We had the good fortune of connecting with Jaiya Ellis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jaiya, the decisions we make often shape our story in profound ways. What was one of the most difficult decisions you’ve had to make?
Being a small business owner is a challenge in its self and I had always worked another full-time job at the same time of owning and managing the business. But in December 2019 I took a chance and left a full-time job to solely run the business and work for the business itself. That was a hard decision not knowing if I could make enough income to sustain myself and just taking a chance. We were having the best winter thus far but then obviously Covid set in which sent my world upside down with little to no income for 8 months. That was the hardest decision I’ve ever made but glad I took the leap of faith and it paid off at the end of the day. I got to spend more time with my children while also growing the business.
What should our readers know about your business?
We are the only babysitting company in the Steamboat Springs area that is 100% local. There are other businesses that service this area but the owner/manager is not in the area.
I am the most proud of the relationships we have built with returning families wheather that be tourists visiting the area or locals that live permanently in the area. Word-of-mouth is a great advertising tool and it’s free and that is where a lot of our business comes from.
One key that I believe keeps a business relevant and successful is always making small changes, whether it’s behind the scenes or something a customer would see. Changing with the times as important and keeping up with the trends. For example, Venmo is the new cash, so a lot of customers pay using Venmo. It’s easy and simple and there are low fees associated with a business account.
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.
Steamboat has so much to offer. Where do I begin and it really depends on the season but in the a few staples that I would always do.
Strawberry Park Hot Springs is a beautiful oasis tucked up in the mountains where you can only get with four-wheel-drive in the winter. It’s a beautiful natural Hot Springs that can just take the edge off a long day.
Some of my favorite restaurants to enjoy happy hour outside is Aurum Food and Wine or on the rooftop of Salt and Lime right downtown on seventh Street. The food is always good you will be well taken care of.
There are so many trails to hike and bike but a few of my favorites are up Emerald Mountain to the rock quarry. You get a beautiful view of the entire downtown and stare across the valley at Steamboat Ski Resort.
I would definitely hit at least one of two major lakes in the area. Stagecoach Reservoir or Steamboat Lake. They are great for camping in the summer or icefishing in the winter. Something we do every season.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There isn’t something in particular. Just very supportive friends and family that are also small business owners so they understand or they just support my passions and dreams. They are there for me when challenges arise or I need a shoulder to talk to. I couldn’t imagine doing this alone and I’m thankful that I have a support group there for me when I need them.