Des Moines Parent Spotlight: Abby Martinez

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Des Moines Parent Spotlight: Abby Martinez

If you check out Abby Martinez’s business website, you’ll immediately learn that she’s all about making your life easier. 

In fact, the landing page boldly proclaims, “We help overwhelmed and overworked entrepreneurs step into the role of CEO. It’s time to work in your zone of genius and leave the rest to us!”

Now doesn’t that sound amazing?!

Des Moines Parent connected with Abby to learn more.

Give us a little background on yourself. 

I am a wife and mom to two kiddos who are 6 and under. I am married to my super sweet husband, Matt, who I met while living in Houston, Texas. I grew up in Iowa from age 3+ in a small town outside Des Moines called Colfax. 

I went to Iowa State to get my degree in Elementary Education and then moved to Houston to student teach and got my first teaching job there. I then went on to get my Master’s of Education from St. Thomas in Houston. I taught in Texas for 4 years before moving back to Iowa to be closer to my family. 

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. I’ve had lots of different experiences and endeavors along the way such as blogging, wedding/portrait photography, and a handmade jewelry business (that I started at age 10). 

Could you give us an overview of your business and what inspired it?

I run a company called Abby Martinez & Co., as well as Abby Martinez Coaching. I started this business in 2020 right as the pandemic was starting. I knew it was time for a change from being a full-time teacher. As much as I loved my students, I had always said when I can’t show up as my best self in the profession, it was time for a break and to try something new. I also wanted to have more flexibility to be with my family and littles while they are little. 

I didn’t really imagine starting a virtual assistant/business management agency. It started really small. I actually had hoped that I would take my photography business full time and had gotten a virtual assistant position with a photographer who I was hoping to learn from. However, I’ve learned that I have my plans for life, and life has its plans. 

Once the pandemic started, I quickly realized that trying to take my photography business full-time was not going to be the thing that allowed me to replace my income at the time. But I quickly realized how beneficial my skills were that I’d acquired all the years of trying out different entrepreneurial adventures. I was really great at helping business owners behind the scenes.  

I quickly realized that I was doing a lot higher level of work than a traditional task-based virtual assistant and learned of the term online business manager and sought out my certification. I began working with clients as an OBM and transitioned out of the VA role. 

I began training other women how to start their own businesses as virtual assistants through my signature program, VA School (once a teacher, always a teacher). This program was running as a group coaching program for 18 months, and it now lives as a self-paced course. 

About a year into being an OBM I couldn’t keep up with all of the work that was coming my way on my own, and I had a few people tell me I should start a team. I had to sit with that for a while before deciding this was the direction I wanted to go in. I will NEVER look back. 

My team has grown, and we now offer both Virtual Assistant and Online Business Management services for small business owners. Getting to lead a team, empower other women to have flexibility in their lives, and also make a difference in the lives of our clients is a dream come true. 

What are your favorite parts of your business?

Gosh, there are so many! I would say it’s connecting with others who are on the journey of entrepreneurship as well. Whether it be those who are on my team or our clients, or anyone I come across via networking. I love to hear their stories and also be of service to those I encounter. 

I would say another thing that I love about being a small business owner is that I’ve grown so much as a person. I’ve heard it said and I totally back this idea that “becoming an entrepreneur is the BIGGEST personal development journey you’ll go on,” and it totally has been! I’m so grateful for all the ways I’ve shifted, changed, and grown as a person. 

How do you juggle your parenting responsibilities with your work responsibilities? 

Just like we can’t do it alone in our businesses (hence why we do what we do at AM&Co) we also can’t do it alone in our personal lives. I started this business to give me more freedom to be with my family, and it’s been a journey of finding the balance between what that looks like while also basically birthing a business, too. I have an amazing husband who is so helpful with the kids and is the biggest supporter of my business. I also have the BEST parents who help us, too. But personally, I try to build my business in a way that allows me to have a life first, then business second. Each season of life and business requires a different approach to juggling both responsibilities. It’s having the willingness to approach it with curiosity, get clear on what you really want in that season, and seek the support you need. 

What are some of your favorite things to do with your family around the metro?

There are so many fun things to do around the metro! My kids love going to the zoo, hitting up Jou Jou, and going to the Children’s Museum. We also love all the parks that are around! 

One of my favorite places is St. Kilda because I love avocado toast. My 2-year-old daughter and I love to go there, split some avocado toast, and head to Jou Jou to play. We are looking forward to enjoying the pools and parks this summer in the area as well!

What’s your ideal parent day or night out? 

My husband and I both love going to coffee shops to hang out, read and relax. We love the Scenic Route, Horizon Line, and Northern Vessel. We also love going out to eat at fun places like Malo, Eatery A, Tupelo & Honey to name a few. And of course, when we can, we love to enjoy local events happening. We are looking forward to going to the farmer’s market this summer and the craft beer fest, too!

What’s your number one parenting tip?

Oh man, well I’m only 6 years into parenting, but I would say for me, it’s leading with love. From that heart posture, you’ll make the right decision for your kiddos and family.

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Lindsey Giardino

Lindsey Giardino

Lindsey Giardino is a freelance writer based in the Des Moines metro. She's also a new mom and learning as she goes. When she's not working on her business or watching her little guy explore this big new world, she loves to cook, read and enjoy the outdoors.

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