2014 has been an amazing year for me professionally and I’m proud to say it! My hard work has paid off and my vision for expanding my brand into a business has actually happened. This year there have been so many great moments that I’ve stared with you on the blog, Facebook, and Instagram but today I wanted to collect my top 14 to reflect on where I’ve been.
I started the year in what seemed like a rat-race because the demand for my services was so high but I could only be in one or two places at a time. I could see Taylor and Al starting to get burned out and then Billy got pneumonia in March and I thought it was going to turn into that Seinfeld episode, “the whole office has the flu.” In the end we survived and then planned a job search to expand the estate team by adding a specialist. Much to our glee our HR gal Sutzi found us 2 amazing candidates and I made the executive decision to hire both. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. By seeing how we could all benefit with competent and wonderful people added to the team we added a metal and recycling guy to the mix along with Monica our events and special projects gal. The team is officially up to 11 and I can’t believe it! I AM SO LUCKY! Sorry, have to say that in all caps because I feel it everyday.
One of the greatest lessons that I learned this year is that the boss wears a lot of hats. I say this because #1, someone is always handing me a hat to try on for a photo and #2, I have become a teacher, a friend, a payroll company, a blogger, a management team, a CEO, a junk truck driver, a banker, and much more! The only job that I dislike is trying to figure out how to feed my team on big work-days. I really need a taco truck to follow us around, if you know anyone let me know!
We started off the year with a blog series called 8 Weeks to Home Organization Bliss. It was a great way for me to teach Taylor some of the organizing basics and review all of my past projects. It was also very helpful to many of you who follow the blog or pin the ideas on Pinterest. I’m looking forward to many before and afters and tips and tricks on the blog this year. Continue Reading »
Only a few days left in 2014 and I’m racing to the finish! I’m feeling so good about the progress that I made this week and I’m glad that I’ve made the time in my schedule to tie up loose ends so I can be better prepared for 2015. I told my friend Pam last night that I am like a car going 90 miles an hour at all times and I have a hard time slowing down. Over the last week I’ve made more time for myself that normal so I can gradually go from 90 miles to 60 miles to 45 miles to 0 miles so I can fully enjoy the holidays. I hope that makes sense to you!
We haven’t had any available openings for new organizing clients since October of this year so it was great to squeeze in one big new client project before the year-end. This client is a very talented teacher and artist but her physical disability has caused her to get behind on the maintenance and systems in her existing craft studio. I’m excited to be apart of the transformation and can’t wait to see the final results. We have our second purging session today and then go back in January to install products and get the space organized, it’s going to be great. Her home is located just a few blocks from the beach in Santa Cruz, a town that we typically do not travel to but it’s been great to see the ocean and smell the sea air.
After our first session this Monday with our craft client we headed home with 14 hefty garbage bags full of arts and craft supplies. I took them to RAFT, a resource center for teachers in the Silicon Valley area. They were so excited to receive all of the goodies and my client was happy for her unwanted items to find a new home. Continue Reading »
Eleven down…1 to go! I’m happy to report that I survived November, it is the month when “worlds collide” at Kuzak’s Closet. All of my organizing clients need organizing sessions before the holidays and the estate projects that come by way have to be handled before year-end. I will admit that much of my survival is credited to a week-long trip to London during the first week of the month. I packed my bags and left Taylor and Al in charge. It’s no surprise that things were handled perfectly.
I left for my trip at the tail end of the Campbell tool sale, a huge project that was fun for the staff and also led us to hiring our latest team member, Yovan. He is like a flash of lightning, always on the move and quick to help. He has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to recycling which is a key element to both facets of my business. Aside from the Campbell tool sale we organized one of the most memorable estate sales of my career in Los Altos Hills. I’ll talk more about that later in this post.
The first of November marked my 10 year anniversary of being a professional organizer and my 5 year anniversary of moving Kuzak’s Closet to California. To reflect on the occasion I put together my top 5 secrets to success in Silicon Valley…here is #4, you can read the full post here. There is a rumor that my tips may be featured in a major publication by the end of this year so stay tuned for that!
While I was away we partnered up with ModCloth for a fun fashion post about layering. It was perfect timing because the weather in California was just starting to get chilly. I’ve been living in cardigans, scarves, and leggings and I couldn’t be happier. Fall is the easiest time for me to shop and feel comfortable in my clothes. Do you have a season that works best for you? Continue Reading »
This week while Amanda was away on vacation the team decided it would be fun to document a Day in the Life at one of our Estate Liquidations in Los Altos. Kuzak’s Closet has offered Estate Liquidation services ever since Amanda started her business, but only within the last year has the service included a private sale – and they are so fun! What is the general criteria for a Kuzak’s Closet Estate Liquidation? Time crunch, partial contents of a house and everything must go – all in 1 day! The private sale is like a treasure hunt and advertised via our eList so click HERE to be added.
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Another month down, its hard to believe we only have 2 months left before we close the books on 2014. October was full of exciting things at Kuzak’s Closet and in my own personal life. We had an event with a global brand, we held several estate sales and liquidations, we organized homes in Silicon Valley, and most importantly I made time to get away for a few days to visit my family.
I kicked off the month with a fall event at Kate Spade at Santana Row! I was so excited to partner up with them. I love their fashion and I thought it made sense to see how we could incorporate Kuzak’s Closet vintage style with their classy timeless looks. I was able to hit the store for a little modeling gig before the event, sharing some of my favorite pieces with all of you on the blog last month. On the day of the event, my entire staff came to support. All of the gals even had a beauty day at DryBar and then we mingled with some of our friends and lots of new friendly faces. It was a great experience and it really has encouraged me to branch out more in the future. I think its really important to find new avenues to promote a business and brand, while having a good time, do you know what I mean?
It’s been my goal in 2014 to find more work-life balance. I’m still a workaholic but thanks to my staff I have been able to take more time for myself, my friends and my family without feeling guilty. For example, my friend Willem organized a fun day in Napa (he does this often but I typically can’t make it due to estate sale conflicts) and I made it a priority to go. Chris and I met up with him and our other friends Leah and Jen for lunch. Then we did a few tastings before enjoying wonderful dinner together at Bottega in Yountville.
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Happy Friday folks! I’m up late writing this post after a long day of work. We had an amazing estate liquidation in Palo Alto today and when the house was empty (at 4pm) I headed over to this weekend’s estate sale house to price and put on final touches. I came home to dinner on the table (thanks Chris) and about 4 hours of work to catch up on. Most people would just go to bed and put it off but I know that with the pace we are working I don’t have that option.
I still can’t believe we are on our 4th estate this week! My first year in California I only did 2 estate projects the entire year, man things have changed! The next 8 weeks will be extra busy with clients that want to tackle organizing projects and estate projects before the year-end. I always anticipate this so I took a much-needed week off last week to travel to Michigan and North Carolina for some milestone events in my family. My dad celebrated a birthday, my granny turned 90, my nephew turned 2, and my newest niece was baptized.
Being the organizer that I am I coordinated making it to all of the events and I am so glad. We started the trip in North Carolina and spent a few days with my brother Nick and his family and my brother Christopher. My sister also flew in for the weekend making it the first time in 2 years that my siblings were all together. My parents were so glad to get to spend time with us as a group and we had a lot of fun. We cruised around Lake Norman on a pontoon boat, had drinks, shopped, and celebrated. Continue Reading »
My friend Billy is someone very special to me. Billy has worked at Kuzak’s Closet for several years and oversees the muscle of our operation. There is very little I wouldn’t do for him, but when he asked me to invite 50+ people to my house so he could roast a pig in my backyard I was a bit nervous. His vague details about what to expect had the organizing wheels in my head turning for weeks. His recurring answer to all questions was “don’t worry, be happy.” That’s Billy! A few days before the event he gave me a short shopping list and told me to alert the fire department because there would be smoke. I did my best to hold back my concerns (the shopping list was short!) and trusted that he knew what he was doing. The pressure was on! Among the crowd were Googlers from my husband’s office, along with most of the Kuzak’s Closet team, a fantastic array of local friends and Billy’s family (including his brother and son who flew in from Texas exclusively for the event!).
I love to entertain. My house is often open to dinner guests and frequent last minute gatherings but the event that happened last weekend was something that will be forever in my heart and soul. As my friend Ruth and her family packed their to-go boxes at the end of the night she summed up the evening delightfully, “I feel like we all need to say goodbye before we head to the airport”. Ruth was exactly right, for one magical evening it did feel like 50 people were taken away to a little island called Tonga. Continue Reading »