For me, an ordered space facilitates a calm mind, which fosters peace. When things are organized, I can relax and enjoy life instead of constantly thinking about what else has to be done.
When you step into a big home improvement store, you’ve probably noticed there are A LOT of shelves full of A LOT of merchandise. I spent ten years as a manager at Home Depot and far from finding the shelves intimidating or overwhelming, my favorite task was organizing all that merchandise on all those shelves to make them look pretty.
Of course, not everyone would find such an endeavor appealing. But I’m someone for whom organizing comes pretty naturally. For me, an ordered space facilitates a calm mind, which fosters peace. When things are organized, I can relax and enjoy life instead of constantly thinking about what else has to be done.
Having a baby made me especially adept at organizing, by virtue of necessity. I was working at a boutique when my first child was a baby, and I quickly realized that having things I needed out of reach was not ideal. It’s a fairly obvious realization: a space is so much more functional if you can actually reach what you need. So I reorganized. When I had the same problem in my kitchen, I reorganized so I could reach everything one-handed (since the other hand was holding the baby). And then I rearranged my whole house.
Soon I was helping a few members of my family and some friends organize their homes. Then I saw an article about West Tenth. My curiosity was piqued: I’m big on community, on building relationships with my neighbors. I had wondered if there was a way to earn money with my organizing talents. West Tenth showed me it was not only possible, but absolutely doable.
Starting my business with West Tenth has exceeded my expectations for how smoothly the start-up process can be. The women I’ve worked with from West Tenth have been unwavering with their encouragement and support.
One big hesitation I had was I don’t have a lot of time and energy to devote to building a business, especially finding clients. As much as I’d love to throw everything I have behind my new business, I work full time and I have a baby. I have a strong work ethic, and I’m a woman of my word, but the idea of pushing full steam ahead was a nonstarter.
I think the single factor that made me willing to start with West Tenth was knowing that my business was completely on my terms. I did not feel any pressure from West Tenth to rush into something I didn’t have the capacity to manage. And now — thanks to West Tenth — I have my first recurring client and I am growing my business on my terms.
Moving from hobby to business has led to personal growth. I find I’m much more respectful of other people and their possessions. If a person is trusting you (and paying you!) to go into their home and help them with their belongings, you need to have a high level of respect for them and where they are in the process of going through items they might cherish. I have grown more aware of how different personalities approach organizing in different ways, because every person has different needs.
Already, I’ve noticed a change in how I present myself to the world. When people asked, “What do you do?” I used to say, “I’m an accountant at a law firm.” I still am an accountant at a law firm, but now when people ask what I do, I lead with my organizing business. I talk about my business every chance I get.
Eventually, I’d like to see my organizing business replace my full-time job. I want a flexible schedule but want to still be able to support my family.
My advice to other women contemplating starting a business is to ask, “Why not?” With West Tenth, there’s nothing you’ll lose in this journey. You can put in whatever time and focus you’ve got, and know that the support is there whether you want to put in 60 hours a week or 6 hours a month. I can’t take focus away from my family or my 9–5 job, and I haven’t been pressured to put in time and energy I don’t have. West Tenth understands my priorities. They want their storefront owners to succeed on their own terms. West Tenth is one of those rare opportunities that’s truly a win-win.
Work with Danielle by downloading the West Tenth App for iOS: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/west-tenth/id1478134804