We had the good fortune of connecting with Faye Arbues Tricia Ignacio and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Faye Arbues, what do you want your legacy to be?
We want our legacy to be about our passion to truly making a difference. We each had our own path that brought us to this field, and we love what we do. As children to immigrant parents, we were instilled with a strong work ethic and compassion for all those that we encounter. We bring our most sincere and authentic energy to each therapy session because we know the importance of having that great connection impacts progress.
Additionally, we aim to contribute to increasing the diversity in this field through mentorship and supervision. The 2021 ASHA Member Profile study revealed that only 8.7% of speech-language pathologists and audiologists make up the underrepresented racial groups; Asian-only speech-language pathologists make up 2.57% of the field. We’re fortunate to live in this great state of California, where Asian representation is higher than other states. We encourage younger generations to learn more about our field because as our “Baby Boomer” parents age, they’ll likely need assistance from us.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We started this business with the dream of helping children, adults, and their families receive high-quality, patient-centered speech therapy care that will contribute to their overall functional success in their environment. We understand the influence race, cultural understanding, socioeconomic status (SES) have on the population of clients, as well as the therapists available to provide services while fitting the needs of the clients and families.
We provide speech/language, feeding and swallowing, and myofunctional therapy services for children and adults. We work with all types of disorders such Autism, early language development, school-age language, articulation and speech intelligibility, voice, cognition, aphasia, dysphagia and feeding challenges (like picky eaters, texture sensitivities, oral-motor delay), and orofacial disorders (like tongue thrusts, mouth breathers, thumbsuckers, etc.). We’ve been fortunate enough to be certified in various areas so that we can serve a wider range of clients.
We cultivate relationships with each and every client and family unit by offering our services to where the families need us- in their homes, their child’s school, or within the community (parks, libraries, etc.). We believe their natural environment reaps more success to their growth. In addition, we also provide telehealth services for the rest of California (and New York- Faye is licensed to practice there as well). We have a goal of becoming bicoastal!
Starting your own business certainly has many challenging moments, but we’ve been patient and really allowing ourselves grace during this building process. It’s beyond our set of skills as clinicians, but now we’re having to learn how to be businesswomen- understanding tax and employment laws, finances and billing, HR, and networking and marketing. We’re glad to have one another to lean on during those difficult times. Also, we play to our strengths, which balances out the responsibilities that our business needs. Tricia handles all of our finances and Faye is building relationships through networking and marketing. Social media is another avenue that we struggle with too! You would think that having used Instagram and Facebook all of these years, we’d be able to post great content. However, creating content in itself leaves us stumped! There are so many great SLP influencers out there and there’s oversaturation of speech-related content, that trying to find a niche is so hard. We’re learning to just celebrate us and our practice- sharing happy moments and tools that contribute to our clients’ progress!
We’re still learning to understand the insurance system in America. With that, comes the many different insurance companies and their own sets of rules and rates that makes it difficult for underserve communities to get care. We’d love so much to be able to help everyone and hope that one day universal healthcare will exist so that access to speech therapy (and other disciplines) are attainable. We’d love to leave the world knowing that we contributed to bridging the gap in the quality and access of speech-language services, as well as mentored aspiring SLPs/SLPAs to find joy in this field.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There is so much to do in LA! We have been in LA for about 4 years now, and we still find gems (old and new) in the different neighborhoods. We would love to maximize their experience and have them visit a little bit of everything there is to offer: the outdoors for hiking, the beach, live experiences such as concerts and shows and, of course, eating diverse foods. Thankfully, our best friends have visited LA before, so visits to the big tourist spots are not as necessary. But here’s a little taste of what we’d do:
The first day always needs to include coffee at Verve on Melrose, a quick bite for lunch at Seoulmates, some shopping at the Grove and Beverly Center, and then grabbing dinner with amazing wine/drinks well into the night at L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele in Hollywood. We’d begin Day 2 with a morning hike in Malibu (Los Leones for something more strenuous or Escondido trail for the waterfall) followed by lunch at a the Malibu Wines & Beer Garden. Afterwards, perhaps book a little wellness time on ClassPass to rest and then dinner at Night + Market Song in Silverlake. Day 3 would consist of shopping (Melrose for unique looks, Rodeo for that designer piece, Robertson Blvd to treat yourself) and attending a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Should we wish our night to continue, we’d head over to Desert 5 and Bar Lis. For Day 4, we go to the beach with some Bay Cities sandwiches on hand and paddle board at Marina Del Rey. Grab a late lunch at Cha Cha Chicken or happy hour at Birdie G’s. To satisfy a sweet tooth, we’d definitely stop by B Sweet on Sawtelle for some “being bad” bread pudding with extra drizzle (recommend Ube). We would cap off the week (Day 5) with a quick coffee at Sightglass, brunch at Bacari on 3rd, and then ending with dinner and drinks with a view at Elephante in Santa Monica. Of course plenty of rest on Days 6 and 7, haha.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Oh gosh… we are incredibly thankful to have such supportive families and friends that encourage us to pursue our dreams.
Faye: Firstly, I personally would like to thank my business partner and friend, Tricia, for joining me on this journey. She and I instantly got along when we met in grad school that people actually thought we had been friends prior (and that we were both Californians in NY!). I’m excited for where this road will take us. See you on the PJ! Secondly, I’ve had so many wonderful colleagues (Jokers, the Inner Circle, Myo family, former coworkers, other SLP entrepreneurs) that I connect with to talk therapy approaches, new research, courses, business workings, and just general day-to-day speech life. Thirdly, of course, extra special acknowledgment to my parents- THANK YOU. Growing up with tiger parents was difficult, specifically trying to live up to those Asian stereotypes, but I think that’s what drove me to this point. Needless to say, my work ethic, passion, and motivation have led me to make this dream come to fruition. Lastly, to my bosom buddies- thank you for your endless support in everything that I do.
Tricia: I am grateful for the opportunity to formally recognize my tribe of people. I would not be the person and professional I am today without those who have loved me, supported me and believed in me throughout my life. First, thank you to my dear friend and business partner Faye. We met at graduate school orientation and instantly became friends. Not only do we have similar interests and core beliefs, but we work well together as a team to get things (fun and work related) done. I also want to thank my family. My mom and dad have always wanted the best for me and made me believe I am more than capable enough of achieving whatever life and career I wanted with grace. I also want to thank my younger brother Adrian. He was my inspiration for following the career path as a speech language pathologist and the reason why I love what I do. There are so many influential people in my life to list, but I also want to thank my graduate school friends and close friends for the support and mentorship throughout this journey of starting Hello Speech Solutions.
Headshot by Melaine Robley-Spencer, family photos from Diana Villasenor