June 8, 2023



Portland marketer trades profession for her very own business enterprise following shedding father to COVID-19

For almost all doing work Oregonians, the pandemic has prompted a profound change. The Oregonian/OregonLive spoke to four who upended their careers, irrespective of whether by necessity or by alternative.

Wendy Combs has labored extended hours around the past 6 months striving to develop up her business as an inside designer. But each individual working day soon after college lets out, she will make a position of closing her computer to go to greet her daughter, Lennon, at the bus stop.

That afternoon split with her daughter is a day-to-day reminder for the Portland mom of why she still left a 20-year career in promoting and a continuous paycheck in May perhaps to start off a business. In her former position, Combs labored in a windowless business office. She experienced pics of Lennon on her desk that she could search at while she labored, but she was under no circumstances able to meet up with her daughter soon after college.

“I worked with remarkable people and I miss my staff drastically,” stated Combs, 44. “However, functioning situations, not just at my task, make it truly complicated for individuals to prioritize their everyday living and their well being and their family.”

More than the several years, Combs and her household moved several situations, purchasing properties that experienced gone ignored, which permitted Combs to throw herself into redesigning their new abode. Every single time, when they went to provide, the properties obtained multiple provides. Nonetheless, she did not consider inside design and style as a profession until finally tragedy struck her relatives previous year and pressured her to reassess her priorities.

A thirty day period before the pandemic, Combs’ mom-in-law handed absent immediately after a 1-yr fight with cancer. 6 months later, her father contracted COVID-19. He died the identical month. Both equally were being in their 60s.

Combs’ father, Bobby, was an Air Power veteran who expended his job in a demanding occupation for the Texas point out governing administration. It wasn’t until finally he retired in 2015 that he ultimately acquired his initially property, a townhouse around a golfing program and a lake. But just as he was closing on the property, he was identified with myasthenia gravis, a affliction that will cause weakness and swift exhaustion in the muscles.

As a substitute of expending his remaining yrs having fun with the lake and golfing course, Combs claimed her father was confined a great deal of the time to his recliner, viewing television with his doggy.

“I uncovered life is quick,” Combs reported. “We’re not promised tomorrow and I wished to build a lifetime that I want now rather than wait for a magical day that could possibly not occur.”

As the proprietor of Wendy Combs Studio, Combs reported she finds pleasure from helping customers redesign their living areas just after transferring in. She also has flexibility to make her schedule in a way she hardly ever did all through her internet marketing occupation.

When she does operate on weekends, Combs will often carry Lennon with her to her clients’ homes. The 10-calendar year-old will have the probability to observe her mother at perform and will often chime in with strategies, specially when her mother is redesigning a area for a different youngster.

“I truly feel extraordinary,” Combs stated. “I come to feel like this is the ideal reward I can give myself and my daughter. I have self-confidence that by continuously serving men and women I’ll build a small business and I am so glad I’m undertaking this now rather of 20 decades from now.”

— Jamie Goldberg [email protected] @jamiebgoldberg