In what part of town do you live?
We’re in Palmetto Bay. We just moved here a year ago. Before that, we were just on the west side of US1, by the Falls.
Where are you originally from?
I was born and raised in Miami.
Did you always think you’d stay here?
Yes, it’s always the place I’ve called home and we love living by the water…even though both my parents have left. My husband, Taylor, is from Miami as well – born and raised. Both of his parents too.
What keeps you busy during the week?
My toddler, Raygan keeps me busy. And, I run an outpatient pediatric clinic. My office is in Pinecrest and we see kids in school and in our office space.
What kind of things do you do at the clinic?
We provide occupational therapy services to the pediatric community. We do a lot of sensory integration, visual motor skills, behavioral stuff, and work with children with various needs.
What led you to this role?
Since I was young, I knew that I wanted to work with kids. I originally thought I wanted to be a teacher and then I wanted to do something in the medical community. So, I went the PT route. Then I decided I wanted to work with the special needs community. I came across occupational therapy in my freshman year of college. From that point on, I loved what the field stood for and how it helped. I got a job out of college and then there was a turn in my career and I had this opportunity to go off on my own and decided to open my own business.
What led to the turn in your career?
It was in June of 2016. I left another job after I had voiced that I wanted to take on some private clients, a couple hours a week. I think that made her a little nervous, and she wasn’t on the same page. A speech therapist and friend, who’s been a mentor to me, who opened her own business, said ‘I think you just need to go for it. You’re in a place where you can do it.’ And Taylor said the same thing. So, I started from nothing in the summer of 2016. We did not have any patients. Then, word of mouth spread and I started picking up clients and I’ve grown from there. Now, I’m here with two other occupational therapists.
Were there pivotal moments over the last six years where you overcame a challenge?
There’s a few that I can think of. COVID was a definitely a pivotal moment. It was a time where I was ending a lease at another office. It was the first office I ever had. And, we were renting a home by the Falls and then I was also pregnant. I was like, ‘Ok, I have to get a lot of stuff done this year. And now there is a pandemic and what are we gonna do?’ And, then we found our home and our realtor said, ‘there’s an office space in Pinecrest. Do you want to take a look at it?’ I went and I loved it. Taylor was like, I think you should just go for it. We’ll figure it out. It all fell into place during a time where I really thought everything was falling apart. We made it through it.
How did you navigate the challenges of COVID?
March to June hit us really hard, and then it slowly started picking back up again in July. It slowed us down when it initially hit, because there were so many unknowns and then schools shut down, so we weren’t able to go into the schools anymore. Parents were really worried about their children being out of school for so long and their kids were having setbacks. So that summer people started asking, ‘can we bring our kids in for one on one?’
You mentioned a mentor who helped push you to start you own business. In what ways was she able to help?
My friend, Coral, is a speech therapist. She owns Speak Easy for kids. She walked me through everything, the business aspect, working with insurances, and referrals and things like that.
Where do you see your business going?
I want to grow, but I always want to stay a small therapy office, maybe with five therapists. We have an established location, and developed a reputable name in the community and provide quality service. I think once you get too big, you start having all of these therapists providing different types of services and you can lose the quality of care. I would like all of our kids and families that we see to become our family.
Does your husband work with you?
No, Taylor works for a family owned business as well. It’s the oldest insurance company in Miami, Butler Buckley and Deets. It’s 115 years old. His great-grandfather started it.
What else do you enjoy doing outside of work?
We love doing things that are outdoors, going to Key Biscayne or on Biscayne Bay. We go to the Everglades for airboat rides. We like fishing and traveling to the Bahamas.
How did you discover LNB Grovestand?
I came across your page on Instagram and then my sister-in-law said she’s been there for the rainbow smoothies. Taylor’s a pretty picky eater. He’s gotten a lot more adventurous since we’ve been together, but I was like ‘you have to try these smoothies.’ When I brought him one, he loved it and now we’ve just made them our weekend ritual.
What do you pick up when you come by the stand?
We get the Rainbow Smoothie and the Smoothie Melts always. We like the fruit roll-ups, and sometimes we’ll get the kombucha and any of your seasonal produce. There’s been a few times when Raygan’s coming down with like a virus or getting sick or something and we always make it a point to get her Rainbow smoothie. Maybe we’ll get them Saturday and Sunday. And I don’t know if it’s the smoothies or something else, but she has beat it a couple times and her fever will stay low. So, whenever she’s coming down with something, we have to make it there twice in a weekend.
And Raygan is obsessed with the Smoothie Melts. She’ll walk around and say ‘Smoothie snacks?’ We keep them in the freezer for her, and it’s just an easy and healthy snack for her to have on the go or while we’re working from home. And, they also keep her regulated. If she’s ever a little constipated, we give her those and she will usually have a bowel movement that day.
What other places do you all enjoy going to that you can recommend?
Food related – We don’t go as often as we wish, but we love Le Bouchon in the Grove. And, A Pizza Brooklyn, the original location, not the one on Bird. And, we go to the farmer’s market on Saturdays in Coral Reef park. Non food related: We like Casa Viera which is a small business owned by a husband and wife and they create one of a kind pieces out of wood.
What is Miami’s best kept secret?
There’s a little spot right by our house, it’s a little hidden park off Chapman Field, that you can sneak through the mangroves and when it’s low tide, there’s a secret beach. We go there with our dog and our daughter all the time.
What for you is a worthy splurge?
I would say anything that’s experience related.
What community groups are important to you that might like to promote or share?
I’m a part of the MOP Palmetto Bay group. It’s a mom group of like-minded women that are similar in age. They subdivide us into smaller groups and each group has a mentor. We get together biweekly and for monthly events. They’re all over all over Miami, but I’m a part of the Palmetto Bay group.
Would you like to share pitch about your business?
We are called Play to Learn Therapy. We’re always here to provide for families in any way that they need. We are in the Suniland shopping center.
What question, challenge, or words of advice might you like to pose to the community?
Go after your dreams and when you think they’re too big, they’re not, there’s always a way to get to them.
What question would you like to ask us?
(RB) How long have you guys been in business? Is LNB a family owned business?
(A+W) LNB Groves was started in 1980 by Adena’s parents. The farms sell wholesale to distributors. You’ll find our turmeric at Whole Foods. We have been doing markets and creating products with produce from our farm for the last 10 years. We use a very small portion of the fruit grown on the farm at our store.
(RB) Why are the Turmeric cookies only monthly?
(A+W) Our cookie machine makes a minimum of 2000 cookies just to turn it on. We are not yet big enough to make that many each weekend.