Client Name: Krista Maltais
Business Name: Relief Parenting Respite and Resource Center
Business Website: https://www.reliefparenting.com
Industry: Family Services
Location: Hampton, NH
SBDC Advisor's Name: Amy Sterndale
Krista Maltais, Owner and Founder of Relief Parenting Respite and Resource Center in Hampton, NH was working late one night when the phone rang. On the other end of the line was a new mom, in tears, who had reached the end of her rope. Like many new parents, she was having trouble navigating the transition of becoming a parent. Tired, frustrated, emotional, and feeling unsupported, she had turned to Google to find something; anything that might help ease her burden. That night, from her home in Ohio, she discovered Relief Parenting Respite and Resource Center. She told Krista, “I was looking everywhere, and you're the only thing that's out there.”
Relief Parenting offers classes, support groups, private consultations, respite (aka Nap) and Work Room Sessions, on-site childcare, and community practitioners to combat parental burnout, strengthen relationships, and provide comprehensive parent-focused care.
Krista and the new mom ended up working together, doing virtual parent consultations. Krista was able to provide the mom with resources that were available from a broader perspective, as well as some that were more locally accessible to her in Ohio. After working together for a couple of months, the new mom in Ohio felt more secure and competent in her parenting.
“That's one of my favorite stories because I think that encapsulates so much of parenting, right?” says Krista. “It's just…you reach the end of your rope, and you just frantically start searching for like, ‘Okay, I need help’, but there's nobody taking care of parents.”
Until there was Relief Parenting Respite and Resource Center.
Prior to opening Relief Parenting, Krista had witnessed the trials and tribulations of being a parent in both her professional and personal life. She had seen it in her work as an advanced postpartum doula for eight years before having her first son, as well as in her background in family studies. She found that parents are tired, trying to piece together different forms of childcare and professional services just to get their basic needs met. But often the burden is placed on the parents.
Then, after becoming a parent herself, even with her education and professional background, she struggled with the challenges of becoming a new parent. It was after she had her second son that she realized “wait a second…I'm personally and professionally in a position to be able to make things better.” In Krista’s view, modern-day parenting is not sustainable. With Relief Parenting, she is seeking to change that by creating a new model of parent-focused care.
Sounds great, right? But, as Krista found, it was a challenge to get people in more traditional pathways of business to understand that the need is there. Krista says, “trying to create something from a variety of different sources was really hard at first.” But, once Relief was up and going, Krista explains that like any new business, just trying to take the idea and make it functional was daunting.
That’s where NH SBDC Business Advisor Amy Sterndale has been incredibly helpful to Krista and Relief Parenting. Krista shares, “Amy has been an absolute asset to my professional growth and the growth of my business because of her support, insights, and resources she has connected me with. We would not be here without the SBDC. One hundred percent.”
In this last year alone, Amy helped Krista obtain EIDL Funds, develop her business plan for future growth, and connect her with additional professional referrals for business expansion. Krista says, “Amy was able to connect me with the New Hampshire district office of the Small Business Administration, and with the deputy director there, and together the two of them really helped to advocate and push for me to be able to get the EIDL funds. And that's been life changing.”
Krista also points out the very real burnout factor of owning a small business, and shares how much she has appreciated Amy’s insights to help her prioritize and stay focused. Krista says, “That has been really essential for me to keep going. And, honestly, the emotional support has been a wonderful surprise.”
In Relief’s future, Krista sees significant growth over the next two years, starting with the purchase of several condo units to expand the Center's physical space. She also plans to develop new programming and services and hire more staff. Exploring franchise development to bring Relief Parenting Respite and Resource Center to a multitude of new locations is also on her to do list.
Krista’s message to other business owners is
“Don't hesitate to find an SBDC advisor! I have received concrete resources, thoughtful guidance and recommendations, shared considerations, and meaningful support with every meeting. The SBDC is a wealth of expertise and resources.”