Local Organizer, Teresa Nicola, is an activator, practical step taker, health nut and creative type. She loves helping people with cluttered spaces and hectic schedules get organized and live a more productive and pleasurable life. Once you get to know Teresa, you’ll soon learn what “Life Organized” is all about.
What is your company?
Collected Spaces is a personal organizing business that helps people simplify and beautify living spaces, optimize work spaces and streamline daily systems so they can make time for what matters most.
How did you come up with the idea?
The idea for Collected Spaces came to me at a very stressful time in life: moving across the country, break-up, loss of job, etc. I remember sitting in my new apt in Portland, looking at all my duplicates of stuff and feeling like my whole world was upside down. While setting up my new home I kept questioning: What do I enjoy so much that I can I lose track of time doing? What am I really good at? And the “ah-ha” moment came to me when I looked at the finished product of my apartment. On February 14th, 2010, I registered my business, and Collected Spaces became my valentine.
I’m honored to help people get organized and be a catalyst of change when they are going through their own major life events – whether preparing for a new baby, combining households, making the switch from the corporate world to working at home, transitioning an empty nest…transforming spaces, transforms lives.
Where did you find your first customer?
My parent’s garage. My dad was so embarrassed to show the before pictures.
How did you determine your target market?
I work with a variety of people, but there is a common theme amongst them: they lead busy lives, and they feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they own. They also desire physical organization for mental peace and personal wellbeing.
What are you currently doing to reach them?
I ran a Living Social deal (which was effective); I have a referral reward program; I’m blogging, creating YouTube videos, handing out flyers, contacting other professionals to develop referral partnerships . . . and still figuring out the best way for me to get in front of people who need my services.
[Editor’s Note: Teresa has a special offer for CAKEpdx.com readers at the bottom of this article]
How much did you start up with?
I don’t remember how much I started up with, but I was totally broke when I started. I was forced to become self-reliant, creative and resourceful. From that foundation, I’ve grown my business organically.
What’s the best advice someone has given you?
BLT: Breath. Listen. Trust.
It’s good not to be satisfied – it makes you work harder.
Ditch being a perfectionist. Perfectionists don’t get as much done, don’t make as much money, or don’t have as much fun.
Be sure to take time to replenish your mind, body and spirit…especially when things get super busy, you don’t want to neglect yourself and risk illness or injury. There is a lot of grey area in life (times when there is no definition or certainty); get comfortable with grey.
People eat with their eyes – dress the part.
What’s the worst advice you have ever received?
I’ve always tuned out the advice to have a plan B – there are only plan A’s in my book. I also tune out when people comment on the grandiose nature of my dreams. I always eventually get what I want – sometimes my wants change, sometimes they show up in unexpected ways, sometimes they take forever to manifest, but eventually my vision unfolds.
When you started your business what was one thing you wish you knew?
I wish I knew how capable I am.
It’s hard to go out and make sales when you lack confidence.
What resources or books do you refer to regularly?
I love to read, but right now I’ve turned more to people than books. I am part of an accountability group that meets every Thursday at Nedspace; I have a mentor through the Mercy Corp Micro-Mentor program, and I seek counsel often from a dear friend who has her MBA and law degree.
Has your company experienced any close calls or lucky moments?
There haven’t been really any close calls or big breaks yet…
What does success mean to you?
Success to me is good health, aligning my paycheck with something I’m passionate about, and contributing in a positive way to our world.
Where would you like to see your business 5 years from now?
I am personally organizing 20 hours a week; I have trained 2 organizers who I book out 15-20 hours a week each, and I hire someone to help me with admin and sales. That’s as big as I want to grow Collected Spaces. However, there is a program I’ve been developing called Organize Yourself Sexy, and I plan to tour nationally leading OYS workshops, as well as international retreats.
What do you need help with?
Special CAKEpdx.com Offer
2 Hours of Personal Organizing with Teresa
Only $99 (regular price: $130)
Contact Teresa TODAY!
(mention “cakepdx” when scheduling)