Heidi Lamkin of Absolute Bio-Recovery Service East
How did you start your business?
I was inspired to start my company by my sister and by the need for ethical, compassionate companies that offer these services [biohazard clean-up and bio-recovery]. Absolute Bio-Recovery Service East is a woman-owned, family-operated sole proprietorship. As I was starting the business last summer, an advertising rep from NPR told me about Bad Girl Ventures, so I applied and became a class four finalist. I learned more about business in the eight week BGV business boot camp than I thought possible. Since “graduation” in December I have been growing the business.
My husband and I have taken training through the American Bio Recovery Association (a non-profit which has set the gold standard for the industry) and are all certified bio-recovery technicians. We have also received training and certification in meth lab clean-up.
How did you come up the idea for your business?
My sister started a bio-recovery business in Omaha about three years ago. As I advised her on medical issues relating to the business, I became more and intrigued by the industry. I worked on several jobs with her company and loved the emotional and physical challenges the work offers, so I decided to start my own business. With my background in nursing and laboratory work, it seemed like a natural progression.
What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
As a finalist in Bad Girl Ventures, I was introduced to numerous resources available for business in the Cincinnati area. Some of these include: SCORE mentors and workshops, the Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Council, American Small Business Centers, UC Health roundtable, and countless other networking opportunities that are available throughout the greater tri-state area.
What inspires you?
Helping people and hopefully being able to make a difference inspires me, whether it is in my position as an ICU nurse or helping victims of a crime or crisis begin to live their “new normal.”
What’s next for you and your company?
As my business grows and the need to add employees arises, it’s my goal to hire homeless women veterans and train them in a mentor-protégé program. This will give them experience in the industry and an opportunity to start their own businesses.
Absolute Bio-Recovery Services East is registered with the government, so we can bid for government contracts, and I’m gathering documentation to seek certification as a woman-owned business. I’ve also submitted articles of organization to the state so we can change our structure from sole proprietorship to an LLC.