BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. (WDVM) — Organized chaos is how Holly Yost describes her life. She is an entrepreneur, a mother and now a teacher. To top it off, this Remarkable Woman finalist built her company from the ground up during what she described as the lowest point in her life.
Holly Yost owns and manages two property management companies: Mountainside Getaways and Almost Heaven Property Management. Almost Heaven Property Management is a woman-owned and majority-run company that Holly started all by herself.
When Holly started Almost Heaven Property Management, she played every role from secretary to cleaning staff. Now with a team of employees and as the owner of two property management businesses, Holly still doesn’t see herself as “the boss,” but as a teammate and resource to her employees.
“I think about myself and the things that I’ve been through and how hard it was for me to constantly make sure that I had all of my ducks in a row and I took care of everything that was needed,” Holly explained. “So if I can open up a more flexible route for one of the other girls on our team as a mom or just as a woman, it’s very important.”
Holly stressed that more than anything, she wants to not only support her employees in any way possible but also to help them grow. She often will help out around properties alongside her employees and has stressed that their safety and lives outside of work are as important if not more important than the work they complete for her.
However, Holly is not a stranger to hardship, from building her company to her arduous divorce. Years ago, she learned that her ex-husband was not living a completely honest life. He was having an affair and left Holly and their two daughters with next to nothing. Holly often questioned whether she would be able to provide meals for her children or keep the electricity on in their home.
She said it was the women in her life who inspired her and gave her the strength to keep moving forward.
Teresa Yost is her daughter’s personal cheerleader. Teresa nominated her daughter without her knowledge. She knew that Holly was too selfless to even consider the nomination herself. Holly was stunned to learn about the nomination and was hesitant to talk about her accomplishments, often switching the topic of conversation to others like her employees and especially to her mother.
Holly said that her mother is her biggest inspiration. She explained that her parents had her when they were young and grew up watching her mother not only provide a nurturing environment at home with homemade meals and heartwarming memories, but also work to also provide for their family. Holly said her mother returned to school to become a librarian — a role she still fulfills at Berkeley Springs High School — and was still able to come home each night and cook what Holly described as a “four-course meal” for her family.
Teresa was not surprised that her daughter tried to shift the focus of the matter to others but was touched to learn about the praise from her daughter.
“I am so proud of Holly and I never realized that growing up, that was me driving her or her seeing what I was doing was driving her,” Teresa said, with small tears forming in her eyes. “But to see her now, I am very, very proud of her. She’s stronger though than I could ever be.”
Holly’s two daughters, Emily and Maddie, are a driving force in her life. They echoed their grandmother’s sentiments about their mother, smiling and giggling as they recalled their favorite childhood memories made with her. Emily, Holly’s oldest daughter, explained that her mother has always been the most reliable and selfless person.
“If anyone has a problem, they’ll go to her. And she’s just like the person who runs everything,” Emily said. “And she’s just always there for everyone and tries her hardest for everything.”
As a female business owner, Holly shared this message for other women, moms, and female entrepreneurs: “What you build is yours and no one can take that from you. Whether it be a business, whether it be a family. No matter what it is, it’s yours and no one can take that from you.”