Kirkland native gives 'A Run 4 Your Money': Errand - concierge service will shop and even provide nutritional advice

With a diverse background spanning nutrition, make-up artistry and a penchant for being "out and about," Lisa Winters thought, "I can do something with all of this. I like doing my own errands so why not do other people's at the same time?"

So she did some research. The nearest errand service was in Gig Harbor. A chat with the owner revealed that the business was quite successful. Lisa Winters was sure she couldn't miss in Kirkland.

So three months ago the ebullient entrepreneur officially opened up "A Run 4 Your Money" and now does all sorts of errands for people -- shopping, picking up drycleaning. "I've even taken dogs to the vet. It's fun. You meet different people. I like that I'm not doing the same thing every day."

Currently living near the Juanita wetlands, Winters was born and bred in Kirkland. She attended Thoreau, Finn Hill Junior High and Juanita High School. From there it was off to the University of Washington where she majored in nutrition and political science.

Yearning to find a career where she could help people, she landed a two-years intensive nutrition internship in Shoreline.

She then spend the next several year as a nutritional counselor at Swedish Hospital in Ballard working with low- to moderate-risk patients. She also worked with cancer and AIDS patients, where she was unable to perform nutritional intervention because the cases were so advanced.

"All you can really do for these people is get them a milkshake or something they would like. There's nothing you can do to help. Which is why I got into it in the first place. I thought, 'this is a real helping profession and you could make a difference,' but you really can't. "

At this point, she high-tailed it from the hospital environment and made a bee-line to, of all places, the mall. Winters went to work for Nordstrom as a make-up consultant, which was another of her passions. She even offers this as part of her business today.

Although the luster had worn off somewhat, she didn't give up on nutritional counseling. She was determined to find a way to incorporate it into daily life.

"Maybe sombody who's interested in nutritional shopping wants some healthy ideas. They're too busy to do their own.

While she is picking up steam and has several clients, she acknowledges that she needs to do more advertising and get the word out.

To this end, she has a contact at Microsoft who was able to get her ad on the company's internal Web site. She is keeping her fingers crossed. She is also working with a graphics company to get her company name and logo on her car. Her ad now appears on Dex on-line and is listed under "errand service." She wryly notes that she is at the top of the listing because the company names starts with "A."

"I would like to evolve into doing this for businesses that want to use it as a perk for their employees who can't really get out. I'll come pick up their drycleaning, get their shopping done."

She also works at her husband's business in Lynnwood, helping with paperwork and taxes. It was through this experience that she got the self-employment bug. Owning your own business, she says, "is so much more fun," she says.

She offers her service to both business and residential customers but would like to lean to the former.

Her short-range goal is to find several businesses or one large one (i.e. Microsoft) where she could work two days a week. In five years, she would like to have her now 18-year-old son work with her. "He's pretty entrepreneurial and has lots of good ideas," she says proudly.

Winters is a true Northwesterner. She lived in Dusseldorf, Germany, over some college summers, traveled all over and "fell in love with Europe." But Kirkland is the place for her. Believe it or not, she "loves the weather. I am a native Seattleite. I love the rain ... it's very peaceful."

Winters can be reached at (206) 819-2085.[[In-content Ad]]