A Colorado Springs native, Latrina Ollie is hoping to inspire fellow entrepreneurs to follow their dreams and promote growth in the Southeast.
“I’m proud to be a resident of the Southeast side of town. I just want to be that example for other entrepreneurs who want to start something, but maybe feel like they don’t have the support or who just feel like they can’t do it,” Ollie said. “You can do it. You just have to have faith in yourself and every day just take action. If you take action every day, your business will grow. You can do it.”
Ollie owns Quar Notary, which provides in-office and mobile notary services to individuals and businesses. But Quar Notary isn’t the first business Ollie has been part of, nor will it be the last.
Ollie, 34, has been an entrepreneur since graduating from Harrison High School. She established her own salon after graduating, but said she didn’t quite have the business mindset at such a young age.
She went on to work for other salons until problems with her hands left her considering a different career path. A client first told her about notary services, and she went on to research the idea. In 2014, she went into business as an independent contractor under the name Ollie Mobile Notary.
Last year, she decided it was time to grow. So, she rebranded under the name Quar Notary. Ollie said she enjoys owning her own business because it gives her a chance to spend more time with her husband, Marcus, and her four children, Treveon, 13; Nathan, 8; Mason, 7; and Nyomi, 4.
Ollie spoke with the Business Journal about establishing her own business, community involvement and her plans for the future.
What was it like establishing your own business?
I wanted to have control over my life. I wanted to enjoy what my kids were doing. My son is very active in sports. I didn’t want to be tied to a job where I had very limited time with my kids.
How did you become interested in being a notary?
It started when I was doing hair. I had some problems with my hands, and I was trying to figure out what else I could do. A client came in and told me how her brother notarizes paperwork. From there I did my research, and I thought, ‘This is something I could do.’ I played around with it for about a year, and I decided I liked it, so that’s when I decided to pursue it full time.
To be a notary you have to be certified with the state of Colorado. That part is pretty simple. You can do it all online. You take a course, and you have to pass it and do a background check. To do real estate, you have to be a sign-in agent, which means you have to take another course. You also need to have E&O [errors and omissions] insurance and do another yearly background check. They have to make sure we’re clear because we’re looking at so much confidential information. My knowledge base within real estate has grown so much over the years. I love real estate now, even though I only see the paperwork.
Tell us about Quar Notary.
We have two sections to the company. One section is that we’re a mobile notary company. We work with consumers. Anyone can call us and if they need a document notarized, we can go out to them or they can come to us. The other side is the contract side. We have contracts with groups like lenders and lawyers. They send us work; we can go out and do paperwork for them. The majority of our contracts are for lenders and title companies. We can also do real estate documents.
What services does Quar Notary offer?
The majority of our services are as mobile notary. We notarize documents for consumers, and then we have our contracts. For employers, we offer I-9 services, which employers use to verify citizenship. We do concierge services. For example, for lawyers, if they have clients who can’t come to them to sign documents, we’ll go out to those clients to get whatever documents they need signed. Every once in a while, we’ll do a field inspection. That’s when other companies — mostly banks — will ask us to go out to a client’s home to see if their house is vacant or if someone is still there. That usually happens if someone stops paying a mortgage. We also get a lot of work for powers of attorney and wills. Sometimes we are one of the last people to see a client. Sometimes, we have to see them on their deathbed, and that can be hard. We make sure we let them know that everything is going to be OK. We just try to reassure them that whatever documents they need taken care of, we will take care of to the best of our abilities.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Meeting the people. I meet so many different people from different walks of life.
What are some of your proudest accomplishment thus far?
I was a finalist this year for Young Entrepreneurship through the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center and the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado. People nominate you for those awards, so to have my business recognized in that way felt really good.
Also, throughout the pandemic, we’ve been able to have a strong business. We actually had a big increase in business. The mobile notary side slipped a little, but we saw an increase in the contract side. I’m also really proud that I’ve been able to hire employees. I have other contractors on my team. When people think of a notary, they don’t often think of it as a business. I’ve been able to grow this business to the point where I’m able to give other people work. There’s a total of four other contractors. I’m glad we’ve been able to make all of this happen during a pandemic. I never thought I was going to be able to grow this business.
What community organizations are you part of?
Right now, I’m in Leadership Now, which is a program of Leadership Pikes Peak. I’m really enjoying that because I’m learning a lot about myself and my leadership skills. I used to be part of The Thrive Network, which helped me to focus. After that class, that’s when everything with my business started increasing. It was a big help to my success. Now, I’m a member of the board for The Thrive Network.
I’m a co-founder of Be the Change 719. We started out with community cleanups last month, then we did Respect My Vote. We’re trying to bring resources to the Southeast side of town.
It’s very important to me — especially since I’m from Southeast — that we bring resources that are lacking to the area. We have to help our residents to grow. If we want to grow a community, the residents have to grow in their individual lives as well.
What are your plans for the future?
Because things have gone so well with my notary business, I actually plan to open another business pretty soon. I’m planning to open an ice cream shop in the Southeast area in the near future. I’m talking to property managers near the Sand Creek Library. Originally, I wanted to open this earlier this year but then COVID hit. It’s still coming though. So that’s the plan right now.
I hope to one day be part of a conversation about bringing a community center to the Southeast area. I want to continue to be a service to the Southeast side of the community. I just want to do as much as I can.