In 2001, Schae Lewis, CPO ® and Bahar Partow became acquainted through a mutual friend. With common interests in organizing, entertaining and socializing, they embarked on a friendship. Utilizing their strengths in productivity, planning, organizing, and hosting, they founded Mission 2 Organize in 2010. Their company is an urban organizing and concierge business which provides local, national, and international clients with unique organizing solutions through a variety of services.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
To be frank, working for the man is what inspired us to start Mission 2 Organize. Having your own business is a tremendous amount of work, but the flexibility and independence that it provides is undeniable and totally worth it. Plus, we are getting to live our passion and that alone is enough to motivate and inspire.
Tell us about your business.
Based out of Chicago, Mission 2 Organize provides a unique combination of organizing and concierge services to busy professionals and families throughout the United States. Residential organizing services include decluttering, closet design, home staging, storage, paper management, packing, unpacking, move management, digital & print photo organizing and more.
Our corporate clients achieve greater efficiency in the workplace. The concierge side of the business offers errand running, party planning and shopping services. Being a one stop shop is an important element of M2O. Once our clients work with us, they trust us to help them organize their entire lives.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Mission 2 Organize is proud to donate gift certificates for our services and organizing products to benefit worthy charities like PAWS Chicago and Over the Rainbow. We also feature a different discount each month on our website and in our newsletter, M2O BUZZ. Occasionally, we also run flash sales, so follow us on social media for the scoop!
- Schae Lewis, CPO® is a Certified Professional Organizer.
- Schae and/or Bahar have appeared on Hoarders on A&E, Windy City Live and WGN News.
- Schae has contributed organizing articles to the Huffington Post.
Where is your business based?
Mission 2 Organize is based out of Chicago, IL and serves clients throughout the United States.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
After envisioning the business, we first brainstormed business names, services to offer, branding and logo designs. We secured our domain, put ourselves on Yelp and other social media like Google+, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. For educational and networking purposes, we immediately joined the National Association of Professional Organizers and the local chapter, NAPO Chicago.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
We find that the best way to get and keep customers is to provide the best possible service all the time. When people are happy, they tell their family, brag to their friends and write glowing reviews. Excelling in our field is how we continue to grow.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Letting go. Professional Organizers are notoriously considered “control freaks” and maybe it’s true! It’s not easy for us to let go of certain tasks. Part of the reason for this challenge is our tendency towards perfection. Perfectionism can be frustrating, time consuming and, well, it’s unrealistic.
How did you overcome these challenges?
When you’re running a business, there are so many things that need to be done. Oftentimes, you are the salesperson, accountant, bookkeeper, marketer and customer service agent. Because of the pure volume of responsibilities, being efficient and managing your time is vital.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
It’s the hard times that motivate us the most actually. When facing a challenging client or sticky business situation, that is the time when we look inward to see what changes might be needed. Change is good. We also look to each other, lifting up our team members when they need a little inspiration.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Mission 2 Organize was established with the idea that two organizers are better than one. We always bring at least two professionals with their unique expertise to every project. Plus, our full service approach goes beyond organizing into errand running, party planning and shopping too.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Don’t give up.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
Google. It has everything we need and all the programs sync with one another making working on multiple but related projects more seamless.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
We are dedicated to constantly educating ourselves about a variety of organizing techniques. This is a requirement for maintaining Schae’s certification with the Board of Certified Professional Organizers®. She recently returned from the National Association of Professional Organizer’s national conference in Pittsburgh where she took a class on providing expanded services to corporations. We would love to expand this portion of our business by adding value and productivity to the workplace.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Our most forward facing goal is to expand our reach by giving frequent speeches and presentations to groups who are interested in learning more about how organizing can change their lives. These classes will, not only, bring awareness to what we do, but it will help folks who want to tackle organizing projects DIY style.
Currently, we are priming our creative chops by preparing speech topics, putting together handouts and writing scripts for our upcoming talks. Contacting the venues, organizations and networking groups where we will speak has also been a priority for us. The whole team is working on this project so we can all be invested in this common goal.
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*All photos except for the last one, taken by Birkenheuer Photography