We had the good fortune of connecting with Annalies Boerendonk and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Annalies, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I am the daughter of a small town mom and a first generation Dutch dad. They met when my dad came to Buena Vista, Colorado as an exchange student from Rockanje, Holland in 1985. It was his first time in America. I grew up hearing their high school sweetheart story and about all the hard work they had to put in to get married and be on their own- from date nights that are just going to get one order of fries because it is all they could afford, to both of them working whatever job they could get and building up relationships that got them to where they are today.
This sense of hard work while still enjoying life and caring for people was shown to me through multiple generations, and in two completely different cultures. My Opa and Oma in Holland had the same mentality of “work for what you truly want for yourself, and take care of it- don’t work for status or bragging rights”. My Grandma here in Colorado was abruptly thrown into being a single mom, and making ends meet while still raising my mom and her siblings (and even a few grandchildren thrown into the mix) was her top priority. Each person in my family has an immense amount of strength and persistence that I strive to have as well.
Although all of my grandparents had passed away before I was 8 years old, I hold the stories I am told and few memories I have of them close to my heart. When I hear the stories of the jobs my family worked to get where they are, just so they could be together, I feel inspired. It showed me that you don’t live to work- you work to live. My goal is to be as strong, persistent, reliable, hardworking, welcoming, and caring as they all are and to make them proud if they could watch my life unfold. Success is not my goal- being like them is; the success that comes from it is just a perk.
I would rather know that I am rich in character and quick to love and care for those around me with everything I have, rather then wealthy and forgetting to enjoy the journey and truly care for the people I get to meet along the way. I have learned through loss and hardships that time is the most valuable thing we have, and it is forever fleeting.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Klein House is dedicated to helping small businesses show all the great things they have to offer on one of the most influential sources we have as people- the internet. It has made people expect the best and see every single other option to choose from, so the competition is fierce. With that competition comes challenges for amazing small businesses to showcase everything they have to give when they are competing directly next to huge nationwide companies. These business owners just don’t have the resources (or let alone time) to get their website, social media, or general online image up to the standard of today.
So, I wanted to offer an alternative that has the business owners as top priority. I wanted to offer below industry rates for their online image so getting the credibility they deserve isn’t going to break the bank, and all with different options to fit within their budget. With Klein House they get peace of mind that things are getting done and that they are getting the best deal for quality work. Everything from website builds or refreshes, social media management, and ghost writing is now accessible the same way it is for their competitors.
I think that Klein House is set apart from others based on not just the pricing, but has the flexibility to show the personality and uniqueness there is to each business. I didn’t start Klein House as a “get rich quick” company, I started it as a way to build relationships up with my clients, and help them build a relationship up with their customers. Small businesses are the glue that holds communities together, and they should be valued and cared for as such.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have always had a very simple version of fun. I am more focused on who I am spending time with rather than what we are doing. To me as long as there is good, quality conversation it doesn’t matter where I am or what I am doing. I love trying new things and finding new places with the people I care about. A staple of what I do with my closest friends is cooking at home with them. I went to school for Culinary Arts and there is nothing better than making good food and sitting down to eat together. Sharing the simple pleasures of life is all it is really about.
One thing I have introduced to a few of my friends is being around horses and learning about them, as it is one of my passions so I hope to one day have a few horses of my own. I love sharing my passions with the people I care about and they always find it fun and exciting to learn more. Rick and Linda at Prairie Springs Farm that I met through a mutual friend have now become my friends as well. They have given me opportunity to be around their barn and have taught me so much and I am very thankful that they are in my life. Rick and Linda have always been incredibly welcoming to me and supportive and excited for my business endeavors, so I just had to mention and thank them.
Alright, so let’s jump right in! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there a person, group, organization, book, etc that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? Who else deserves a little credit and recognition in your story?
I have to be honest about the fact that the idea of owning a business was not out of a positive event for me. I had gotten into a car accident because a drunk driver that ran a red light and totaled my truck- half a mile away from my home. I was suddenly thrown into a world of pain and a deep dark depression. I no longer had a sense of freedom that I had for so long craved, and I was trapped in my home and in my aching body.
There were nights I couldn’t even walk down the six steps to get water in my kitchen and I would have panic attacks every other night when I tried going to sleep. I had lost twenty pounds and was a frail cast of myself. It seemed like no matter what I did nothing was working out anymore, I felt like I wasn’t good enough for anything. That car accident was the start of a year long example that time is always fleeting, I just didn’t know how quickly it went by or how abruptly you could run out. I had always been the kind of person to say “There is always tomorrow so I can settle for today.” But I realized I was horribly wrong, and today is all we have. You can’t settle for things hoping for tomorrow to come, and you can’t let other people or situations determine your worth.
2021 had beaten me black and blue in every way I never wanted to imagine. If it wasn’t for my family and people who truly cared for me helping me realize that I will be okay, I am capable, I am worth something, and most importantly, I still have TODAY; I don’t know where I would be. I am so thankful for them and that they showed me that I am worthy, even when I didn’t feel like I was worth anything at all. And from that they gave me the encouragement to start Klein House.
And here I am at the start of 2022 doing an interview as an entrepreneur! I can’t believe it!