12 May 2023 501Der Women 2023: Sharon Freyaldenhoven
Sharon Freyaldenhoven helped start not one, but two, iconic businesses in Conway. The family name is well known through Freyaldenhoven Heating and Cooling. The heating and air business was started by her late husband, Bob, and her late brother-in-law Buck.
“I consider my marriage and my [two] children my biggest accomplishments. Bob and I were married two months shy of 50 years when he died of cancer. He was not only my foundation, but the rock of the family and the business and is sorely missed.” When Bob and Buck Freyaldenhoven opened their business in 1970 in a garage and with two trucks, Sharon and her sister-in-law Judy were integral to the operation. No one had heard of a cellphone or even a cordless phone in those days. The women answered their home phones and transferred calls via a CB radio.
In 1989, Sharon started Kicks Active Wear. Although she no longer owns it, “I’m proud that the business I began … is still one of the oldest retail businesses downtown and still operating and thriving,” she said.
In addition to enjoying five grandchildren and one great-grandchild, she is a published author of two children’s books, one of which won a national award. “I still write short stories and occasionally enter them in various contests just for fun,” she said. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Don’t be so afraid to try new things or to do the things you always secretly wanted to do. Dig out your shoes and dance! Pick up a mic and sing! Find a pen and write!
“I am a member of Rotary International. For many years I volunteered in the Miss America Scholarship program. When I first opened my business, I was active in Main Street Conway.”
She has advice for others wanting to start a business. “Anyone beginning their career should keep their standards high and never lower them, and never stop learning about their trade and looking for ways to improve themselves. I see more women taking active roles in city government and opening businesses. It is those steps forward that keep our city thriving. There are so many strong women everywhere I turn,” she said.
And Sharon Freyaldenhoven is counted among them.
Contact Freyaldenhoven Heating & Cooling today at 501.329.2951 or learn more at freyaldenhoven.com.