From the Publisher

First of all, let's establish that all women are brave. We run households, develop careers, ferry children, help raise grandchildren and serve in our community in countless ways. When it comes to the work we do to make our families, workplaces and communities thrive, we are absolutely essential. And over the course of the past year, we have done all this in tandem with a pandemic.

But there's a special brand of bravery that goes to women who are running businesses in the face of all this. It's one thing to have the vision and gumption to begin and maintain a business-be it a restaurant, boutique or service business-it's quite another to keep it going when forces beyond your control cut into your bottom line, force you to find a new approach and threaten your business's very survival.

This issue of Coulee Region Women is dedicated to those Brave Businesswomen who have done just that. When it comes to being a businesswoman in a pandemic, bravery is pulling yourself out of your comfort zone to try something new. It's "pivoting" to find a new perspective and a new approach. It's taking multitasking to a whole new level-especially if you have kids distance-learning at home. It's staying one step ahead of the restrictions and hardships that might pull your business down.

But bravery isn't just pulling out a sword and shield and facing the demons of the day. It's also knowing when to reach out for help. It's knowing when to delegate, when to take a break and how to focus on self-care. It's approaching every customer, colleague and employee with grace, understanding that life may feel as precarious and uncertain to them as it does to you. In some cases, it's even knowing when it's time to stop trying. So much emphasis is given to the heroic sense of bravery that we forget it's equally as brave to be gentle, generous and patient-especially with ourselves.

This is the message that the women in this issue of Coulee Region Women convey with their stories. The four women featured in our cover story emphasize the need to be safe, be flexible, keep going and embrace humanity. We feature brave new businesswomen like Chelsie Moore and Robbi Wolff, who started businesses during the pandemic. We celebrate women like Jennie Buchholtz and Alicia Place, who support the families in our area with child care and a school safety net. And we honor those who hold up their communities through caring for the elderly, supporting community centers and more.

We at Coulee Region Women know what it has meant to ride the waves of this pandemic, sword and shield in hand, facing those demons that loom before all brave women. We know our advertisers and readers do, too. We believe that brighter days are around the bend, and we seek to bring you inspiration, hope and heroic tales of the women in our region as those better days unfold.

Betty Christiansen



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What is inside this month's issue:

Brave Businesswomen Small businesses and the community support each other through pandemic challenges.

Personal & Professional
Bringing Relaxation to Stressful Times Chelsie Moore takes the chance to open a new spa during pandemic slowdown.

Healthy Living
Powering Through the Pandemic The Pilates Studio partners adapt, focus on training new instructors.

7 Top Trends in Coulee Region Kitchens More home cooking calls for organization, timeless design.

Women In The Region
Work-from-Home Meets Homework Professional mothers balance competing obligations in the new workspace.

Finding Opportunities in Unexpected Places A home chef and a Greek restaurateur see bright futures in feeding La Crosse.

Facing Changes with Compassion Marissa Jahnke couples communication, caring to lead nursing facility.

Staying Positive in Unknown Times Child care centers adjust to fluctuating numbers and new routines.

Overcoming Challenges to Realize a Dream Holmen Community Center leaders look forward to bringing generations together.

Retail Therapy
Tote-ally Local Lovely leather bags build business for Ruud Ware Co.

Serving Kids and Community Alicia Place connects vulnerable students to school throughout pandemic challenges.


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