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This family of 14 values patience, hard work, and lots of love.

Schwarz-1Sethea’s mother, Ethel, never learned how to drive. She didn’t want to. She always said that if she did, she and Robert would drift apart, and she wanted them to stay close.

Though her 12 children were a lot more interested in driving than she was, her desire for strong relationships left an impact. The Schwarz family is very close-knit. They work and play together, sharing lots of laughs along the way. 

Sethea was number nine of her 12 siblings. Ethel was also number nine of 12, and she loved having a big family. 

“When we got older, Mom said if she would have known how it would have turned out, she would have had twice as many kids,” Sethea said.

Sethea’s father, Robert, worked as an inspector for an aluminum company. He had such good insurance through his job that it only cost them one dollar to have a baby—and that was for the hospital identification bracelet! At the time, Ethel would stay in the hospital for a week after each delivery. 

“For her, it was a vacation away from everybody!” Sethea laughed.

With 12 helpers, chores in the Schwarz household didn’t take long. Ethel taught her children to do things with excellence. If they made a mistake, she would show them what they did wrong and instruct them to do it again. She taught them to cook, and, as they got older, the kids began making meals for their younger siblings. Feeding 14 people on one income didn’t leave much wiggle room, but God always provided for their needs.

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“My parents didn’t have much money, but they definitely gave us a strong foundation of love, understanding of others, patience, consideration, and hard work,” Sethea said.

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Ethel taught her kids that if you work hard and have patience, it will pay off. She also instilled in them the importance of treating people the way you want to be treated. 

Sethea said she’s been shocked at the employees she’s had over the years who don’t share that same understanding. They want to succeed, but they don’t necessarily want to put in the hard work. Sethea knows she’s fortunate that her parents taught her the importance of sacrifice and hard work, and she’s seen it pay off time and time again with her clients. 

“When you take time with people and you sacrifice your own time—like waiting for someone if they’re running late—it all pays off in time,” she said. 

Sethea has learned the value of being kind, understanding, and offering a listening ear. Whether it’s with one of her 11 siblings or with a client in her barber chair, she’s seen those qualities create lasting relationships that are worth having.

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