Always entrepreneurs, we lived in Maryland for 17 years and owned several different businesses – my husband, Javier, is the visionary, and I am the operations person, working behind the scenes. About 15 years ago Javier left corporate America and started a commercial landscaping company. One day, one of his clients asked him if he knew of a good office cleaning company that he could recommend because they were not happy with the company they were using. Of course, Javier said, “Yes, I’ll have my sales rep call you right away…” I had no idea he was talking about me. He called and said, “Karren, I need you to make a sales call tomorrow morning, and you will be representing a commercial cleaning company!” We met with the client; they liked our presentation, and hired us to start the same day. We didn’t have time to hire staff, so we went to Walmart, bought a vacuum and a few other items; and cleaned all 225,000 square feet through the night, just the two of us! We did that for two weeks until we could hire the right staff; and we still have our first client today!
Fast forward thirteen years and over 200 employees later, we began to realize we were getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Washington DC metropolitan area. For years there was always a meeting or an event happening that kept us on-the-go seven days a week. Javier and I had pledged to never lose ourselves that way, but we could see it was happening. We didn’t want to become the family that got lost in our businesses, forgot our wedding vows, or once retired, realized we had grown apart.
Our intent was to buy a fixer-upper and spend the next few years doing it ourselves – like we’ve seen on our favorite TV channel, HGTV. Javier is from Puerto Rico, and loves beaches and life on the coast. I was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and didn’t want to live on an island, so we started looking along the coast. I wanted warmer weather, but still be able to enjoy the seasons. We started in Myrtle Beach, with the idea to spend one day house hunting before continuing along the southern coast, however, when we saw the bridge going over to the Grande Dunes we were intrigued. As it turned out a gorgeous piece of property was available and the next thing we knew we were building a home. The people here are wonderful, we found an amazing church where Javier got baptized and gave his life to Christ, and we are looking forward to exploring the surrounding areas. Not only do we love it here, but I believe moving here saved Javier’s life.
After we moved, I realized that we had not made the time to visit the doctors regularly while in Maryland. So, I made it a point to schedule routine wellness visits with our new doctors for the both of us. During one of those visits, Javier’s PSA levels tested high twice. The doctor decided to do a biopsy. Unfortunately, it came back positive for prostate cancer. I truly believe had we stayed in Maryland, and maintained the pace we were keeping, there could have been a much different diagnosis.
I know it was by God’s grace Javier’s cancer was found in time to be treated. His grace also led us to one of the top urologists in the country through a referral from one of our new neighbors. In December we headed to Celebration, Florida, where Javier had his surgery, the cancer was removed, and he is on his way to a full recovery!
After we built the house, we realized we could not use our outdoor lanai during the cooler fall evenings or winter months. We started researching for outdoor heating options and eventually discovered the perfect solution. We ordered the system and had it installed immediately. We can honestly say this was the best thing we could have done to our outdoor space. Now we can enjoy the lanai year-round. It then occurred to us there are hundreds of homes in this area with beautiful lanais and homeowners unable to use their outdoor space during cold days or evenings as well. We contacted the manufacturer again and our latest company was born: Outdoor Heating Solutions!
This winter, while Javier continues to recover, we will be enjoying our best life spending quality time outdoors on our screened lanai, cozy and warm! We will even be installing a couple in our garage for his “honey do” list. Our heaters are absolutely the best for year-round outdoor living. Our infrared heaters are state of the art – no smell, no light, no dust, no noise and no risk of tipping over. We would love to help you enjoy your outdoor living space this winter!