Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Some of my Favorite Yoga Books

For some reason I thought I had already written this post before, but searching the archives I saw that I actually had not written it yet. Anyway, here are 4 of my favorite yoga books. I love yoga, but have not gotten to practice it as much this year because I have a cyst in my wrist that has kept me from hyperextending my wrist & making it difficult to do yoga. I find all of these books to be very helpful. Since I book yoga classes here in Houston and in other cities for my personal assistant clients, I have seen many studios recommend these books as well.

The Yoga Practice Guide & The Yoga Practice Guide 2: What I love about these books that they have great illustrated yoga sequences and it is easy to follow.

Yoga Anatomy: I love this book because it goes over parts of your body/muscles you are using with certain poses. To me it is very detailed and great to know exactly what your body is doing in particular poses.

The Language of Yoga: I really like this book because when I was doing my yoga training, I had to learn the sanskrit names and this book was great in helping me learn them.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Memorial Day!

Hope you are enjoying a wonderful Memorial Day and remembering those who have served.

Friday, May 26, 2017

5 Things to Organize This Weekend

  • Clean out your fridge. Get rid of all old and expired food, drinks, etc from your fridge. Then really clean each shelf and drawer. 
  • Go through those piles. Do you have a stacks of papers just hanging out? Go through those stacks. If it a ton of stacks, break it down to 5-7 each weekend until you get through them all. 
  • Delete old photos / videos from your phone. If you are like me you have a TON of photos/videos on your phone that you don't need. Delete those photos. It will give you more space on your phone. I know I am in constant need of more space on my phone.
  • Delete old apps. Speaking of phone organization, delete all those old apps you no longer use/need and that just take up space. My husband constantly makes fun of me because I have a TON of apps. 
  • Tackle the junk drawer. Ahhh the dreaded junk drawer. This weekend go through it and really get rid of things you don't need in there like old batteries, rubber bands, trash, receipts, etc.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Made in the USA: Henna 'N' Placenta

I almost didn't post about this product because I am not a fan of it personally even though I have used it. I have seen so many people rave about this product and thought I would give it a go. I have thick wavy hair naturally and have blowed dried it more in the past year than I have in previous years, so I was hoping to restore my hair. Usually if I change up products my hair is smoother and flatter than normal. I used this Henna 'N' Placenta in the shower and then styled my hair afterwards and WHOA my hair was BBBIIIGGGG like WAY bigger than normal after I style it. So I said nope to using it again for me, but for other hair types this may be a great product for you. It did make my hair super soft though. It is made in the USA, that is why I am posting about it. You can find it at Sally's Beauty for a few bucks.

Have you used it? Do you like  it?

Friday, May 19, 2017

10 Ways to Show Clients You Appreciate Them

I am absolutely so thankful for all the amazing clients that I have. Houston clients and far away clients have showed me so much love through the years and many I have built great relationships with, which I am very appreciative of. Whether I am an doing just general concierge work, professional organizing, personal assistance work, or eco consulting, I really like to show clients ways I appreciate them. I am not perfect and it doesn't always happen, but I still like to do various things for clients here and there.
  1. Write a thank you note. I personally like to handwrite thank you notes because to me they are more personal. I think an email and / or text (if you are on a texting basis with your client), is sufficient as well. Something about a handwritten note seems to stand out.
  2. Give away tickets to a local event. Often times I will do an email blast offering clients tickets to various things that may be in town like concerts, sporting events, etc.
  3. Gift them with their favorite bottle of wine / liquor / beer. Especially during the holidays, I like to send various clients a token of my appreciation for the year of work they have provided me with and give them a bottle of Veuve Clicquot or if I know they like a particular wine or other spirit, I will often send it to them.
  4. Send treats. I will randomly give clients some sort of local Houston treat, whether this is fortune cookies, cookies, macarons, donuts, etc. They are usually pretty appreciative.
  5. Give a charitable gift in their honor. If you know your client supports a particular charity donate to that cause in their honor. As sad as it is, if you know a client's loved one has passed away donate to a charity in their honor.
  6. Start a referral program. At Eco Modern Concierge we have a referral program and for every person that is referred to us by a current client and that person books 3 or more hours worth of work, we give the referring client a free hour of work, donate to a charity in their name or give them a $50 gift certificate to The Container Store.
  7. Go above and beyond. Just provide amazing general customer service. Go above and beyond your normal tasks. If you see something that needs to be done and isn't in your realm of what you do then just do it. For example, if I am at a client's house and I see that their are newspapers in the yard I usually bring them to the front. Or if you know a client you are working for is sick or under the weather, bring them some chicken noodle soup.
  8. Remember customer preferences. Remember what your customers and clients do and don't like. Since I do a lot of errands and personal assistant tasks I know products and items that my clients like. I know Houston local businesses that are prefered by certain clients and what they like from those places. In professional organizing projects I do in Houston and away I know where clients like to keep things, etc.
  9. Reward customers that show you love online by leaving reviews. If a client leaves you awesome feedback by reviewing your business online, offer them a free hour or session. Maybe send them a discount code, etc. 
  10. Give clients a discount on your rate just because. Randomly reward clients when they least expect it. Offer them a discount code or just take a certain amount or percentage off their next invoice just because. This is often much appreciated and unexpected.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What to Take to the Theatre

Going to the theatre is one of my favorite things to do. I absolutely love everything about the theatre. From the singing and dancing to the costumes. My mother-in-law and I both have season tickets and love going.

Here are some of my go-tos to have when visiting the theatre.

Tickets - of course!
Sippy Cup - In Houston at The Hobby Center where many plays and musicals are held you can bring your drink into the theatre if it has a lid and is one of these (pictured above) cups. Currently they are $3 and so worth the investment if you go often. My mother-in-law and I love getting bloody mary's or just a sprite on days we don't feel like drinking alcohol.
Shaw / Scarf - If you are cold natured this may be a good idea to bring. I usually always bring one.
Binoculars - Our seats are up high so I like to bring binoculars to see actors / actresses faces a little better.
Money - In case you want to buy something.
Phone / Camera - There is usually a place to take photos in the lobby in front of a fun sign for that show.

What are some of your must have theatre items?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Made in the USA: Mizzen + Main

Mizzen + Main came to Houston for a pop-up shop during the Super Bowl and while I was out and about for a concierge client I thought I would stop in real quick. My brother-in-law loves their clothing because they wick away moisture, wrinkle reducing, stylish and comfortable. I bought a few things for Bry for Valentine's Day and he loves them. The company is from Dallas and the clothing is made in the USA. They are a little pricy than other clothing, but worth it.

Have you or anyone you know tried their clothing? What are your thoughts?

Friday, May 12, 2017

Top 10 Things I Get Asked to Do Most Often As a Concierge

As a concierge company in Houston, I get asked to do ALL kinds of tasks. Usually nothing is too big or too small and I will do just about anything if it is legal and I morally / ethically feel comfortable with it. There are several other concierge companies in Houston that do personal assistance & professional organizing, but not a whole lot that have an eco conscious niche. Below are some things that I get asked to do most often.
  1. Organization Projects. I do a ton of organization projects through the year whether it is home, office, closet, storage units, etc. They are all usually a ton of fun.
  2. Errands. I get asked so often to do just general errands. This includes, but not limited to, grocery runs, dry cleaning, postal services, gift shopping, etc. 
  3. House sit ins. I do this for people who can't be home for the electrician, painters, cable people, etc. 
  4. Help with events. I am not an event planner per se, but I do get asked to facilitate and assist with many events through the years. Many of times it is event prep, pre-plannning and logistics. I do also help secure locations for clients, etc.
  5. Recycle drop offs. Surprisingly, not all of Houston has recycle pick ups, so I get asked to take recycling to recycle centers a lot. 
  6. Research. I research a lot of things for clients on a regular basis and it includes dining options, traveling recommendations, local services they need help finding, business research they want outsourced, etc. 
  7. Travel arrangements. I make travel arrangements for clients pretty regularly because a good chunk of my clients travel often. They usually need help finding out what to do, where to eat, etc. 
  8. Eco knowledge. Although this isn't a specific task in particular, many of my clients do like that I have an eco niche and am eco conscious. I get asked about ways to green their home / business and products to use, etc. 
  9. General personal assistant tasks. I get asked to do a lot of general personal assistant tasks like making calls, filing, bill pay, errands, book appointments, buying tickets, etc. 
  10. Scheduling. I get asked to do a ton of scheduling whether this is spa services, client appointments for business executives, in home services, office services, meetings, etc.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Made in the USA: Sterilite Mini Trashcan

This is another made in the USA trashcan post. I recently had to pick up a small trashcan for a client who wanted to store potting soil inside. She wanted something that could stay outside with a lid and would not rust. The Sterilite Utility Garbage Pail was the perfect mini trashcan to store the soil in. I got it at Berings in Houston. The plus was it is made in the USA. Having a concierge company and being a personal assistant in Houston I have a few go-to places where I can find just want I am looking for and knew exactly where I would find what I was looking for. 

Do you have a favorite trashcan? Not the most glamorous topic, but it's a necessity in every household.

Friday, May 5, 2017

5 Misconceptions About Personal Concierge Companies

There are so many misconceptions about concierges and I wanted to highlight some
  • They are for rich people. This is definitely not the case. I work with such a large range a variety of individuals, whether this is teachers, lawyers, marketing professionals, entrepreneurs, stay at home moms, and the list goes on and on. I just tell others that people hire me because they need help in a specific area or that is what they want to spend their money on for the moment. Just like my husband and I like to spend money on trying new restaurants. 
  • That we will purposely take our time to charge more. For me this is a big NO. I absolutely love what I do and try to go at a fast, efficient pace, but sometimes that is just not possible. There are many days that I want to get home as quickly as possible just like anyone else, but take my time to make sure things are done right.
  • They don't care about the client. WHAT?!?! Personally, I try to build a relationship with all my clients whether they use my services once a week or once every 2 years. I love the relationships that I get to form with my clients and try to continue to grow it. 
  • They aren't relevant because of personal assistant apps. Things are changing in the concierge world, but with that said I do think personal concierges are still very relevant. Like I said above, I try to build relationships with my clients and with app services you can't always do that because there is a different person usually each time. I do love some of the time saving apps, but do see where some people still crave that personal one on one time.
  • They are competitive. I think every business is competitive to a degree, but like have I said before I view it as community over competition in the concierge world because Houston is so big and I cannot possibly handle every single need of every Houstonian. There are some companies in the concierge / professional organizing world that are competitive, but I have referred work to other companies on many occasions and vice versa. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Made in the USA: Photo boxes

Throughout the year I do various photo organizing projects for clients. In fact, I have a few I have been working on. As a professional organizer you get asked to deal with photos a lot. Photo organizing for actual printed photos and digital photos are the two most common projects. There is actually a great organizer locally here in Houston that deals only with photo organizing and is a complete expert. The Container Store here in Houston has some awesome options of made in the USA photo organizing containers from plastic bins to archival boxes, which I love. What are some of your favorite photo organizing containers to use?

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Number One Benefit for a Concierge

There are so many different benefits to being a concierge, but the number one thing for me is, the relationships I get to build and the people I meet. Over the past 11+ years as a concierge in Houston,  I have met so many great individuals and it couldn't make me happier. I am so lucky that I get to work with and meet so many awesome people who bring such a variety of perspectives to the table. I love that I have built so many relationships with clients. Even for those that I haven't worked with for years, many will still refer others my way, which I couldn't be more grateful for. I have worked on so many different professional organizing, personal assistant and eco consulting tasks through the years. Every day I learn something new from clients. Although they are utilizing my services to help them in various areas of their life, I learn SO much from my clients. It is such an awesome feeling to constantly learn from clients. At the end of the day the most rewarding and number 1 benefit of being a concierge for me is the relationships I build with my clients.

What is the number one benefit of the job you do?