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From Cancer To Calling

The Unforeseen Journey of Finally Home Services

Article by Carol Fite Lynn

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Franklin Lifestyle

Growing up in the heart of Nashville, Bonnie Paik never imagined she’d become an entrepreneur or owner of a unique business that found its roots in the most unexpected circumstances.

“Some would say, especially my husband, that I’m bossy, so maybe it was my destiny, even though I never thought I’d be an actual ‘boss,’” said Paik. “I wanted to be a meteorologist when I was little – the weather girl.”

In November 2015, Paik’s life took a profound turn, leading her to become not just a boss, but the visionary behind Finally Home Services.

That fall, Paik and her husband decided to pivot from their urban, “tall-skinny” home to a house in the suburbs that had been on the market for more than 100 days in an incredibly hot local housing market. They frantically readied their current home for sale, listed it, and made an offer on their dream home. But as is often the case in Middle Tennessee’s chaotic real estate landscape, they lost their dream home to another bidder, while simultaneously receiving an offer too good to refuse on their existing home.

“We listed our house in order to buy the ‘perfect’ home,” says Paik. “In one conversation with our realtor, we lost the house we wanted to buy and the one we lived in. This was early November, so no inventory until spring. We were devastated!” They accepted the offer on their home and reluctantly pulled together a plan to move into a rental property in their current neighborhood until they could find their next home. Five days later Paik received the call no one wants from their doctor.

“I got a call at 7 p.m. from my doctor. She told me I had thyroid cancer,” Paik recounted. “First, I’m homeless, and now I have freaking cancer?! I thought ‘OK, God. What gives? What did I do to deserve this? I’m a good mom and wife. I give of my time, talent and resources. C’mon!’”

Fueled by steadfast perseverance and a commitment to keep things together for her family, Paik had her thyroid removed that December and moved into her rental home five days later. “The first night, we had no hot water. The second night, there were roaches in the shower. I never felt clean or settled. We were living in less than 1,000 square feet and my in-laws came for Christmas two weeks after my surgery. I’m surprised my husband is still alive,” she recalled with surprisingly good humor.

In a moment of quiet, post-move reflection while receiving treatment for her thyroid cancer, Paik discovered her calling. "I really felt a push to help people in the moving process. This is how Finally Home Services came to be. This is my calling," she says.
“You never expect cancer to be a part of your journey, but sometimes, it's through the hardest battles that we find our greatest strength. People hate moving so much, and I love it! To take this off their plate and help put people at ease, that is what motivates me."

A few months later, the family secured a contract on their new “dream” home, and as they settled in, Paik began laying the groundwork for Finally Home Services. Starting with free moves for friends and refining the business model, they officially launched in May 2016. She recalled her initial thoughts, "Lord, if I can have one paid move this summer, Finally Home Services will be on a roll." Their first summer saw an astounding 22 paid moves. From that modest beginning, Finally, Home Services blossomed, completing over 600 moves in six years and supporting families nationwide.

Amidst the challenges, triumphs and the rhythm of daily life, one sentiment remains constant for Paik: gratitude. "I’m thankful for this gift of a company and that I’m the one who gets to do it," she said. It's a sentiment that encapsulates not just the success of Finally Home Services but also the fulfillment that she finds in the unexpected journey she has undertaken.