WBOC LEADING WOMAN: Dr. Mary Starr Carter
BY ALYSSA LAFARO | PHOTO BY CINDY BELL
Each member in the WBOC has her own unique story. Many join as new business owners, eager for advice from experienced entrepreneurs. Others are in search of accountants, media experts and potential clients. Dr. Mary Starr Carter joined WBOC (Women Business Opportunities Connection) about six years ago when her Young Living Essential Oils business began to take off. “I was just transitioning my business at the time and started traveling a lot, so I didn’t get to go to a lot of meetings,” she admitted with honesty. She made one strong connection while there, however — Lisa DeVeau, longtime WBOC member and owner of Completely Organized Inc. “I joined her mailing list, so for years I’d get an occasional email about organization. Shortly after I had my son, I really needed to organize my offices, so Lisa conducted four or five sessions with me.”
And, like most women, they got to talking. “We were talking about the WBOC, and she suggested I give a presentation there on some of the things we had talked about. So the door flew open again, and I rejoined in January of last year.”
Not only is Mary’s WBOC story an interesting one, but so is her life story. For about 10 years, she had her own chiropractic practice. But, unlike most chiropractors, Mary would spend 30 minutes to an hour with her patients, teaching them about wellness through information on nutrition and natural remedies.
Between her side business and having children, she slowly weaned from her practice, only seeing patients on a part-time basis. “But then I realized that I had all this information in my head that just needed to come out,” she laughed, “so I became a mommy blogger. I retired from chiropractic and now this is what I do — part-time total wellness doc and full-time mom.” And a re-established WBOC member.
The organization for women in business has really helped light the way for Mary. “I got some really great mentoring from Teri Nichols, who I have always admired,” she explained. “And overall, I was just able to connect with good resources. I have a new accountant, marketing service, and financial advisor — all of whom I met at WBOC. Although I didn’t intend for it to happen, I’ve also gained a lot of new business from attending meetings.”
Mary has even gained content for her blog from the women she’s met at WBOC. “Some are going through all of these different experiences, both emotionally and physically, and their stories offer up different topics to tackle on my blog.” It is because of women that Mary started her blog (The Total Wellness Doc), www.thetotalwellnessdoc.com, in the first place. “For years, within my practice, I saw a lot of women who had spent decades taking care of everyone except themselves. A big piece I share is self care, and really just encouraging women to recognize their needs. When we are happy and healthy, we can do our jobs better, our relationships are stronger, and our families are healthier.”
Once Mary started having babies of her own, she realized she needed to give her advice to herself. Her 2½-year-old son keeps her very busy, and she’ll be even more so when the little girl she’s expecting arrives this March. So she’ll retreat to WBOC meetings, a place where she can make time for herself and enjoy the company of other women — no matter their profession or how long they’ve been members — who can relate to being both a mom and a woman in business.
The WBOC is a local non-profit organization that has been providing support to women and access to innovative events and workshops for 20 years. Syracuse Woman Magazine is a WBOC signature sponsor that aims to promote a common mission. For information on how to become a member, visit www.wboconnection.org.