Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Day in the Life of a Houston Concierge: Eco Modern Concierge During Houston Super Bowl 51

During Super Bowl 51 I rented a loft in Downtown Houston because I knew there were several things that I would need to do in the downtown area leading up to / during the Super Bowl. Having a concierge company and doing various personal assistant for clients you never know what you will get asked to do, so I wanted to stay in downtown so I didn't have to worry about parking and so I could walk or take public transportation. Besides obviously having to work, I also got to enjoy various things that I normally don't get to while in downtown like going to new stores, bars, restaurants, etc. So below is just various things I did one day while in town. It wasn't my busiest day, but one full of all kinds of things. I also forgot to take photos of the entire day, but hey what can I do. 

1st I got up early to go to yoga. I go to YMCA in downtown and love it. 

Fun surprises walking to yoga. The cool thing is you can see it from the yoga room. Love is everywhere.

I popped into the office for a bit to catch up on emails and various other things. 

View from the office. It was a gorgeous day that day and a perfect day to be outside. 

Walking in downtown.

There was a pop up shop called Launch happening during the Super Bowl near Discovery Green, so I went and loved it. I got a few small items from Stash.

I stopped in Vic & Anthony's to get a gift certificate. We ended up going there later that night and met my brother-in-law and his girlfriend there for dinner. Peyton and Eli Manning happened to be there the same night. I am not an avid football fan, but it was still cool.

Super Bowl themed treats I picked up and took to a vendor. 

Greenstreet in Downtown had various pop up shops. One being Mizzen + Main that my brother-in-law raves about, so I stopped in and picked something up for Bryan for Valentine's Day. 

View from above Discovery Green. 

Filming on the balcony of one of my client's buildings. 

I went to Discovery Green to take photos of all of the Super Bowl things with my fancy camera and the Puppy Bowl was going on. It was too cute!

I am part of Tidbits Front Row and there was a free drink voucher at Brasserie Du Parc, so after I finished up work and at Discovery Green I headed over there. 

I can't remember exactly what I had, but it was something with a little spice in it and it was super good. 

More walking Downtown.

The Metro all ready for Super Bowl.

I went to check out Tongue Cut Sparrow, which had just opened the day before. It is a cool little hidden bar in Downtown. Plus, they have Buried Hatchet, one of my favorite dark beers by Southern Star.

These were mats in front of most restaurants Downtown. Later in the evening. I went back to the loft got ready for dinner and then we had a night cap at the Craft Beer Cellar and Flying Saucer. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Interviewing Etiquette: Dos and Don'ts

The past several months I have been interviewing candidates for clients here in Houston and have learned some things that need to be noted when applying for a position. Although I am not a staffing agency and do mostly concierge work, I still have clients that are looking for personal assistants on a regular basis here in Houston. I have really enjoyed helping others find employment.

Show Up. If you are scheduled for an interview actually show up. If you don't plan on showing up, then at least call and let the employer know.
Be Punctual. It's as simple as that. Show up on time. If you know traffic may be bad then plan ahead or at least call the potential employer.
Send in Your Resume. If you are applying for a job actually send in your resume. I can't tell you how many people send me an email and say "please contact me if you want my resume." What?!?! The answer to me contacting you is NO. No, you will not be considered for the position especially if the job description specifically says please send resume or attach your resume.
Check Your Attire and Hygiene. If you are going for an interview wear the appropriate attire and make sure your hygiene is fresh. Don't come to the interview in crop tops.
Communicate. If you are going to be late or miss something let the interviewer know. Don't just show up super late expecting them to see you right way.
Listen. Listen to what the potential employer is saying. Don't be staring off into space like you don't care. If you really are not interested then say so.
Do Your Research. Research the position and ask questions about it if there is something you don't know.
Be Courteous. Always be respectful of others and use good manners.
Smile. Just smile and be happy that you have an interview. If you show no expression at all it makes it look like you do not care to be there.
Make Eye Contact. Look the employer in the eye and try not to wonder around too much.
Practice Your Handshake. A nice firm handshake is always a good idea.
Ask Questions. If you don't know something ask questions. It's better to ask then to assume.
Follow Up. After you interview with the potential employer follow up with them and thank them for the interview this can be a simple email.
Read Over Your Resume. Make sure there are no grammar and formatting issues on your resume. If there are a ton of grammatical errors I usually don't even consider the candidate because that shows me they can't write well and I am often times looking for someone who can write various correspondence.
Put Your Contact Info on Your Resume. I make phone calls to do phone interviews and if your resume doesn't have a phone number on it how are we supposed to get in contact with you? Especially if there is not an email address either.
Phone Etiquette. Speaking of the phone, be sure that your voicemail box is not full and that you have an appropriate ringtone and greeting on your voicemail. If anything is inappropriate I more than likely will not call you back.
No outside noise. If I call and you say you are able to do a phone interview please go to a quiet area with not a lot of outside noise. It is very distracting when you keep talking to your kids and interrupting the interview, the t.v. is on, there is a lot of traffic noise, etc. This shows me you do not care as much about the position.
Read the job description thoroughly. Please apply for the job only if you have read through the job description thoroughly. If I post that it is a part time position, but you are looking for full time employment I probably won't bring you in for an interview because it is not what we are looking for.

Do you have anything to add?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Tools of the Trade for a Concierge

There are so many things that are necessary for a concierge, but below are some of the tools of the trade that are necessary to be good at what we do. This post is piggy backing off this past article that I wrote last year. 

Planner. Whether it is a paper one or an electronic one this is necessary to keep track of clients and schedules. 
Pen & Pencil. I almost always have a pen or pencil with me to keep track of everything that is necessary. I am constantly writing things down.
Electronics. Computer, phone, headphones, etc. are necessities for a concierge because this is how we conduct a good chunk of our business. 
Tape measure. Since I am a professional organizer I carry a small tape measure in my purse. It comes in handy for so many different things. 
Cash. You should have cash on hand most of the time because you never know when you will need it for parking, valet, tips, etc. 
Vendors. Any good concierge has a list of vendors that they prefer using on a regular basis. 
List of resources. Besides vendors you should have a list of resources like stores, individuals, companies, websites, etc. that you can refer to when needed. 
Network. There are so many networking events you can go to and ways to network. This is how you meet others who may be interested in hiring a concierge.
Get to know your area. I do a lot of business in the downtown Houston area, so I am constantly walking and talking with all kinds of people and businesses. 
Professional organizations. Join professional organizations that may be beneficial to your business. I am part of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), among other organizations,  because I am a professional organizer. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Go to New Mom Gift: Mini Champagne

I feel like everyone is having babies lately! My go to new mom gift for many years has been these cute Sofia mini wine cans. As a concierge I often get asked what to get as gifts for others. They are fun and perfect for new moms. If you are in Houston, you can find these just about anywhere where wine is sold. I know that many new moms do not drink for some time after their pregnancy, but I usually give these along with a baby gift. What do you like to give to new moms and dads after they have a baby?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Made in the USA: Behrens Trashcan

Surprisingly, I have bought several different trashcans throughout the years for clients and personally, which is a pretty random thing to by on a regular basis. Having a concierge business you never know what you will get asked to buy. I am always a fan of the metal trashcans because they are usually made in the USA and pretty durable. I have found these Behrens at several different stores throughout Houston. Do you have a favorite trashcan you like?

Friday, March 10, 2017

Eco St. Patrick's Day Ideas

There are so many eco things you can do for St. Patrick's Day if you are one for celebrating. This year it is on a Friday, so hopefully you have the weekend off if you celebrate. Here is a small list of ideas:
  • Get to know your local area. If you are in Houston you can drink local beer as you float down the local Buffalo Bayou with a boat tour. Details here.
  • Drink a green juice. Trade in the green beer for a healthier alternative like a green juice. 
  • Wear what you have. Don't go out buy new clothing to celebrate if you don't have to, just where something green if you already have it. If not, buy organic or support local. 
  • Support local. Drink local beer or bike/walk/carpool to local events if you are going out. 
  • Eat organic, local food. If you are cooking buy organic &/or local food. There are many farmers and meat markets around Houston where you can get organic and sustainable food options. 
  • Reuse. Make your own decorations and use ones from previous ones. 
  • Plant something green. Help the environment out and plant something green whether this is a tree, herb or succulent. 
  • Recycle. If you are hosting a party or going out, recycle what you can. Whether this is cans, plastic, paper, etc.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Eco Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Anyone super excited for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR)?! I am on the recycling committee and wanted to point out an eco feature about this big event that happens every year in Houston. This committee was referred to me by a colleague and I was super excited when she told me about it because anything eco and green is right up my ally. HLSR is more eco than I thought because they recycle a TON of things so they do not end up in landfills. This is something that many do not realize and is something that HLSR is committed to doing in helping raise money for scholarships, for the environment and for Houston.

Last week I worked the World Championship Barbecue Cookoff at HLSR and we went around and gathered cardboard from all the tents and then took them to the compactor. HLSR gets money for everything that is recycled and the money goes towards scholarships for the kids. The more we recycle the more money goes back to the kids. It's a win, win all around.