, East Cobb, Roswell; Jasper, and Big Canoe.
Follow Rejoice Maids on Facebook.
Andrea Johanson is a classic “Good Doer” who stepped in to help at Hidden Acres Animal Sanctuary as a kindness to a neighbor in need.
Little did she expect to also be stepping into a role that would include making the Sanctuary a non-profit, becoming Board President, growing the volunteers from 3 to well over 100, and touching the lives of over 2,000 Cherokee County residents through free animal therapy as together, HAAS has continued to rescue animals and human hearts in a “Go Do Good” mission.
As a wife and mom of four adult children, as well as mom-in-love to a bonus daughter and son, Andrea’s family has championed this incredible organization alongside her with several family members also volunteering.
Andrea’s FAVORITE animals on the farm are the goats, who have utterly stolen her heart!
Follow Hidden Acres on Facebook.
Alicia Todisco is a Georgia Native. She recently opened an ACE Handyman Services business serving Acworth, Kennesaw and Powder Springs area. Her path has twisted and turned, as most do, but she is unbelievably thrilled it has lead to this new season of life that comes along community and love.
Before ACE Handyman Services Alicia was involved in the technology world for 12 years. As a sales leader in the HR and Payroll space for 9 of the12 years she worked with sales professionals to teach them to sell with the need of the client as the priority.
She spent the last 3 of 12 years working as the Director of Learning and Development creating programs to teach and train on processes that she finds to be the most productive and ethical way to sell any product.
Her transition was not an easy decision, however, made with three very important factors. Grayson and William, her 8 and 5 year old sons being the most important aspect of her transion.
Traveling to New Orleans LA every month and being away from home takes a toll. Now she coaches soccer, at Legacy Park and running club, at Swift Cantrell and is seeing a major change in the way her boys are developing and responding to her work life balance.
The third reason is to be more engrained in a local community. Ace Hardware and Ace Handyman Services are both companies that encourage and support their owners to make and impact in the community and that is exactly what Alicia is here to do.
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:07] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios In Woodstock, Georgia. Welcome to Women in Business, where we celebrate influential women making a difference in our community. Now, here’s your host.
Lori Kennedy: [00:00:30] Hello, this is Lori Kennedy, and I’m your host today for Women in Business, powered by Business RadioX. Stone Payton, our producer is also in the studio with us today and we are grateful to have you tuned in. Today. We are interviewing three amazing ladies. We are interviewing Alicia Todisco and she is with Ace Handyman Services Acworth. We are interviewing Andrea Johanson and she is with Hidden Acres Animal Sanctuary Therapy and Rescue. And we are interviewing Gemma Beylouny. I’ve never I don’t know how to say your last name.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:01:13] It’s Beylouny.
Lori Kennedy: [00:01:17] Beylouny, Beylouny. And she is with Rejoice Maids and has several side hustles as well. And we may hear a little more about at least one of those today. Welcome, ladies. We are so glad to have you here. Alicia, I’m going to start with you. Tell us about your business, how long you’ve been a business, how you started it and what it does.
Alicia Todisco: [00:01:36] Okay. So Alicia Tedesco, thank you so much for your time. So my business is Ace Handyman Services. We’re a franchise. We are part of the Ace Hardware family. And so when we have craftsmen that come on board, they’re our employees, so they’re not subcontractors. It means that we get an opportunity to really hold a certain value proposition in the community. We’re on time. We answer the phones. As simple as that is to be a value proposition. It’s kind of a big deal. I started the business in March of this year. I had been in corporate America for 12 years previous and a business owner before that. I purchased a.S.A.P and services in November of last year and we went live in March. So.
Lori Kennedy: [00:02:20] Oh, wow, That’s still new.
Alicia Todisco: [00:02:22] Still very.
Lori Kennedy: [00:02:22] New. That’s awesome.
Alicia Todisco: [00:02:24] Yep. Fresh out of the gates. Very, very exciting.
Lori Kennedy: [00:02:26] Yeah, that’s great. That’s great. Andrea, tell us about what your company is and what you guys do and how that fits into our community.
Andrea Johanson: [00:02:34] So I’m a little bit of an anomaly at this table because we aren’t necessarily a business. We are a nonprofit. We became a nonprofit last year in 2021. We launched in 2018 when our founder, Sara Carney, began with two horses in rescue and in the process. And over time, especially through 2020, she began to notice as the world shut down and loved ones couldn’t get to their resident loved ones in assisted living places, that she had an opportunity to be able to provide a service, to offer love and hope, and spread joy and healing in a very unique way by allowing directors at the time to come get an animal or two and have them for the day and spread that joy to their residents. And that has then morphed into we are now in several assisted living locations, bringing our animals and spreading that same love and joy. We have therapy teams who bring those animals. We have onsite farm therapy as well, particularly to those in our community who are our super heroes, those with special needs. So this year alone, we have touched the lives of over 300 individuals.
Lori Kennedy: [00:03:46] Wow. That’s awesome. Gemma.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:03:49] I don’t have therapy, but we can be therapy sometimes.
Lori Kennedy: [00:03:54] Yes, You do like cleaning therapy? I mean, I think. I think when people come home to a clean house, that’s kind of a therapy.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:04:00] Yes, that. And we are really actually some kind of warm up therapy because we have a lot of clients that expect us every other week who have never seen people for months because of the COVID scare of COVID. And also the relatives are far away. These are we’re talking about elderly. So we kind of become their therapists. My name is Gemma Bellone. I’m the owner chief marketing officer of Rejoice Maids. We’ve been in business for more than ten years serving the Cherokee County community. Part of my business as the owner is you’ll see me make fun of me because I’m the cheapest model out there for myself or my business. I do a lot of cleaning TikTok reels and I love what I do. I am now the marketing model of my own business.
Lori Kennedy: [00:04:56] Gotcha. Okay. And then why did you choose that name? These maids.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:05:00] Rejoice. Maids actually came as a surprise because it wasn’t in the plan. I initially baloney cleaning service, but no one can pronounce my last name. I can’t even pronounce my last name.
Lori Kennedy: [00:05:14] That’s so funny, considering that was the first question I asked you. And I’ve known you longer than anybody else at this table, and I did not know that.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:05:24] People would call how to spell your name. I didn’t say your name. Okay, time to change. Yeah. So I hired a lady who gave me a name, Royal Maids. Right. And I’m from the Philippines. And what the heck? It’s really like when things doesn’t happen, it’s not meant to be, right? So anyway, it didn’t work again, because there’s some things that are beyond my control. So when the last thing in your life is going south, who do you think after that? You know, and everything going into a hole, bad hole. You start thinking, Oh, my God, God, There you go. So looking at the Bible, look at books. And I found it in the Bible. There you go. Rejoice. Maids.
Lori Kennedy: [00:06:12] I love that. Yeah, well, that makes me think of something that you told me. Andrea, don’t you have a book that you want to tell us about?
Andrea Johanson: [00:06:20] I do have a book. Thank you for asking. The book is called The One Who Moves Mountains. And it is a faith based book, and it is by design, written as if we were sitting across from the kitchen table with each other and having conversations maybe about some of the questions that you’ve had about faith, about God, and you really haven’t felt the freedom to ask those. And so it’s a conversation, and the end of each chapter has three conversations starters that will ignite that conversation between you and God and take it to the next step. So it’s guided.
Lori Kennedy: [00:06:56] I love that we’re. How do you get that easy peasy?
Andrea Johanson: [00:06:59] You can get it actually on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
Lori Kennedy: [00:07:03] Okay, great. You know, that reminds me of you, Stone. You have a book, and I’d love you to tell us the name and how and what it’s about and how to get it.
Speaker5: [00:07:11] Well, it’s about personal and organizational speed, but the title of it, which did end up having some marketing legs, I got to say, is Never fried Bacon in the Nude.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:07:22] I love it.
Speaker5: [00:07:22] And other lessons from the Quick and the Dead.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:07:26] I love it.
Lori Kennedy: [00:07:28] All right. Back to you, Miss Alisha. I. I want to know about your encouragement and mentors and why. Ace.
Alicia Todisco: [00:07:42] My my mentors. People that I connect with. I have a slew of mentors, people that I really look up to. And as I was vetting out, going from a corporate job to entrepreneurship out on my own, I’m not a risk taker. So it was really important for me to lean into them, ask a ton of questions I’ve vetted out for a very long time, and eventually your mentors don’t tell you this is what you should do. They guide you, right? Yeah. All three of them kicked me in out of the nest, and they were like, Just go do this already. This is a great fit for you. You know what you’re doing? You’re going to be successful by having good mentors in front of me. It encourages me to also be a mentor to other people, and I think that becomes part of maybe what your actual question was.
Lori Kennedy: [00:08:29] Yes, sorry.
Alicia Todisco: [00:08:30] That’s okay. So I think it’s really important to me to be able to make a difference for people, whether it’s in our community, whether it is in my office, within our four walls and the team that we have established. I have a great young lady who just started with me. She is coachable, she is open, she’s excited, she is confident. And now I get a chance to really get in and develop her sales processes and help her think bigger because this is her first job where she’s calling it her big girl job. But she’s it’s not true. She’s already way more elevated than she gives herself credit for. So I get to go in and identify those strengths and help her, just like my coach has helped me to grow into the woman that she wants to be.
Lori Kennedy: [00:09:12] I love that. I love that. Andrea Tell us about role models and about mentors and mentoring in your life. How does that look?
Andrea Johanson: [00:09:25] I think it’s taken a lot of different forms in my life. It’s happened in the church world. It’s happened in the business world, It’s happened in education. I think one of my biggest mentors actually was when I was a student teacher and she was an educator for fifth graders at elementary school, Atlanta women. And I will tell you that she has influenced countless lives. And I was one of them. And I just loved her way of drawing gold out of people. And I think that that’s what’s so important when you’re mentoring is to be able to identify the goals in them, draw out those nuggets and help them to become even better versions of themselves. As you walk alongside of them not telling them you should do X, Y, Z, but just drawing all the goodness, all the things that you see in them that are gold.
Lori Kennedy: [00:10:17] Wow, I love that. I love that. Gemma What about a role model for you and mentoring and how are you mentoring others? I know you’re starting a group and tell us about that.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:10:27] I have a different way of I, I, I don’t have a mentor when I was growing up, so I have my mom, but it’s. It’s a different story. So I the mentor that I had in my mind is when I saw I saw this one lady. She’s dressed up nicely, you know, like a business owner with with a case like that. That’s how I saw myself. But in terms of mentoring, I didn’t have one. So I created my own. I started reading books, you know, Jim Rohn, I called him my dad mentors, but I do talk to them. I talk to them in my head. You know, I taught myself how to find things that would empower me because I don’t have that role model in my life. So I learn. I learn on my own. And then once I get to know, like when I entered in this business, I chase the people that I know that are successful. My new Some people don’t see that as a positive aspect. I chase them my first convention in Las Vegas. Before I go there, I hit enter the internet and figure out by reading who is who in that industry. Got my notebook, wrote all their names and chased them around until one of them sat with me and said this, this, this, this, this, this, this. That’s how I started getting a mentor, but not really a mentor. Because when nobody knows you, you don’t really get anything. Then when they start getting to know you, sort of like the bank, they don’t give you any money when you don’t have money right now, When you have the money, when when you have the money, everybody’s like, Hey, you want a loan.
Alicia Todisco: [00:12:12] Right?
Gemma Beylouny: [00:12:13] Right. So yeah, the mentoring, right? So yeah, I try to mentor people now because I’ve learned so much from the years in being in business and I’m a 50 year old woman now. So I think I learned a little do anything. And my business is running on its own now, which I’m very proud. So, you know, you learn and you want to share it to people. And I do. I am sharing it now with a couple of people that I’m sort of guiding, not mentoring, but guiding because I still learn from them. I, I always say that when I have a conversation with you, I will learn from you. You know, I’m not just going to you know, I’m not going to say I know everything because I don’t. I’m still learning for sure.
Lori Kennedy: [00:12:59] So do you have a modern day role model?
Andrea Johanson: [00:13:01] Yes.
Lori Kennedy: [00:13:04] Elon Musk.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:13:07] Oh my God. I’m like, Oh my God, this dude is so smart. Even though he has like 10,000 children from different women. I’m sorry about that. But hey, you know what? I like that dude.
Alicia Todisco: [00:13:18] Can I ask a question really quickly? Yeah. Just based on what you were saying and the fact that he is like your modern day mentor in business, are you an early adopter?
Gemma Beylouny: [00:13:28] I’m actually not really. I’m a logger when it comes to like that. But then once I get my hold on that, I’m like, my husband calls me a bulldog. I will not let go. I learned something. I will implement that. If you tell me something and I see that in my head, it’s going to work. It’s going to get going.
Alicia Todisco: [00:13:47] That’s awesome. I was curious because if you are self driven with your like finding your mentors in your books, it feels different than the way that I was involved in upbringing, but it seems like you have the same process. And then for Elon Musk to be the guy that you’re leaned into, he’s the early adopter, right? He’s like, run and then ask questions later.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:14:05] That’s me. I shoot first.
Lori Kennedy: [00:14:08] So she says that, but she’s very intentional. I mean, the conversations that I’ve had with Jemma, she’s very intentional. So yeah, she will jump out to do something. But she’s already done some figuring out.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:14:23] Calculating in my head.
Alicia Todisco: [00:14:24] Thought through it first. Yeah, exactly. That’s great.
Lori Kennedy: [00:14:27] Andrea, why don’t you tell us how you got involved with the nonprofit that you’re involved with and and tell us about the difference that you’re making in Cherokee County.
Andrea Johanson: [00:14:38] So I love the story, honestly, and it just happened. And it really is a fulfillment of our mission to go do good. And that happened by accident, kind of. I actually live directly behind the sanctuary. It’s in my backyard on the other side of my fence. And so my neighbor next door to us said, Hey, any time you want to come down and feed the goats or the donkeys, you can go ahead and come through the gate in my back yard and go get access. And so I would go down and do that. And I texted Sarah who Sarah Carney, as I said, is our founder. And she when I texted her that day, my neighbor had texted her the same day my neighbor was texting saying, there are these two cows that need rescuing. Are you interested? And I’m texting saying, I have a friend coming whose daughters are coming over. Can we come give the goats some treats to both of us? She said yes and yes. And I’m in the hospital. Oh, and we both said, oh my gosh, what can we do? And so the two of us jumped in alongside of another gentleman, Lawson, who had started the week before we did using old feed feed sheet instructions in the feed room and text messages from Sarah from the hospital and just started running the farm. And so she came home and because of what she had walked through, she couldn’t do any kind of heavy lifting or anything for six weeks.
Andrea Johanson: [00:16:03] And so we just ran it all. And with her guidance, of course, and the two cows came to us and we continued to grow and we would have someone occasionally come with us as a friend, Hey, I’ll come help you to feed team. I want to go play with the goats. What you’re really going to do is I’m going to give you a muck rake and you’re going to help me muck after those cows. And so in September, I had said to Sarah, Hey, would it be okay if I put a post on next door? Just seeing if anybody might be interested in helping volunteer. Our daughter’s having her wedding celebration. October. It’s getting a little busy. We could use a little additional help. We’ve got more animals coming, she said. Sure, go ahead. 300 comments Later, when I thought we would get five or six, we were opening up a group on next door. We suddenly had our first two volunteer orientations. We had our farm community day, the first one in October of last year. Meanwhile, my husband says to me, Oh, y’all need to be a nonprofit. And we all agreed. And he said, Oh, it’s easy to set up. You just fill out a couple of things online. No problem. It’ll be.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:17:08] Quick.
Andrea Johanson: [00:17:10] As everyone in this room is laughing. Oh, well, over 100 hours later, we became a nonprofit in November and I learned a lot along the way. I had never set up a nonprofit, and that day I was working with a score mentor. Highly, highly, highly recommend. When we’re talking about membership or mentorship, Score is a phenomenal organization to work with for mentoring. And he walked me through the process of setting up the nonprofit, and I was going through the slate of directors or board board members with him because he was going to help me run the first meeting that night. And I said, Sarah is going to be the president and this. And he said, Andrew, do you remember very beginning I told you Sarah couldn’t be the president as founder of the organization? No, Yeah, she can’t be president. So I ran from my house to Sarah’s within hours before the very first board meeting. I said, What is your plan B? She looked at me and she said, You’re board president. Okay, so here I am. Board President. We have now, as I mentioned, put in, we have well over 100 active volunteers. We have multiple therapy groups that are going to different locations. We have feed team volunteers, We have animal rehabilitation and training and project team volunteers. We have families who volunteer together. We have people who bring those with special needs and they volunteer together. We have our on and off farm therapy. For instance, we had a mom and her son who were at one of our recent superheroes therapy nights on the farm. She and her son now volunteer, and they are there every single time they can possibly be there. And she said, You don’t understand. When we go home, he’s different and I’m different. And all I know is that not only are there massive differences in the lives of those we bring our animals to for therapy. Yeah, every single volunteer who’s been there, we each have our own stories of transformation and impact that this farm, this mission, these animals our founder have all had in our lives.
Lori Kennedy: [00:19:18] Wow, I. I love that.
Andrea Johanson: [00:19:20] Thank you.
Lori Kennedy: [00:19:22] I have to go ahead and ask this now. Go ahead. You know what I’m going to ask, right? Can you tell us about goat yoga?
Alicia Todisco: [00:19:31] Yeah.
Andrea Johanson: [00:19:32] You’re asking the right person because I am the self-professed goat girl. I am just silly about goats. And I could show you I have more pictures of goats on my phone than my children at this point. But when you have baby goats on the farm, there’s nothing like baby goats. They are just the cutest ever. And if you get down, they’re going to jump right up on you. Well, that is a perfect invitation for a partnership between goats and yoga, because any time you are in a plank or on table or whatever the moves are, the the baby goats will just automatically jump up on you. And it’s hilarious and they will paw at you. And it’s just it’s an experience like none other. So as they get older, we help it along a little bit. We’ll pick them up and put them on participants, but everyone loves it, so they’re in there. Goat yoga poses with goats on their backs. Some people are saying, Oh, it feels so good. And some people are like, Oh my goodness. But we do have a a little piece of, you know, like a badge almost, where it says goat on goat off when you come participate.
Andrea Johanson: [00:20:43] So if you would prefer not having a goat put on you, they don’t have to get put on you. They can go walk around next to you. We have our goat yoga on farm in our sanctuary, which is unlike anything else, because as you’re doing yoga, you’re looking up through the leaves above you and it’s just you’re in this very peaceful, amazing sanctuary. We’ve also done goat yoga at the great lawn in Bridgeville, and right now we have goat yoga happening at the mill in Etawah. And so this Saturday, a couple of days from now, we are having goat yoga at the mill on Etawah at 10:00. And then on October 29th we are doing on farm goat yoga at 11. And our last goat yoga of this season is November 5th, back at the mill at 11:00. So this Saturday is the only one that’s at ten. But you can get those links on our website to sign up. We are WW Dot Hidden Acres Animal Sanctuary dot org. Click on goat yoga and the link will take you there.
Lori Kennedy: [00:21:46] That is awesome. All right. Since you talked about kids on your phone, tell us who’s in your in your household.
Andrea Johanson: [00:21:55] That’s not fully who’s in my family? Who’s in.
Lori Kennedy: [00:21:59] Your family.
Andrea Johanson: [00:22:00] So my youngest is still at home Nehemiah He’s 20. He is a sophomore at Kennesaw State University. Our two middle children, Abigail and Noah, are each married. They both got married in 2020 by my husband, believe it or not. So I have bonus daughter Haley, who’s married to Noah and bonus son Thomas, who’s married to Abigail.
Lori Kennedy: [00:22:20] And so they’re twins, I assume.
Andrea Johanson: [00:22:22] They are not.
Lori Kennedy: [00:22:23] They’re not twins.
Andrea Johanson: [00:22:24] They’re not They? My first three are age 17 months apart, so I had three and 34 months. Oh, wow. Yeah. Two miscarriages before having our fourth. And so very grateful to have our fourth as well. Our oldest is living in California. He has been attending Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. He is with an organization working out there as well as on staff with Bethel now as well in their children’s ministry department. So I’m very blessed. Just celebrated my 31st wedding anniversary too.
Lori Kennedy: [00:22:56] So congratulations. That’s awesome. And no goats for pets.
Andrea Johanson: [00:23:02] I have them all behind, but I told Sarah if I ever move, I know who I’m taking with me.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:23:09] Favoritism.
Andrea Johanson: [00:23:11] Absolutely. They know it too.
Alicia Todisco: [00:23:13] I feel like you need to go to the farm or you need to bring her a goat. Like this is a thing. You know.
Andrea Johanson: [00:23:17] I. I came this close to bringing a goat with me today, and I kind of thought it might be a little disruptive, so I decided not to. But it was. It was a consideration.
Lori Kennedy: [00:23:25] I think I’m going to need to come visit.
Andrea Johanson: [00:23:27] I think you.
Lori Kennedy: [00:23:27] Do. I truly need to. Alisha, who is in your family.
Alicia Todisco: [00:23:32] So not to spend too far away from the conversation and draw me in if you need to. But this is really interesting how it overlaps. So yeah, in my household I have myself and my two boys. One is Greyson, he’s eight, and then William just turned six yesterday. They are all fire. I have a daughter that is an angel, baby. She is in heaven. And then we have. We had a miscarriage in between our daughter and our son as well, which we opened a nonprofit. And so we can talk about that later. So I laughed when you said, Oh, yeah, you just go online and you just press a couple of buttons. Not how it works at all. Right? And so our nonprofit is dormant, but it’s one of the main purposes of me building the franchise the way that I am now so that we can get reactive and re acclimated in the community to support family.
Lori Kennedy: [00:24:20] Yeah. Go ahead and tell us about that.
Alicia Todisco: [00:24:21] Yeah, sure. So in 2008, my children’s father and I had a little girl. She was very sick and she passed away. And so she’s in her week life. She changed more humans than most of us get to do in a lifetime. And so I grieved and grieved and grieved as a mother would. And about a week before her first birthday, her father said, You have got to start changing your mindset, like you have to celebrate the time that we did get with her. So we did. And instead of having, you know, this year of we just lost our child a year ago, we had a birthday party for her. So we had friends and family around the gravesite. We did a balloon release, we had a birthday cake, the whole nine. So if you ask my boys, Hey, tell me, do you have brothers and sisters? They say, Yeah, I have a brother and a sister. And so they talk about that very openly. We’re very open about it. We’ve got pictures of them in my phone that are next to the gravesite, which I know seems a little strange. But to them, it’s normalcy. Well, a couple of years into every year, celebrating her birthday and doing balloon releases by the grave site, one of my friends said, hey, listen, you need to turn this into something because I’m hearing more and more about families who have lost children.
Alicia Todisco: [00:25:34] So we did. We created a business plan, sat on it for a year, kept doing the, you know, the balloon releases. And then we moved back to Georgia and I got pregnant, had a miscarriage. I tried to bury it. Oh, it’s not as dramatic. Yes, it is. Every person’s tragedy is their tragedy and everyone stands alone. So what you learn in grief is you don’t you don’t compare grief. Right? Everybody’s story is their personal story. And by trying to minimize that for myself, I realized that very intimately. Like I’d heard people talk about it. But and so it manifested into we got pregnant again with Greyson, and we while I was on maternity leave, I was high risk, so I was benched. And so I went through all the process of creating this nonprofit and getting everything started. We had our first big event where we had 50 people show up at the park down the road from, you know, where we lived at the time. And Dunwoody, there were people that came up to me.
Alicia Todisco: [00:26:30] They celebrated the life of their 50 year old child had passed away five years ago. And we’re talking, you know, 70, 80 year old humans. Right? We had people at the park that came over just to see what was going on, that stood in our circle and got to hear stories of other families who had experienced the same thing. So it’s pretty powerful. I’ll say the other side of it, though, when we do get reengaged, I think where we help the most people is when you know someone who has lost a child, you don’t know what to say. And so I get phone calls even today saying, hey, my friend is in the hospital. They just lost their baby. She just had to deliver a stillborn or had a miscarriage or five year old, you know, passed away from cancer. What do I say? And I’m like, I can’t tell you what to say, but I can definitely tell you what not to say, Right? Yeah. So those have been really powerful conversations. So I just wanted to draw that parallel because I understand and and that desire to give back and serve the community is huge.
Lori Kennedy: [00:27:25] Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. I appreciate.
Alicia Todisco: [00:27:27] That. Yeah, Thank you.
Lori Kennedy: [00:27:28] Gemma. Who’s in your family?
Gemma Beylouny: [00:27:31] George and I, I have two kids there. Well, we’re empty Nester. My two kids, one. I think she’s never going to get married, so we’re already okay with that. The younger one, Nicole. She have two kids. It’s just, you know, like you’re doing really well and then bam, something hit you. So in a way, we’re still grateful. Very, very grateful. She’s named after me. Her name is Leah Gemma. But she just got diagnosed with autism. She’s two, but it’s a blessing, you know, because. She’s there. She makes us happy. The only thing that I don’t like is she doesn’t know us. Like you look at your granddaughter. No, no. Nothing. It’s like she’s looking past you. Oh, yeah. You know, like, Sorry. She cannot recognize you. You know, I was like I say to myself, I said to my husband, George, I’ll give anything, anything so she can recognize me, you know? So one day she just touched me. Like, normally you’re my first granddaughter, Isabel. She’s nine now. We had a great time together. I mean, I said it was a blast. So just like grandma, you’re expecting that, right? But it was just different. Totally different. But you know what we’re learning? We’re learning to deal with it. We’re learning to grow with her. We’re learning to appreciate life more because of that. You know, it’s things that the challenge you makes you better understanding human being.
Alicia Todisco: [00:29:10] Absolutely.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:29:11] Yeah. But George and I, we enjoy each other. We like each other. We’ve been together 33 years, so we better like each other, right? For sure. It’s a blessing. We do love each other. And we like I always say, like, you have to like somebody. I mean, you can love somebody, not like them, right? So we both we have it both. So we’re blessed.
Alicia Todisco: [00:29:32] There’s a song about that.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:29:33] Oh, yeah?
Alicia Todisco: [00:29:34] Yeah. I don’t like you, but I love you.
Lori Kennedy: [00:29:36] I remember that old song. I remember that.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:29:39] Yeah, well, that’s good. I want to hear that.
Alicia Todisco: [00:29:42] I’ll send it to you later.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:29:42] Okay.
Lori Kennedy: [00:29:44] What are some great. What are the greatest challenges you are facing now as a business or an industry, Gemma?
Gemma Beylouny: [00:29:51] Just like. Like the restaurant industry or in the service industry. When you’re in the service industry, you need people. So it’s human, right? We need like five employees yesterday, you know, because we’re growing. I’m a little TikTok making fun of me, doing a lot of how to clean this, how to do this. It’s generating a lot of calls. Our phone is ringing. Like Google will say, Hey, you have like 1500 visitors in your website alone this week or this month. You’ll have a lot of these people. It’s it’s helping. But the problem is you cannot sustain your growth if you don’t have employees because who is? I’m in the cleaning industry, so I can’t clean everybody’s houses. I would love to, but I can’t that my employees that we have, we have 8 to 9 teams depending on the day we can’t do it all. So especially now that the holidays are coming, we need ten people. We just can’t find them. Yeah. Biggest challenge.
Lori Kennedy: [00:30:56] Wow. Tell us, Andrea, what are the biggest challenges that you’re facing right now in the industry that you’re in?
Andrea Johanson: [00:31:03] So again, I’m a little bit of an anomaly from the rest of you sitting at the table. And as I thought about how to answer that question myself, if you were going to ask that of me, I think it is a matter of the right people in the right seats. And so it’s similar to what you were saying, but for us, we are 100% volunteer driven and you can easily see that 8020 rule of 80% of the work done by 20% of the people. And so making sure that we’re not burning anyone out, making sure that they feel appreciated, we are so grateful for every single person that steps foot on that farm and all that they do and the millions of ways that they give. And also making sure, you know, when we started the nonprofit, it was like, okay, so we have these committees and we need directors. And it was almost like pulling names out of a hat. So, hey, you’re going to do X, Y, Z, All right. Okay. So this has been a year also of really making sure that we we have had changes and, you know, life happens for people. And so you have people who’ve committed to a role, but things happen in life and for very real, valid and even great reasons, they can’t continue in that role. And so what does that look like for longevity, for transition, for, you know, I have worn a million hats on the farm and I’m really grateful because recently I’ve been able to delegate out a lot of those core responsibilities because we’ve had the right people link arms with us and, you know, they’re taking over as director volunteers, they’ve taken over as director of special events, you know, different aspects. And then, you know, just making sure that we continue to identify who’s going to best fill that role and not fill it too fast just because we have a need. But wait until we’ve got the right person to fill that need.
Lori Kennedy: [00:33:10] So how does that I’m going to go ahead and go into a second question and then I’ll ask you, Alicia, how does that go into what is a mistake that you’ve made and how did you correct it? Because it feels like maybe that’s a learning process and how to make that run as smoothly as you as it as you would want it to.
Andrea Johanson: [00:33:33] Well, again, I think part of it was we have people with such willing hearts and so there’s a need. I’ll do that. And I think I can share this story and it’ll be totally fine. But it was so, so sweet because the other the gentleman who was the original volunteer besides my neighbor and myself, when he first said, Hey, I’ll help, he said, I’ll help with social media. Thanks. And we were thrilled. And I mean, it was an offer from his heart. He’s not even on Facebook.
Lori Kennedy: [00:34:09] Yeah.
Andrea Johanson: [00:34:09] You know, so that that wasn’t a right fit for him. And yet the role that he’s in now, he’s director of operations and he knocks it out of the park. Everywhere you look on our farm, you’re going to see his touch of what he’s done in the difference that he’s made and how he’s caused the sanctuary to thrive. And so it’s just a reorganization of, Hey, we are so grateful that you offered to do that and here’s the responsibilities. How do you feel about that? Oh, yeah, not me. Okay, no problem. Let’s get you into the right fit for you, because we want people to feel comfortable, to feel passionate, to feel like they’re making a difference in in a way that they feel confident that they really can.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:34:55] That’s good.
Lori Kennedy: [00:34:55] I love that. All right, Alicia, why don’t you tell us some of the greatest challenges you’re facing as a business or an industry?
Alicia Todisco: [00:35:03] So I think the biggest challenge in my industry is service base, right? We either have too much business and not enough craftsmen or too many craftsmen and not enough business. So it’s a yeah, it’s a balance of I have five guys on my team right now. They’re all standing humans to me. They’ve been fairly easy to find, but I’m very specific about what we’re looking for and so I’m terrified to lose them, right? And so making sure that when we have a craftsman that is I’ve got a military gentleman who’s a chief in the army, he’s getting ready to probably take a full month out. So I need to adjust marketing a little bit, write down or bring somebody else on board and then adjust it up a little bit so we can have more business coming in the doors. So it really is just that balance of making sure that we have enough work to keep them busy and also not burn them out, but to sustain them and make them not want to go anywhere else.
Lori Kennedy: [00:36:00] Same. Yeah, Same for automotive repair, y’all. Tell me about a mistake that you’ve made in your business and what you learned from it.
Alicia Todisco: [00:36:09] This is actually fairly recent, so scab is still a little fresh.
Lori Kennedy: [00:36:14] So I. Band-aids down the hall, I think. Okay, good. Just in case it starts cleaning again.
Alicia Todisco: [00:36:19] Oh, well, So when I first started the business, I met this amazing office manager. And this is a story that every new business owner knows probably intimately. And you’re like, okay, well, it wasn’t going to happen to me. I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to do it. But she’s so good and she served an incredible purpose in my business, and I will forever be grateful for her. But she took on so much confidently that I let go of a lot. And so when she started to kind of step back and detach from the business a little bit, she still had power over everything. And so she’s been gone for a couple of weeks. It’s been some of the best time that I’ve had in my business. I’ve sat down behind the desk, I’m answering the phones, I’m dealing with the craftsmen firsthand in every scenario. And so I’m regaining that traction. And I’ll tell you, while it’s been a little jolting, a little bit of heartbreak, a little bit of Adora, Right. A little little acid reflux over it, it really is one of the most powerful things. And I’m so grateful that it happened early in my business and not two, three years down the road where processes had been abandoned or mistakes had really been made and a lot of money had been lost. So we’re recovering in a great way.
Lori Kennedy: [00:37:32] That’s great. That’s great. What about you, Gemma? Tell us about a mistake that you’ve made in your business and how you corrected it.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:37:39] Oh, I have a lot of that. I can write a book.
Lori Kennedy: [00:37:43] Right? Anybody who this? Why I ask this like I ask everything in here because I leave with a bunch of notes for me. That’s why I’m here. But no, I feel like any time that you. You have to fail several times before you succeed. So there are always mistakes?
Gemma Beylouny: [00:37:57] Yes. Yes. Similar to what Alicia have been through. I’ve been through that one. Because you’re confident that they can do the job and you can give them the time to improve and give them the reign of your business. Totally empower. That’s the word that they use. And power don’t like that anymore. Yeah, we, we did that. I, I almost lost control a while. You lost control for a while? A little while. And then you wake up and you’re like, No, I’m not going down because it’s my fault. Anyway. Yeah, we did. I, I had my first first two years. Actually, my first five years was the most horrible time in my business. I was crying tears, blood because, you know, I had a manager that wanted to stall my business two times, actually. But, you know, like, I didn’t even know that their birthing business already in their own business. And I had that between the manager and the supervisor. They’re ready to take my business. Like I would get a call and they’ll put it in their own business because I was not there. And so it was tough. But then, you know, you learn. I learned to do everything in my business. Like if you’re my manager now and you tell me I’m leaving you today, I’m like, There’s the door now, now don’t give me two weeks notice. There’s the door. Go.
Alicia Todisco: [00:39:24] Those two weeks are dangerous.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:39:25] I learned that lesson because of my experiences. I know everything in my business and I duplicate myself. My two daughters knows how to do it. My husband knows how to do it. So. Yep, I covered my.
Andrea Johanson: [00:39:41] Yeah.
Lori Kennedy: [00:39:42] Well, so that what is your role right now in the business and what is the future of Rejoice Mates.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:39:48] I’m actually because you become really like when, when, when you see your business is running smoothly, you’re like, Oh my God, I can do everything right. I’m going to try this. I’m going to succeed to this. So I tried a different one. I opened my my own eCommerce business. I still I have a moisturizer, a cosmetic business, which I didn’t really do anything. I spent a grant of $10,000 with nothing if I learned my lesson. Okay, But I said, I am back. I’m going to be doing more of my my advertising. But my future plan is really to duplicate my business so we can have our rejoice maids. Alpharetta rejoice maids. Braswell Someday that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m currently working on my bottles so I can put my name on it. And when I leave it to your house, you’ll see my name. A lot of things. It’s the sky’s the limit. That’s how I see it.
Lori Kennedy: [00:40:43] Are you going to franchise?
Gemma Beylouny: [00:40:45] Well, we have a lot of talks, a couple of people asking for a franchise already, But I like control. I’m a control freak.
Lori Kennedy: [00:40:52] Glad you can admit that.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:40:55] Yeah. So I think I’m just. I like to own it. I like. I like to own it. Yeah.
Lori Kennedy: [00:41:00] All right. Andrea, did you tell us or can you tell us about a therapy story or an animal story?
Andrea Johanson: [00:41:08] We have so many.
Lori Kennedy: [00:41:09] Yes.
Andrea Johanson: [00:41:10] And I would love to share two, actually, maybe three. So going into the assisted living facilities, it’s amazing because some of them are memory care facilities. And we’ve had instances where you’ve had a nonverbal patient who is then singing to the kittens that we’ve brought in, or another nonverbal patient who we brought PGR lovebird in a backpack with a clear front to it. It’s the coolest thing, and just began whistling to the bird and residents who, you know, might not be the most joyful residents to work with. And we bring the animals and they are grinning from ear to ear. But I think one of the most heartwarming stories was written. It’s on our social media. It was written by a mom who came for one of our superheroes nights with her daughter. They came with their daughter in a modified stroller kind of wheelchair type thing, and they would carry her in. And they talked about how tight all of her muscles were when she came into the farm and when she left the farm after being helped to touch the animals, her muscles had relaxed tremendously. And, you know, she’s one who uses her feet. And so she was feeding bread to our 20 £500 Bessie, the wonder cow. She’s a Chick-Fil-A type cow. She’s feeding Bessie bread with her toes and, you know, feeling Bessie’s big rough tongue on her feet. And just the grins, the grins, the joy has just been spectacular.
Lori Kennedy: [00:42:56] I love that. Wow.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:42:58] So you have a lot of different kind of animals.
Andrea Johanson: [00:43:00] We do. We have 75 animals on the farm. Wow.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:43:05] And so you were just doing goats?
Andrea Johanson: [00:43:07] No. So we we. I just happened to be crazy about the goats, that’s all.
Lori Kennedy: [00:43:12] I’m a little crazy about the goods, too, and I haven’t met them.
Andrea Johanson: [00:43:17] We actually have goats and donkeys and pigs and cows and chickens and ducks, cats, parakeets, lovebird, dog, all different things. I probably forgot an animal or two in that list, but yeah. And all of them are amazing for therapy. Even the ducks.
Lori Kennedy: [00:43:36] Okay. Good. Alicia?
Alicia Todisco: [00:43:38] Yes, ma’am.
Lori Kennedy: [00:43:39] Tell us about some misconceptions of your industry.
Alicia Todisco: [00:43:43] I was thinking about this one on the way here this morning, and I would say that they’re probably all intertwined. The first would be that when people present themselves as handymen, a lot of times they really are remodeling. Right? And so there’s a major gap in in I think our community where when people go in to get something simple, like we were cleaning out two garages and reorganizing them, for example, and hanging 20 sets of blinds. And, you know, if you call a contractor that does remodel work, he’s not going to take that job. Right. It’s probably part of the reason that I got into it in the first place, because we fill a gap that’s not out there. So when people call us, a lot of times they’re calling us to rebuild a bathroom or rebuild a deck or rebuild. And we have great partners in the community that we send that business to that are people that I trust, but we do smaller projects. I would suggest one that’s even a little more intimate is that people in the trades industries, blue collar folks, are typically treated really poorly. So when they come to me and I say, I had a hard time finding people, they’ll all come and interview.
Alicia Todisco: [00:44:49] But they fall in love with their culture and they fall in love with the way that we’re speaking with them and the fact that we admire and honor the blood, sweat and tears that they put into the homes that they’re working in. And our guys are they’re smart, they’re intelligent, they’re kind, they’re thoughtful. They’re following a very consistent process. And so when people treat them really well in the community, it’s so interesting to me when they come back and they’re like, Gosh, Mr. Smith was so nice and like, everybody should be nice to you, right? You’re an amazing human. I love having you as part of this team. So I think that people look at them and they think that because they are young and they’re blue collar, you know, that they’re that’s all they can do. No, I’ve got a guy on my crew that’s a fireman, and I’ve got a guy that’s a chief in the military. I’ve got a guy that wants to open a school one day. So just amazing humans that I get an opportunity to work with every day.
Lori Kennedy: [00:45:41] I love that you know so much about them. I think that that’s important and I think that that shows your care for your employees to know, like what they’re wanting to do long term.
Alicia Todisco: [00:45:53] Thank you. I appreciate that. They do mean they mean a lot. I mean, without them, we’re literally closed. Yes.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:46:00] Yeah, for sure.
Lori Kennedy: [00:46:02] What is a do you have a message for women specifically?
Alicia Todisco: [00:46:06] Yes. It’s really funny because I’ve been tied to my office so incredibly, like open to clothes for the past couple of weeks, training a new office manager and I’m a gym rat. If I don’t get into the gym, bad things happen. You know, it’s a stress release for me. And that’s that’s like my go to if I can’t do anything else for myself, that’s it. I coach soccer, I coach a running club, I run a business. I’m trying to get really involved with the kids in the community. But if I don’t make time for myself, everything else seems to be affected by it. So I would just say as women, we always tend to put other people in front of our needs. So that desire to try to take care of yourself is only going to make us that much better to take care of other people as well.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:46:50] I agree.
Lori Kennedy: [00:46:51] Gemma, why don’t you tell us what your message for women is?
Gemma Beylouny: [00:46:58] Hmm? That’s kind of it’s a tough question for me because I have a lot of messages, but I do like that I am. I know that I’m 50. I don’t know why I didn’t think about it before, but I prioritize myself because if I’m dead excuse me, and I know a lot of people don’t want to talk about that, Who is going to take care of George? My husband and my kids. So I got to be strong. I got to be healthy in my head, in my heart, in my everything. That’s the thing with I say to my employees all the time, better be prioritize yourself first before anybody else. It’s like, you know, you’re in the airplane, put your oxygen first before you land or you crash, Right? Because everything depends on you. In my household, in my family, I’m the light. When mama is sick, everybody is sick. So. Yes. You first before anyone else.
Lori Kennedy: [00:47:59] Andrea, do you have a message for women specifically?
Andrea Johanson: [00:48:02] I think it’s twofold. For me. I actually am kind of flipped in what? You just shared my philosophy. I have a mission statement on my signature line, and it’s what I live by. Love others well and empower them to do the same. And so if you are loving others well and you’re drawing that gold out of them and you’re empowering them, not codependency, but you are empowering them in their own rights to have the confidence and know their own value and the leadership skills that they possess themselves, what they bring to the table. You are empowering them to love others well themselves. And so with that, I had a recent thing that happened in my life where I just felt the nudge. I have my own business, I’m doing the farm, I’ve written a book. I just felt like I was supposed to put my resume out there and I wrote my resume from the standpoint of I’ve got nothing to lose. And it was a powerful exercise. And even if I had not gotten a job through it to write your resume from the standpoint of I’ve got nothing to lose and put it out there. I looked at that afterwards and I was like, Oh my gosh, this is really good.
Andrea Johanson: [00:49:17] This is me. Wow. And to recognize who you are and confidently bring to others the gifts and the talents that you possess, you know, I’m 53, and so I’m in the same boat as you. I’ve got experience behind me. And when I put that together, I recognized just what I actually carry as an individual, as a leader, as a woman in business, as an entrepreneur, as all different roles in my life. My husband and I are very active in ministry as well. And so from this standpoint, to be able to offer that, I ended up just this week starting a brand new part time remote job from home that I am loving and it’s a blessing to us. But I walked into that position, number one, because I paid attention to the nudge to go ahead and put that together, put that out there and present myself in a way of I’ve got nothing to lose. So let me present myself in the truth of who I really am. And it was powerful. And I said to my husband, even if I never got a job through it, I’ve walked away with so much because of the exercise of doing that resume in the way that I did.
Lori Kennedy: [00:50:32] That is so awesome. I love that we are getting ready to close out, so I’m going to ask each of you for a tip or a last comment. I do want to know from you, Andrea, how people can help grow your mission and then let us know how to get in touch with you. So let’s start with you, Gemma, if you can give us either a tip, cleaning tip, business tip, life tip, whatever. Give us a tip and then let us know what you want us to leave with and tell us how to get in touch with your business.
Gemma Beylouny: [00:51:12] Well, it’s fall season, all right, So a lot of tip, just one. If you can see outside. It’s kind of gloomy where we are here in Woodstock, Cherokee County, you have dogs in and out, in and out the house. Please make sure if you have elderly in your home, make sure if it is raining, you have a towel in front of your back or in the front wherever the dog’s goes out, because slip and fall is very, very bad for elderly. So make sure you are taking care of the wet spot in your home or when there’s leaves. You know, those can be slippery too. So make sure you take care of that before it spreads in your house. Because the puppies, the dogs, they don’t know that. Don’t be blaming them. I’m Gemma. Rejoice Maids is our cleaning company here in Cherokee County. You can reach us on on the web. Rejoice maids dot com you can call at 6789053476. We are the cleaning expert of Cherokee County.
Lori Kennedy: [00:52:14] Thank you, Gemma.
Alicia Todisco: [00:52:15] Alicia Yes. So it’s interesting because I feel like everyone has a mechanic. If you have a car problem, you typically know where you’re going to go, right? Well, your home is something that should have a mechanic as well. And so we want to be the home mechanic for everyone. So the we call ourselves the ally. And so if you have little things that need to be done, if you have big things that need to be done, I would encourage give us a call, because I’ve worked really hard over the past seven months to vet out a good plumber, to vet out a good electrician, to vet out a good general contractor who can do those things. We’ll point you in the right direction or we’ll put our arms around you and take care of you ourselves is a huge piece of our purpose to serve our community well. We say we are AC handyman services. We do all the things that you or your honey can’t want or should not do. And so you can find us. Our our office number is 7706277770. We’re on social media. You can find us on Facebook or LinkedIn at eight H. Hackworth. That’s our handle and our our website is long it’s ace handyman services dot com for slash offices Ford slash Acworth and you can find us there as well we’re excited to help take care of the community.
Lori Kennedy: [00:53:33] Thank you, Andrea.
Andrea Johanson: [00:53:36] So I would say that our slogan at Hidden Acres Animal Sanctuary Therapy and Rescue is Go do good. So find a way in your community to go do good, whatever that looks like for you. Maybe you’re not a goat girl like I am, but there are things that you can do to make a difference in your community. And even the smallest things can have a huge impact. And so believe that you are capable and go do it. So ways that you can help us grow our mission, follow like, and share our social media. Hidden Acres, Animal Sanctuary, Therapy and Rescue. We’ve got the cute little goat logo. You’ll find us black and white. Come join us at our goat yoga. Come do a farm. Stay because we have two Airbnb properties on the farm and one is a two bedroom. One is a one bedroom and 100% of the income from those Airbnb properties goes to fund our mission. And so that’s another great way you can go to Hidden Acres Animal Sanctuary dot org. You can learn more about us, you can give on our website and yeah, just continue to share our message and we’re very grateful and grateful to have this opportunity to join you today as well. So thank you for this.
Lori Kennedy: [00:54:51] Thanks. It’s been so much fun as far as Alpha and Omega Automotive, It’s that time of year to just go get your car looked at and do a winterize on it to make sure that you are all set for the cold season and that your car will start even when it’s cold outside. And we would love to see you there at either our Woodstock location on Bell’s Ferry by the lake or our Marietta location, which is on Highway five over by Hawk and Store Road. And our our website is Alpha Omega Dash Auto. We’re so glad you joined us today. Thank you.