Wednesday, June 28, 2017

My Favorite Blog Posts to Write

Blogging has been such an interesting thing for me. I have been blogging for Eco Modern Concierge for many years. Many of times it has been off and on. This past year it has been on more than any other years. I've never had any intentions of blogging as a career. I do it because clients and potential clients like to see that I am current and up-to-date on many things. As you probably know, my blog posts are usually pretty short, which is what works best for me and is manageable for me.

My favorite blog posts to write are probably the quick gift idea ones and the organizing posts. Since I sign confidentiality agreements with many clients there are some things that I can't post or write about, but really wish I could because there are some really cool day-to-day things that I get to do from time to time.

What are the type of blog posts you would like to see on the Eco Modern Concierge blog or which ones that I currently write do you like best?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Made in the USA: Chilewich Doormats

I have had one of these Chilewich doormats for years and it has held up so well! Below you see one of the prices as $160, but mine was WAY less than that when I got it years ago. I love the colors and that it is made in the USA! What are some of your favorite doormats?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Food, More than Just Something you Eat

I know this has been posted online, talked about on t.v. and magazine articles, but there is something so special about food. For me it is more than just nourishing my body. It is about the relationships and good times that I have had while sharing a meal with others or alone. You can laugh, converse, comfort, etc. through food.

Food has been there for me to nourish my body on a day to day basis, there to comfort me when I have strong cravings, there when I have been stressed (I know, bad habit, but doesn't always happen), for me to cook and share with others, and the list goes on and on.

I am constantly booking restaurants for personal assistant and concierge clients here in Houston and in other cities as well. Food is such an important part of life. What is your favorite food to eat?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Happy Summer Solstice!

Happy Summer Solstice! Today is the longest day of the year. Weather permitting we will spend it outside after work. Perhaps going on an extra long walk with our sweet pup and eating outside.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Concierge Must Have: Extension Cord

It has been awhile since I last did a "Concierge Must Have" item. Extension cords are something that I am always using for personal assistant and professional organizing clients, along with for myself. Personally, I prefer fabric extension cords over the just plain plastic ones. Until recent years, I had a hard time finding them. A few years ago I found some at Lowe's and then a few months ago I found this one at Staples in Houston. What I really love about this one is that  you can plug 3 prong cords into it and it is long enough to reach where I need it to in most places.

What are some of your must have items for your job?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Eco Modern Concierge Houston Eco Flyers

I have been meaning to get new flyers for a llllooooooonnnnnggggg time and I FINALLY ordered them a few months ago. So kind of a back story, I have been looking for a very specific printer for a long time. I really wanted something eco and local. Well I searched high and low and that wasn't happening, so I decided to order them online per the suggestion of my graphic designer. I couldn't find a local printer that would print eco options and that was affordable. I decided to go with and LOVE that the paper is recycled and the ink is soy ink. I ordered their sample pack 1st, which is free, to make sure I actually liked what I was getting. I was still hesitant because their preview is not the best quality, but in the end LOVED the product. I will be using them again for my printing needs. They are perfect to hand out to my concierge, personal assistant, eco consulting and professional organizing clients.

If you happen to know a local Houston printer that uses eco options please let me know!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Made in the USA: Good Flow Honey

I have been using this Good Flow Honey for many years and love it. I love that you can get it raw if you want also. It is made right up the rode in Austin. I know it isn't local in terms of being near Houston, but for me it is local enough and it's good. As many of you know local honey is best for you. I love that it is made in Texas and you can get it in varying sizes. Also, I think it would make a good gift as well because it is delicious.

Friday, June 9, 2017

How to Start a Concierge Company

I get contacted pretty frequently from others asking to work at my company and asking to meet with me because they are interested in becoming a concierge. I thought I would write some things you need become a concierge. You can read this post on how I got started many years ago. I started my concierge company over 10 years ago when I was in college because I needed extra money. I provide services like professional organizing, personal assistance and eco consulting. I have seen many companies start similar businesses in Houston these past 10 years and it is wonderful to see so much growth because Houston is so big.
  • Come up with a name. This can be changed, but I suggest sticking to something that you will use a long time. 
  • File for a DBA. Go to the court house and file a DBA to make your business official. I chose to stick with a DBA / Sole Proprietorship because that is how I wanted to do it. Others can become an LLC, etc. 
  • Set up a website. I have found this is a must nowadays in the concierge world because people want to see the type of services that you offer. 
  • Research similar businesses in your area. Find out who your competition is and what they are up to. I view it more of community over competition because often times I need help from colleagues in the same field as me.
  • Make sure you have an online prescense. Start social media sites including, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. Through the years I have gained some business through social media, but not a ton.
  • Spread the word about your business. Get out there and network with others and tell everyone you know about your business. You never know who will need your services. Spread the word using various tactics and sources like blog posts, social media, etc.
  • Collaborate. If you are just starting out see if you can assist another concierge company on a project or shadow for a day. Like I mentioned above many people have reached out to me through the years, so I would suggest reaching out to other concierge companies.
  • Find a niche. My niche is Green Concierge because I try to do things in the most eco way possible if that is what the client wants. I have many clients who are into very eco practices as well. 
  • Choose your marketing carefully. I haven't done a who lot of marketing because most of my business is word of mouth. There are various marketing things that you can do. 
  • Network. Go to networking events, lunches and like I said above, tell everyone you know. I don't always particularly like going to networking events, but I have gained business from it. 
  • Follow up. Follow up on any leads that you may meet along the way. You never know what may come of it.
  • Join organizations. Join local and national organizations that may be beneficial to your business. I am part of NAPO national and NAPO Houston. 
  • Get Insurance. Insurance isn't too much a year depending on the type of coverage you get, but I think it is a wise idea to get it. Many potential new clients will ask you if you have it.
  • Home office or office space. For many years I ran my business out of my home because it was easiest. Now I am in an office and I like it because I can bring clients by if need be and it helps me separate home and business life more. 
  • Have fun! Starting a concierge business should be fun! There will definitely be challenges along the way, but you will overcome those pretty quickly.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

How to Organize Photographs

So I have been putting off this post for I think about 2 years now. It's not that I do not want to write this post, it's just I have been trying to figure out the best way to explain everything because you can organize photos in SOOO many different ways. If you are in Houston, there are various professional organizers who specialize in photo organizing like Photo Nanny. Ideally, you want to deal with photos the moment you receive them or print them. That way it isn't such a huge task all at once. Below are some basic ways I use to organize physical photos. 
  • Gather all your photos in one area. Find where all of your photos may be hiding in boxes, in bags, in cabinets, etc. and put them all in one place.
  • Label the photos. If you are one for marking on the back of photos like me, then you can date and put a description on them. I use a thin tip Sharpie to write on the photos because it stays on and won't mark through the photos if you don't press too hard. There are acid-free pens / pencils you can use as well.
  • Decide how you want to sort the photos. You can sort photos in so many different ways. 
    • By date
    • By event
    • By person
    • Be location
    • Etc.
  • Begin sorting the photos.
  • Toss photos that are blurry, not needed, etc. 
  • Decide how you want to store the photos. Whichever you decide, keeping them in something that is archival is best in order to keep them in the best shape. Keep them in a climate controlled area. You can store them in:
    • In albums (This is my preference)
    • In binders
    • In photo boxes
    • Scan onto a hard drive or onto the computer
    • Acid-free envelopes
    • Scrapbook them
  • Enjoy and share with others!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Made in the USA: Scotch Spray Glue

I have posted about Scotch products in the past, but the fact is I use them on a regular basis. I picked up these spray glues on a whim while doing some personal assistant tasks in Houston and saw that it was on sale, so I thought I would give it a go. It is great for scrap booking, to use on photos and general crafting projects. Plus, it is made in the USA. Have you tried these products? Do you like it?

Friday, June 2, 2017

12 Ways to De-Stress

What are some ways you like to destress? With work and general life happenings many of times you can get so stressed out and not really know how to decompress. I love what I do as a concierge owner in Houston, but just like others I get super stressed about various things too. Here are 12 ways to de-stress.
  • Art. I am sure you have seen all of those adult coloring books around, but just creating any type of art can be very therapeutic.
  • Yoga.This is my #1 go-to. I love yoga.
  • Meditate. This is something that has been hard for me personally, but I do feel less stress when I meditate regularly. 
  • Read. I love reading and getting lost in a book.
  • Go for a walk. This is one thing I really look forward to each day, although some days it doesn't happen. I love taking my fur baby on walks.
  • Listen to music. Music can help in so many different ways and can be very therapeutic as well.
  • Journal. When you write things down on paper you tend to release a lot of build up.
  • Get creative. Do any and everything creative. Using your creativity lets you focus on less stressful things. 
  • Ride your bike. This is one of my favorite things to do. I love riding my bike and just wondering.
  • Take a bath. I don't do this nearly as often as I should, but taking a bath, reading and or just listening to music is super de-stressing
  • Organize. When I get stressed out I often times begin to organize and for me this is stress reducing to see everything have a place of it's own.
  • Drink. Kidding.....sort of. Wind down with a beer, cocktail or glass of wine this can always help.