How to Keep Your Small Business Chugging Along

local-businessI’ve been researching the most effective ways to keep my small business afloat. Some common trends I’ve been seeing include these tips:

Keep a blog. Keep your followers in the loop, remind them why they come to you.

Remember why you started your business. Always keep the reason you started in mind.

Make SMART goals. Specific, Measureable, Achieveable, Realistic, Time-based.

-Network. Join your local Chamber of Commerce or another group and just talk. You can do it.

-Make a website and use several social media platforms. Don’t try and use all the social media networks, just two or so that you’re familiar with.

I hope this helps you with your endeavors.




Honoring Women Event at Fred Meyer


mary kay logo 

Siarra Nielsen

Independent Beauty Consultant

6813 SW Wilsonville Rd. 67

Wilsonville, OR 97070


January 5, 2016


Fred Meyer

30300 SW Boones Ferry Road

Wilsonville, OR 97070


Dear Managers:

RE: Honoring women patrons

Since moving to Wilsonville, I’ve found that your Fred Meyer location makes for easy shopping. I’ve been a patron of your store since day one. I can only imagine that many other people in Wilsonville feel the same way as I see you store is very busy. I’m writing to ask permission to host a Mary Kay Honoring Women Patrons event outside near the exit door.

My plan is to hand out flowers to women who sign up for complimentary facials as they exit the store. I feel that this will encourage women to return to Fred Meyer, feeling like they have had a wonderful experience.

I am a college student at Clackamas Community College where I study communications and biology. I know that I can appropriately represent Mary Kay and be a positive and uplifting voice to our community of shoppers at your Fred Meyer.

Please allow me this opportunity to further my business and honor women patrons of your store.


Siarra Nielsen

Training Proposal

Wilsonville, OR 97070




December 21, 2015



Peter and Ariel Lamka, CEO

Tan Republic



Dear Mr. and Ms. Lamka:


To ensure a wonderful experience for your guests, I am pleased to propose a two-week training course to educate your brand new staff to become qualified and familiar with Tan Republic procedures. The two-week course will prove to be an enjoyable and educational experience and I look forward to assisting Tan Republic with new employees.




Congratuations on operating a well-functioning company. I know that you plan to provide well-prepared and professional service to your guests. As Tan Republic increases the number of emloyees in the south, the need for well-trained and qualified staff grows greater. The tanning business culture is unique in comparision to the traditional retail business style. I am proud to deliver a detailed crash course in tanning business culture for your new staff. I promise that my two-week program will (a) be educational and informative, (b) improve professional speech, etiquette, and professionalism as monitered by a well-trained Trainer, (c) include practice rounds and mock scenarios so your staff will be comfortable in real-life situations, and (d) be enjoyable.


Proposed Plan


I have experience in creating and leading training programs from several educational opportunities presented through Clark College in Vancouver, WA and Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. I present the following proposal:


Trainers. The most radical component of my training proposal is arguably the idea of having specific employees who are trained as Trainers. I would love the opportunity to teach Trainers about training. The term petagogy is appropriate here as I would be teaching about teaching.


Job Shadowing. For optimum understanding, I would suggest that new employees spend time job shadowing a Tan Republic Trainer. The Trainer can offer insight and provide the necessary educational experiences for new employees.


Mock Scenarios. Trainers will provide many real-life situations in a mock setting, providing time for new employees to practice their new roles. New employees will be given a salon tour and lotions sales pitch script to memorize and rehearse. After the two-week training period, new employees will have the ultimate mock scenario test with you, the owner, as they practice their salon tours and lotion sales pitch.




With your approval, this is the schedule that I have developed for new Tan Republic employee training (dates are flexible and can be adapted to any days):


Jan. 4:

Hour 1: Introduction to Tan Republic and job shadowing

Hour 2: Presentation of salon tour and lotions sales pitch

Hour 3: Trainees given time to memorize and rehearse script

Hour 4: Questions and concerns addressed by Trainer


Jan. 6:

Hour 1: Trainees given time to memorize script

Hour 2: Mock scenario: Trainees rehearse script

Hour 3: Job shadowing

Hour 4: Mock scenario: Trainees rehearse a typical hour at a salon with Trainer


Jan. 8:

Hour 1: Mock scenario: Trainees rehearse script

Hour 2: Introduction to Tan Republic operations

Hour 3: Discussion of operations

Hour 4: Mock scenerio: operations


Jan. 11:

Hour 1: Mock scenario: Trainees rehearse script

Hour 2: Job shadowing

Hour 3: Introduction to gmail procedures

Hour 4: Mock scenerio: create mock emails for the office and Joseph


Jan. 13:

Hour 1: Trainees given time to memorize script

Hour 2: Discussion of presentation and job shadow

Hour 3: Mock scenerio: Trainees rehearse script

Hour 4: Mock scenario: angry guest and courtesy tans


Jan. 15:

Hour 1: Trainees rehearse script with you, the owner





Hours              My Rate                      Total

20                    $11/ hr.                        $220




My services are a perfect match for Tan Republic and your employees will be more comfortable with Tan Republic business styles as a result of training. I have already taken the inititive to prepare all the presentations and curriculum needed for any number of new staff. Once you have authorized this plan, we can discuss this training course in detail. If you’re comfortable with proceeding with a new training program, please let me know as I would love to help with the future of Tan Republic’s new employees!




Siarra Nielsen, staff member

Miracle Set

5.22.15 mk time wise

I started using this Mary Kay Miracle set about 5 months ago. I have seen the best results I could have ever imagined! It really is called the Miracle set for a reason; it’s like a miracle on my face!

I can go out without foundation now and still look really well put together. It’s a genuinely great feeling to be confident with just my skin!

The 11 age-defying benefits:







-Visibly Firm




-Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

If you have want to try these, let me know and I can give you a complimenary skin care class complete with a quick facial! ❤

Photojournalism Final

I created a photo story that shows the life of my husband, a student engineer. My pictures are in a specific order and they start by showing my husband as a student and employee first. As this project developed, I noticed little things about my husband’s day to day life that I hadn’t noticed before. I began to see little acts of love… from using my homemade ceramics that I crafted as a child to celebrating the accomplishments of our friends over dinners. Even though Jesse may spend the majority of his time enthralled in his work, I’m still a part of it. And as you can see, he is a part of my work too.

20151204 Siarra Nielsen Final 01

Jesse Nielsen, student engineer, can be seen through the reflection of his equipment on Nov. 29, 2015. Nielsen spends countless hours in school and at Intel where he works in a lab.

20151129 SiarraNielsen Engineer105

Nielsen calls for his wife to follow him on an adventure as he moves from one engineering class to another. He enjoys being followed around for pictures.

20151129 SiarraNielsen Engineer115

As you can see from the mud on his boots and the level of difficulty of the book in his hands, Nielsen works hard. He uses the outside light to help him stay awake while he studies during the day.

20151129 SiarraNielsen Engineer116

As the newest Intel employee, set to start Jan. 4, 2016, Nielsen looks toward the future toward the light.

20151204 Siarra Nielsen Final 05

Oregon Tech’s Wilsonville, OR satellite campus offers many educational opportunities to its students, including Nielsen.

20151129 SiarraNielsen Engineer011

Nielsen contemplates possible meanings to difficult text as he studies Laser Electronics around midnight on a school night.

20151204 Siarra Nielsen Final 07.jpg

Nielsen has many resources available at his disposal when he enters his Oregon Tech classroom in Wilsonville, OR. Featured here are cords and electronics used to assemble various devices.

20151204 Siarra Nielsen Final 08.jpg

Nielsen works in his stocking feet when he is in the comfort of his own home. This image shows how his life is bursting to spill over into his work.

20151204 Siarra Nielsen Final 09

On the evening of Nov. 30 2015, Nielsen relaxes at home with his black lab puppy Gotham, who is dressed up for the Christmas season.

20151204 Siarra Nielsen Final 10.jpg

A final image to show Nielsen as a regular guy who plays video games at home. Even when he’s relaxing, he’s working with electronics. This picture also shows that Nielsen values family and love.

The Life of a Student Engineer

I created a photo story that shows the life of my husband, a student engineer. My pictures are in a specific order and they start by showing my husband as a student and employee first. As this project developed, I noticed little things about my husband’s day to day life that I hadn’t noticed before. I began to see little acts of love… from using my homemade ceramics that I crafted as a child to celebrating the accomplishments of our friends over dinners. Even though Jesse may spend the majority of his time enthralled in his work, I’m still a part of it. And as you can see, he is a part of my work too.


Putting Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes without Running Their Race: Healing through Empathy

By: Siarra Nielsen

Professor Bucher

Therapeutic Communications, Mondays at 6 p.m.

8 June 2015

1      Choosing Our Topic

The other members in my group include Diana Gordiyenko, Maria Karnaukh, and Elyssa “Denise” Cuneta. When it came time to decide our topic, our group had no trouble voicing ideas. Maria had valuable input and she led the discussion. We created our project as a team. The team decided that our topic was broad enough that we would all be able to relate to the topic of empathy.

2      How I Relate to Our Topic

When I was two-years-old I sustained a serious injury that has affected my entire life. My left arm was pulled out of the socket and I was left with damaged nerve plexuses. I’ve had migraines my entire life and I started having seizures during adolescence. My ribs, shoulders, left arm and accompanying limbs, my neck and various other parts of my body and mind have readjusted to accommodate my horrible pains and they are all out of place. Only through specialized doctors, intense physical and occupational therapy, medications, nerve block injections, massages, hot water treatments, exercises, group and individual therapies, pain management courses and a tight support system, have I been able to function on a more normal level as compared to before my treatments.

My condition has been diagnosed as Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) with seizures. In a nut shell, my thalamus (the region of the brain that receives pain signals from the spinal cord and relays the information to higher regions of the brain, located in the center of the brain) misinterprets pain signals. My amygdala (the region of the brain that anticipates pain and reacts to perceived threats, located near the thalamus’ southwest quadrant) is highly sensitive and reacts to pain at all times. Unfortunately, my right lateral orbitofrontal cortex (the section of the brain that evaluates sensory stimuli and decides on the response) is overactive as well. I cannot stand high pitch frequencies, like the sound pressing buttons on a microwave makes, or flashing lights (even simply flipping on a light switch causes me agony).

When I turned 14-years-old and started having seizures, my problems quickly escalated. After steadily facing three seizures a day, my mom decided to send me to a specialized program for children with CRPS. There were two options for hospitals: one in Philadelphia and one in Seattle. Being only four hours away from Seattle, my mom added my name to the waiting list. My name came up in October of 2009, just before my first real homecoming dance. I had been asked to two separate dances and it broke my heart that I needed to miss them both. Luckily, my mom sweet talked the hospital coordinator to allowing me an extra few days before starting the program so I ended up being able to attend one of the dances. It was an amazing night and my date and I took tons of pictures with our friends.

I hung the photos up all over my hospital room so I could remember how much fun I had. I also brought a CD player with speakers so I wasn’t so lonely. My friends and family wrote to me often and my mom drove from Vancouver several times a week to visit with me. I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had at the hospital, it seems like there’s a special bond between us having been separated from the world by painful and scary health issues. I actually married another patient from one of the hospitals I went to for an evaluation.

The treatments made me violently ill but the staff was so kind and understanding that I still cry (happy tears) when I remember the way they treated me. There was so much love and humor that I felt more at home in the hospital than my own home. I feel like the ladies really understood how much fear I had and how much sensitivity and heart wrenching pain I deal with. They experimented and found tons of activities that I could work on that helped me progress. I completed timed “animal walks” in which I had to beat my previous time every time or I had to restart until I improved. There were bear walks, crab walks, frog walks, and several others. It was very intense and I had to travel a long distance to complete the tasks. I had to do that specific exercise multiple times a day for my month-long treatment.

My physical therapy (PT) was four hours and day, daily for a month. My occupational therapy (OT) was four hours a day and also daily for a month. My group therapies were six hours per day for the first two weeks. I was pushed to my limits and then some, repeatedly. However, it was such an amazing experience that I long to go back. My PT and OT each focused on me with complete attention. After watching me and conversing with one another, they discovered that I loved to sing. Whenever my pain was so bad that I couldn’t function, I would sing a song or listen to music to override the pain signals as much as possible. Then the PT and OT had an awesome idea. They helped me choreograph a dance routine to a High School Musical song that I knew all the words to. My OT also allowed me to download songs from her personal laptop while I did my balance exercises to motivate me to push through the pain.

We went on jogs outside and long runs along the Burke Gilman Trail. My OT ran with me and brought her gorgeous German Sheppard to motivate me. She helped me navigate through the foreign environment and led me around town to her favorite bakery where she bought me a healthy treat for working so hard. The adventures I had in Seattle are unparalleled.

3      Analysis

The way that the staff made me feel safe and strong helped shape my life. I stopped seeing myself as weak all the time and I realized that I’m a warrior. I still have the fasted crab walks anyone has ever seen, even six years later without practice.

The kindness that the staff at Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCHOP) and the Seattle Ronald McDonald House showed me makes me cry because I felt important. I felt like I mattered, like people cared. It was a strange feeling for me and I needed the empathy. I felt so alone before. I was so young when I started going through all the pain and no one really understood how serious my condition was. My seizures caught my mom by surprise and none of my other family members comprehended what I was facing. I knew I was sick, but until the staff at SCHOP listened and responded with love, I felt like I was living a double life. I was hurting but nobody had ever empathized with me before because no one else understood because I smiled as much as possible while I tried to appreciate life.

4      Empathy vs. Sympathy

Showing empathy to people in the hospital can shape their lives and help them become empathetic people in return. The difference between empathy and sympathy lays in the emphasis and subject.

Empathy refers to understanding another’s emotions and reasoning. It’s characterized by the focus on another person. The main element is active listening and it shows the person respect.

In juxtaposition, sympathy focuses on the receiver of the message. This means that the patient may share his or her feelings but the nurse relates the situation back to his or her own experiences or opinions. It’s said that sympathy shows selfishness and one should active listen with empathy instead.

Empathy is important because it shows the patients that they matter and are worthy of someone listening to their situations. I think that everyone should work on improving their empathetic responses. The world would be a much more (positively) sensitive place.

Cover Letter 6.2015

Siarra Nielsen

131 Wymount Terrace                                                            360.721.3434

Provo, Utah 84604                                               


June 3, 2015

Mr. Brady Mulligan

Campaign Manager, Michael Sawlings for Mayor

131 Wyview Park Drive

Provo, UT 84606

Dear Mr. Mulligan:

The newest edition of Provo Daily Magazine featured candidates for mayor and promoted their platforms. The men were interviewed and photographed, all of the candidates except one. As you and I know, the best choice for Provo’s mayor is Michael Sawlings. Mr. Sawlings was dealt an injustice that needs to become publicized and I would love the opportunity to spearhead his public image campaign. Here are three noteworthy reasons why I should be considered for his Public Relations Representative:

  • 675 hours of internships with Brigham Young University Public Relations Department and BYUtv; including five years of college experience in public relations, business communications, marketing, and broadcasting
  • Graduated with honors from Clark College as class Valedictorian where I delivered a speech that received global recognition as “inspirational” from Time Magazine
  • Professional experience with speech writing and public speaking, including 14 university courses surrounding journalism

I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you about my experience and how it pertains to the needs of your campaign. I’ve enclosed a resume that lists my qualifications. I’ll email you during the week of June 8 to discuss your plans in moving forward and the possibility for an interview.


Siarra Nielsen