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Women who make it run: Laura Small of Holladay Properties

By: Jennifer Arzola Last Updated: July 20, 2022

Look for Laura Small and you will find her engaged in something she is passionate about. A project architect for Holladay Properties in Portage, Small not only is an award-winning businessperson - she’s also a devoted family woman who finds the greatest joy in building and supporting her community.

With seven locations across the United States, Holladay Properties’ Portage office provides real estate services such as construction, design, and property management. Throughout Holladay, Laura Small is one of the essential "Women Who Make it Run."

Becoming an architect was an easy decision for Small. Combining her love of art and math, Small found that architecture was the perfect fit.

“I always liked to draw,” Small said. “Freshmen year [in high school] I ended up taking shop class with mostly males in the class, but [I] really enjoy[ed] the electrical class and the technical drawing class. Then through high school [I] just continued - I really enjoyed the math behind it as well.”

At Holladay, Small works with clients to create their perfect space - from initial drawings to completion. For Small it’s the end of a project, not the beginning, that is truly gratifying.

“It's really interesting to see a project actually get built - seeing it through the process and through all the steps to completion,” Small said.

Small takes great care in supporting clients through the transformation from a two-dimensional drawing to a three-dimensional structure.

“With clients, you'll get an idea or a scope of work of what they're wanting to build,” Small said. “Then you work along with them and their staff designing a new building. You end up producing drawings and working through those drawings. [Next], the construction continues through all the way through until the end, which means we're looking at door frames, hardware, and flooring.”

Small also finds passion in helping others. Holladay’s mission statement asks its employees to improve their communities with service. Small is the perfect fit.

As a Woman Who Makes it Run at Holladay, Small contributes to the company’s mission of service by being the Co-Chair of Holladay’s Community Investment Group.

As co-chair, Small works to organize community events multiple times a year.

“I work with our volunteer group. Every spring and fall we have a service week. I call charitable 501(c)(3) organizations where we go out, and we have the opportunity for the entire company to go and help,” Small said.

“Being able to give back and being able to do something for others is just amazing,” Small said. "I think everybody feels it’s enriching. It enriches us and enriches our souls.”

Supporting Northwest Indiana is vital for Small because she believes this is a special place.

“Indiana offers such a variety of things and opportunities. It’s a wonderful place to raise a family. We’re close enough to Chicago, but we're a small town (Small lives in Crown Point),” Small said. "So just it's a wonderful community of neighbors.”

Lucky to be surrounded by a large loving family, Small notes that having loved ones brings her so much joy.

“My children are grown; I just love spending time with them. I [also] have siblings that live in the area. So, our family unit I think is really interesting. [It] feels very loving, open, and inviting. I think that our family is pretty rare these days,” Small said

Working to juggle work, family, and self is not something that comes easily to us all. For Small, it’s all about balance.

“Trying to find that balance is so important. I try to keep my work, my family, and my faith all equal,” Small said.

Hoping to encourage other working women, Small looks for opportunities to mentor and support women as they navigate both work and family.

“Even if they're not architects - just supporting them in a world where we're females,” Small said. “We have families. We have children. We do a lot of other roles - a lot of hats to wear besides just being in the profession that we chose. We are all balancing.”

For more information on Holladay Properties, please visit holladayproperties.com