I graduated with a Masters Degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University in 2000. At that time the economy was booming, so I had five job offers in corporate human resources and change management consulting. I accepted a position as a Human Resources Analyst at a bulge-bracket investment bank and I was off to the races.
My time spent working on Wall Street was some of the most difficult, yet insightful, experiences I’ve ever known. It was also life-changing to witness 9/11/01 unfold as a resident of New York City and watch not one, but two planes, crash into the twin towers with my own eyes. Perhaps one of my greatest achievements while working in New York aside from surviving the terrorist attack was obtaining a position in the Executive Development Program working directly for the Chief Executive Officer, a well-known Wall Street tycoon and billionaire.
My former boss at the time, the global head of HR, told me I was going to do something that he had never seen before, which was to start out my career at the pinnacle (an office on the executive floor work for the CEO) and then work my way back down. Yet for me, this was par for the course – I never took the common path. I was always the black sheep; the one who took the road less traveled and endeavored to do things in an unorthodox manner.
I was on a path to becoming an HR executive at another global financial institution when life threw me a giant curveball, I fell in love.
This is the perfect segway into the next chapter of my life which was to give up my career, everyone I knew and loved, and move to the desert to support my husband’s career. With a husband who is a traveling salesman, I needed a new career that would give me the flexibility to navigate my own schedule and be home in time to get my kiddos off the bus.
At age 39, I had the courage to started working as a professional residential organizer. I make my work transformational, not transactional. It’s not about making a junk drawer look like a Pinterest post, it’s about revolutionizing space and empowering clients to live their best life. Hence my business, Let Your Space Bloom, LLC, came to fruition.
The most challenging part of switching from one career to another was going from the stability of a career with a salary and benefits to an entrepreneur starting from ground zero.
I knew a lot about corporate America but very little about small businesses. I checked out many books from our local library and tried to flood my brain with every resource I could find. As my journey into entrepreneurship unfolded, I discovered the greatest knowledge came from trial and error, as opposed to anything I read from a book.
The branding of my business is largely tied to the work of Amelia Jenks Bloomer, a revolutionary women’s rights activist, who also happened to popularize the term “bloomers”. Her work has been a great source of inspiration in my own endeavors personally and professionally since the day I married a descendant of her nephew.
Amelia became truly famous when she wore a reformed style of dress that gave women more flexibility, mobility, and freedom than the constricting costumes of the day.
I’d add that it’s not just the costume of women that impacts her life, but also her environment.
Everyone should live in a space that is intentionally organized, one that suits their wants and needs and also enhances their mental and physical health. Every day, I’m able to move about freely and comfortably as I work in my clients’ space.
Creating a branding story that people can relate to is incredibly important, especially with a business that is so intimately involved in people’s lives.
It was also crucial to market my brand to my local community and network. I created a website, social media presence via Facebook and Instagram, and invested in print media promotion. Initially, I found many of my clients through referrals from my family and friends. Then as my brand recognition grew and the SEO on my website increased, I sourced many clients from Google and Instagram.
With the launch of Marie Kondo’s Netflix series, “Tidying Up,” in 2019, many people have tried to launch businesses as professional organizers. The secret to success is your brand and most, importantly, your approach. Organizing is an incredibly intimate business. It’s an honor and a privilege to be working in people’s homes.
There is no place for judgement during this process. In professional organizing, you work with all kinds of people in all kinds of spaces; it’s one of the reasons this type of work is so fascinating and fulfilling.
Ultimately it’s about changing the way clients use their space, allowing them to discover more time, resources, balance, and bliss. Furniture may be moved around, some items may be donated, storage systems reimagined, and existing spaces repurposed. Everyone’s journey is different and unique to them.
Now that I’ve been in business for a couple of years, I’m at the point where I need to consider hiring organizers to grow my business. As a solopreneur, I only have so much capacity on my own. Having said that, I also have ideas about creating other streams of income including book publication and/or creating organizing products. I’m taking my time and not rushing into any flippant decisions. This work is my life’s passion and I’m taking things slow and steady, with very calculated risks.
In the words of Simon Sinek, “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress: Working hard for something we love is called passion.” I encourage women to be brave, pursue their passions, and let their workspace grow and bloom.