Owner, Virtual Helpmates LLC
Business and marketing counseling client; Marketing Bootcamp participant
Salita Storey is the owner and founder of Virtual Helpmates, LLC, a veteran-owned small business providing virtual business management and administrative services to clients throughout the U.S.
Born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida, Salita served in the U.S. military, along with her husband, before settling in Hawaii with their children. Salita worked as a parent educator after earning a master’s degree in social work, but after having her third child during the Covid-19 pandemic, she realized she wanted to have more freedom and flexibility.
“I thought to myself, ‘What can I do to use my gifts and maintain family balance?’,” Salita said. “I prayed about it and talked to my sister, and she helped me figure out how to become a virtual assistant. That was something I’m naturally gifted at—admin—because I would normally do it on a regular basis anyway and it piqued my interest.”
Salita was also working toward her master’s degree in business administration at the time and was able to apply what she was learning in school to create a business plan to launch Virtual Helpmates in 2021. She now offers a range of services that spans administrative and operations support, social media assistance, project-based tasks, and other specialized services. Her clients include small business owners and nonprofit organizations based in Hawaii, California, Washington, and Florida.
When asked what sets her apart from other virtual assistants, Salita said, “Definitely my approach because I’m a big relationship-builder and communicator. Also, my work ethic. When people think of VAs (virtual assistants), they may think of someone doing basic, entry-level tasks, but I tie in business management. I offer a wider scope of services, and I implement systems to streamline business processes to make my clients more efficient, saving them time and allowing them to focus on generating revenue.”
As a new business owner, one of Salita’s biggest challenges was marketing and how to package her services. After attending the Hawaii Entrepreneur Resource Fair at SALT at Our Kakaako, Salita met with a representative from the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership who connected her with the MBDA Enterprising Women of Color Business Center. Salita received business and marketing counseling and participated in the Marketing Bootcamp through the Center, which helped her with proposals, pricing, and scaling her business.
Looking back on her journey, Salita is most proud of going through the process of starting her business, followed by getting certified as a veteran-owned business. She also recalls booking her first client and is grateful for every client ever since, noting how the process has gotten smoother each time.
Salita is excited to start scaling her business while staying true to her mission and values of “serving others faithfully, selflessly, diligently, and in love” and maintaining balance. “I don’t have a specific number that I’m trying to reach; I just want the amount of success and influence that God thinks that I can handle that will keep me faithful to Him, my husband, my kids, my family, and my friends,” she said.
To her fellow woman entrepreneurs and small business owners, Salita offers the following advice: “1) Your character matters. 2) Do not despise small beginnings, so remember to celebrate your incremental successes along the way. 3) Find your pace of grace because having balance is vital. 4) You cannot pour from an empty cup. 5) If you can’t do it brave, then do it scared.”