Check out this week’s Client Spotlight! We interviewed Patty Williams, co-founder and Senior Living Advisor at Ruby Care and co-founder of A-DOOR-ED! Keep reading to learn about what led her to start these businesses, some advice on taking care of loved ones this holiday season, and her wreath delivery subscription service!
What led you to a career in senior living placement and starting Ruby Care?
We’re in our fifth year now, and it started because there was really a need for it. Joyce Logan is my business partner, and she was helping her mother-in-law Ruby, who was living in Honey Grove, Texas at the time and was struggling to live on her own. She was living more than an hour away from her only son, and they just wanted to get her closer. When Joyce started looking at places, she realized that in our metroplex we have over 900 senior living communities. That’s just overwhelming, you don’t even know where to start. You don’t know what’s appropriate, what they need, what things to look for. Both of us had been in healthcare and we were both at a crossroads in our careers. So Joyce said “what do you think about starting Ruby Care?” We didn’t call it Ruby Care then, but she just thought of starting a company where we actually helped people find places for their family members. We started doing a lot of research about private companies that do this all over the US and learned about best practices. We decided to call it Ruby Care after Joyce’s mother-in law to honor her. Ruby actually passed away this year at 98 years old. But Joyce was able to find her a great place, and she lived out her days there.
Did you meet Joyce through the healthcare industry?
We were friends when I first moved to Texas in 2004. Joyce and I became friends and we just hit it off. We have similar passions in life; we both love to volunteer, we both really love to be around people, so it was kind of just a good fit for us to be together.
How did you come up with the idea for A-DOOR-ED and what impact do you want it to have?
With A-DOOR-ED, I have a different business partner, Kim Moline. Through our work with Ruby Care and going around to all the different communities, we kept seeing all these empty doors of people that didn’t have a wreath. When you’re in senior living, there’s just a lot that’s the same, but your door is kind of your thing that you get to decorate. You know, it’s your front door! But still there were so many empty ones. Well, Kim used to own a gift store in Colleyville and she’s very creative. She’s the designer for all the wreaths and she was basically saying we could create something where we could have a subscription for them. We could do a wreath of the month, or wreath of the season, and we could deliver them and replace them for people so they don’t have to store them! When you’re in senior living you don’t have a lot of storage space. But with A-DOOR-ED they could have a new wreath, or if they wanted to have the same wreath over-and-over they could do that too– a keepsake wreath. We sell them privately to people’s homes, as well. People that want to buy them outright and have them season-after-season, or people that just want them for a little time and then we come and bring another one! You can do it both ways. I think the biggest thing about it is just the storage; you don’t have to store it or worry about having it in your attic or the racoons eating it. You can just say “okay, now it’s Christmas and I want a new wreath!” and you have this subscription so we bring it. And we actually deliver it and hang it on the door so our customers don’t have to be home after we’ve done the first one.
What is the most rewarding part of owning business that works so closely with people?
You know that’s probably the thing; it’s the different people we get to meet. With Ruby Care it’s finding that place, taking that burden off of the family and being that extra set of eyes and ears to help them. We’re able to give advice and take off some of that stress. With A-DOOR-ED I think it’s that smile when somebody comes home and sees their wreath every day. They know that this person thought of them today and cares about them. We’ve also had a lot of realtors buy wreaths from us. I didn’t think about that industry, but they can honor their clients by giving them a ‘Welcome Home’ wreath. It’s been neat being able to be a part of that sale. Maybe that’s the person’s very first home and then here is our wreath adorning their brand-new home, it’s a neat thing! We feel honored to be able to be there. And we can always add-on, if it’s somebody’s birthday, or their anniversary, or they’re retiring. Our wreaths are handmade and custom-made to whatever you want: the colors that you want, the styles. So it’s always fun!
Is there any advice you would give people going into the holidays to make sure their elderly family members are well taken care of?
I think it’s really good to just pay attention. A lot of people are visiting their loved ones during the holidays. A lot of times that’s when you notice that something is going on, so it’s good to look for those signs. Is the person taking care of themselves? Are medications being taken properly? Does their house look like it is in order? Those are kind of telltale signs that make you say “hmm, okay… things aren’t going as well as they were last year when I was here.”
How did you get connected with Christi, and what’s your favorite thing about working with our firm?
I love Christi’s heart; I just love her way! I got connected with her through my husband because my husband is a dentist in town and their office used Christi’s services. I met her through that and also through the missions that we do together with Mission Barnabas. I am very impressed with Christi’s heart and her way. I just think she’s wonderful, when I’m with her I always feel happy!
What’s your favorite part of the holidays?
Family, just being around family and getting to do things together, making those memories. We have 3 grandkids so it’s fun to see everything through their eyes. We enjoy the food and getting together and football and trying to be outside if we can. Usually what we do as a family is have everybody bring something– my sister-in law is a great cook and so is her husband. Our family members always bring a few dishes and every year we end up saying “so are we doing pretty much our same thing?” We always have a fried turkey, that’s a big hit. And we get the lights up on the house but we don’t turn them on until after Thanksgiving. The kids are always asking “can we turn them on!?” and we’re always saying “no, not yet!” We do go around and even though people sometimes groan, we always ask everyone what they’re thankful for. We try to at least remember once a year, because we have a lot to be thankful for!
Where can our other clients go to check out your business, and what should they look into this holiday season?
We have the keepsake wreath you can get one time, or the seasonal has been a big hit. We do have people getting orders in now so we can get them done for the holidays. I already made two deliveries on Saturday for people decorating early. A lot of people are decorating early this year!