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Meet Catherine Archie of DREAM Certification Services

Today we’d like to introduce you to Catherine Archie.

Hi Catherine, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I have always been interested in entrepreneurship. I was in the Minority Youth Entrepreneurship Program (MYEP) at Washington University the summer before my senior year of high school. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t find my niche and then life circumstances got in the way and I went in another direction and went to nursing school. Throughout my nursing career, I have attended plenty of CPR classes that were very basic.

While I was the Director at an Assisted Living Facility, I wanted to keep my staff’s skills sharp, so I started conducting mock codes. Well, those mock code drills showed me that the staff really wasn’t retaining the information from the CPR classes. That’s when it hit me… I found my niche!! I can start a business and go to these facilities to teach CPR classes!! My problem was fear!! I was scared to step away from the security blanket of my nursing career to start a business. I spent a year fighting with myself in my head about whether or not to do it. Then one night I had a dream that I started the business and everything worked out. The dream was so real, and when I woke up the next day, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I was unhappy and stressed out at the job that I had at the time. So, I quit my job, got a PRN private duty nursing position, and signed up for a CPR/First Aid Instructor Course and went full speed ahead. I named it DREAM Certification Services because of the dream that I had that night.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Absolutely not!! Things started off moving slowly but surely. I got two contracts, one with a major assisted living company and the other with a women’s shelter. I was also doing trade shows and classes at their facilities and churches, etc and then COVID hit!! It shut me down completely!!

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about DREAM Certification Services?
I offer convenient on-site certification classes for Infant, Child, Adult CPR/AED-First Aid-Level One Medication Aid-Insulin Administration. More classes are coming within the next year. My CPR manikins have feedback monitors that light up, which help guide participants and let them know if their compressions are correct. I offer hands-on first aid drills that give a life-like experience in a class setting. This training is beneficial to everyone, not just people in the healthcare industry!! It is so important for everyone to know how to be CPR/FirstAid trained for the safety of their family!!

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Absolutely!! I’ve learned the importance of having a plan B!! Since the COVID restrictions have been lifted, I have started back classes, but they are not as routine as before the lockdown. During the lockdown, I started getting back into my other passion… SKINCARE! I have always had a problem with breakouts and would always research ways to clear my breakouts. I also love “bursting bumps”!! LOL!!

So I figured, why not combine my nursing skills and my passion for skincare and start a business with that! I can then take those skills and offer more certifications classes through DREAM Certification as well as offer hands-on spa services to clients. I enrolled in the esthetician program at The Salon Professional Academy. I will start providing services to the public there on August 2nd, and I’m so excited. I will be doing facials, back facials, full body waxing, lash lifts/tints, and brow lamination. Along with that, I’m in the process of opening my second business, DREAM Esthetics. I’m in the process of buying equipment and supplies.

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