March is Women’s History Month; a month where we get to appreciate the strong women of the past, celebrate the bold women of the present, and inspire the brave women of the future. As we wrap up this month of celebration, we thought it was only fitting to spotlight Laura Yepez, the Wicker Park Inn’s female owner and very own #girlboss. Laura opened the inn in 2004 and has watched her business grow and prosper over the course of the past 15 years. Since opening, the inn has expanded from 3 to 11 rooms, including nine traditional B&B rooms and two apartment style rental units. Laura has also seen the inn through some major changes and renovations, such as last year’s remodel. In honor of Women’s History Month, we thought we’d ask Laura a few questions about her experience as a female business owner: Q. What has been the biggest challenge of running your own business? A. The biggest challenge is balancing work and life. Owning a business means working around the clock and often 7 days a week. With 2 children at home, it’s a challenge to put the phone down and focus on just being a mom. Q. What has been the biggest reward? A. It’s the most amazing feeling when we receive guest compliments. Our business is so personal and its always a joy to hear directly from our guests that we delivered an excellent experience. Q. What piece of advice would you give to female entrepreneurs? A. Know your stuff. Educate yourself, share ideas, ask questions, and learn from others. If you know your stuff, you are better equipped to ride out those spells of self doubt, then dust yourself off and execute your dream. Q. Who is a woman that inspires you? A. Honestly, it’s the community of women who most inspire me. Business owners, CEOs, educators, doctors, lawyers, pilots, politicians, etc. I see women taking risks every day, breaking barriers and starting their own thing. But I also see women putting their dreams aside because it’s not quite their time, and that’s honorable too. Women have many stages in life and a tremendous capacity to persevere. Thank you, Laura, for being the independent, intelligent, and hard-working woman that you are! Because of amazing women like you, we celebrate Women’s History Month every month at the Wicker Park Inn. P.S. Prior to opening up her Bed and Breakfast, Laura owned a bakery in the neighborhood. If you’re lucky, she may just whip up some muffins or a bundt cake during your stay!