MaryJo Monroe is the answer to your organization prayers. She’s the founder of reSPACEd, a nationally recognized home & business Portland organizer, known for its innovative yet affordable solutions and compassionate approach. Besides being a pro when it comes to organizing everyday chaos, she advocates green design principles and knows how to make a home feel bright, spacious and warm. reSPACEd was your Totally Awesome pick for best Mom-Run Business and MaryJo recently took the time to talk about what makes reSPACEd awesome, her favorite success, and more. Read on:
Red Tricycle: Congratulations on being voted “Most Awesome” by your community! What do you think your customers value most about your business?
MaryJo Monroe: I provide home organizing, unpacking and room restyling services to Portland Metro families. Clients call me in when they are sick of looking at their clutter, but feel too overwhelmed to go through it themselves. Or perhaps they have moved weeks ago, but are still staring at moving boxes each day because unpacking seems so daunting. So I come in and make the piles disappear. I transform what was a cluttered, anxiety-producing space into a relaxing refuge. Clients are relieved to finally have those big projects finished. A huge weight has been lifted off their shoulders. They feel inspired in their spaces and look forward to coming home each day rather than seeing their home as yet another project to be completed.
RT: What inspired you to start your business?
MJ M: I worked in the floral/event design industry for many years, and I noticed that I was the only one who enjoyed cleaning out the cooler and reorganizing the storeroom. My co-workers and boss were so appreciative of these tasks that I wondered if I could turn them into a profession. I did some research and discovered the world of professional organizing.
I initially started out organizing spaces for the mamas in the Baby Boot Camp class I was in at the time. I got a reputation as someone who understands the organizational difficulties families face, and I started doing more organizing for families. The business has grown gradually since then.
RT: Any advice for new business owners just getting started?
MJ M: Research, research, research! Research the industry you are interested in and how it is performing in your town. Make sure there is a market for what you are selling. Just because your business would be viable in another town doesn’t mean it will be viable in YOUR town. So find that out before you sink your heart and soul (not to mention time and money) into your business idea.
RT: Can you give us one tip for balancing entrepreneurship with parenthood?
MJ M: Try to keep your children’s schedules (meals, bedtime) the same, even if your schedule is a little crazy. Kids need consistency. Happy kids = happy parents who have the peace of mind to focus on their business.
RT: What is your proudest moment as a business owner or parent?
MJ M: Some of my clients live in extreme disorganization and have not let anyone into their home for years. They cry with shame and are overwhelmed when I come in to do the initial assessment. When I can connect with them so they feel comfortable enough with me to start having regular organizing sessions, then I feel like I’m making a real difference in people’s lives.
RT: Is there a special offer you’d like to include for Red Tricycle readers?
MJ M: Take 25 percent off any 4-hour organizing or unpacking session. Offer good for one 4-hour session only. Four hours must be used all on the same day. Clients must live in the Portland Metro area. Call 971-226-6055 or email reSPACEd at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your 4-hour session.