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Meet Corina Bair of Strength in Growth Counseling

Today we’d like to introduce you to Corina Bair.

Hi Corina, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
My husband and I grew up in Michigan but moved out here to SoCal in 2012 when I was accepted into a master’s program at SDSU. After we moved here, we were very excited to adopt our first dog – Wixom – and she became the inspiration for my shop! My mom taught me to sew at an early age, so when we adopted Wixom, I naturally began making her cute accessories, such as bandanas and collars.

When I had extra fabric, I started sharing and selling them with friends and family, which led to me opening a small Etsy shop to sell my “leftovers” from whatever I was making for our puppy. From there, I allowed my creativity to really shine when I realized this could be a real thing! I started adding more products, different prints, and styles, attending local events as well as making more friends in the local dog community. A few years later, Wixom’s Whimsies grew into the small business it is today!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There have definitely been many challenges. I went to school for psychology/social work, not a business, so learning the legalities of running my own business and being an entrepreneur was definitely a challenge, but one I enjoyed learning how to overcome. I think the biggest hurdle for me was 2020-2021. I know we all struggled during that time, and small businesses definitely took a hit.

Between a decrease in sales and the mental health impact, we all felt during the pandemic, keeping myself motivated was really difficult! I had amazing support from my husband, and of course, Wixom was always there to bring a smile to my face. I’ve been figuring out how to redefine my niche over the last year and really get back into local events, working with other local businesses, and reconnecting with the local dog community which has helped a lot.

As you know, we’re big fans of Strength in Growth Counseling. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
I think most people only know one side of my career. They either know about Wixom’s Whimsies, my dog accessories shop, or they know about my private practice where I am a therapist. Since this interview has been mostly focused on my shop, I’d like to share a little more about my private practice as well! I am an LCSW, which stands for licensed clinical social worker, and I specialize in working with teens and young adults, especially women, who struggle with anxiety and depression. I absolutely love helping people reconnect with themselves, find and create joy in their lives, and be the best version of themselves that they can be.

Currently, I am only offering online telehealth sessions, but I hope to be able to go back to offering in-person sessions within the next year or two as well. One of the things my clients have loved about working with me is that my dog Wixom is a trained therapy dog, so she often comes into the office with me. She is wonderful at giving love, licks, and happy tail wags!

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
My biggest advice, which applies to both of my businesses, is to find your niche and stick to it.

Once you become an expert in your area, your excellent work will speak for itself and you’ll feel much more fulfilled about how you are spending your time. Don’t be afraid to reach out and connect to others in the community as well!

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Corina Bair

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