Earlier this month I met up with Francis and Blandine, owners of Loving Home Care. It was wonderful to meet them and hear their story as I took their business headshots. These two were immediately warm and inviting, and it quickly felt like they were old friends.
Francis and Blandine explained to me that, "As Africans, we are required to take care of our parents and grandparents when they grow old or get sick." Treating family with love and support is the cultural norm, and they noticed in the US that companies who specialize in home care were most interested in profit.
After researching franchises and partnerships with existing home care providers, Blandine and Francis created their own agency that reflected their values, culture, and vision for what home care could be if people were valued over profit.
Francis, who is a University of Vermont Ph.D. student and holds a Master's degree in Public Management and Development Policy and Education, candidly told me about he and Blandine's experience as black business owners in Vermont. With his permission, I want to share his perspective.
"I will tell you that this journey has not been easy. Being black from Africa in a predominantly white state is not easy. We are facing so many challenges from everywhere. Racism, hate, insults, lack of respect… It took us three full years to find a single client even though we spent so much money into online marketing, in person’s marketing, meetings… but we will not give up because we believe in love and caring for those in need.
These two are extremely hard-working and determined to make it work, even in the face of racism-related obstacles.
I have to admit that my fears of growing old generally center around the way myself and my elder loved ones could be treated. For many reasons, going with a small company-- especially one owned by two experts who pour their heart and soul into their clients, makes the most sense.
If anyone in your life needs home care, I highly encourage you to check out Francis and Blandine's website here.