First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Schae Lewis: My family and I are thankfully doing well in these COVID-19 times. My husband and I have enjoyed having more time together to take walks, play board games, throw darts, and share pots of tea. We’re pretty positive people and have planned for the unexpected, so we’ve managed to make the most of these times. Thanks for asking!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Mission 2 Organize.
Schae Lewis: Hospitality has always been at the center of my heart. With former jobs as a flight attendant and hotel concierge, customer service positions prepared me to start and grow a successful business. Taking care of our customers and the team we now have at Mission 2 Organize is my priority. In 2015, I earned the designation of Certified Professional Organizer®, which is an honor that less than 10% of all Professional Organizers hold. While I still do work in our clients’ homes occasionally, most of my time is spent behind a computer screen, networking with business leaders, and ensuring the business runs smoothly and continues to thrive. In my free time, I serve as the Vice President of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals Chicago Chapter.
How does Mission 2 Organize innovate?
Schae Lewis: When my best friend and I started this business in 2010, we set out to conceptualize a new kind of organizing business. While most organizers were working solo, we set out to have 2 or more professional organizers completing projects; thus, Mission 2 Organize. We knew this strategy would not only keep our staff safe but would allow us to get the projects completed more efficiently. Though it wasn’t a conscious decision, we have built a diverse team of women from a variety of backgrounds and generations over the years. Unfortunately, this is not the norm in our industry. We are proud to lead the way and provide a template for future organizing companies. Our goal is to inspire future black and brown organizers to do the work that makes them and the world happy.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Schae Lewis: Mission 2 Organize offers a variety of services to our clients, including, amongst other things, home organizing and relocation services. Since the pandemic took hold of our community, more of our clients have been relocating. Our teams have been packing, unpacking, and managing moves daily for months now. Expanding our relocation services was a goal of ours pre-pandemic. You never know how your goals will come to fruition, but it’s exciting when they do.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Schae Lewis: No matter what type of business or what is going on in the world, business owners have to make tough decisions. As an in-home service provider, Mission 2 Organize the leadership needed to enact new safety procedures and policies overnight to protect our staff and clients. We trained our staff on those processes and communicated them to our clients through our social media channels and newsletter. It was important for us to ensure that our staff felt comfortable providing services and that our clients would be willing to hire us during the pandemic. Thankfully we managed to not only do those things but to thrive in an uncertain environment.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Schae Lewis: First of all, I keep stress and anxiety at bay by remembering that I have always been okay, and I always will be okay. That is a personal strategy that has been successful for me for decades. I also practice yoga and dance in my living room to relieve stress. As a team, all of us at Mission 2 Organize lean on one another in times of stress and anxiety. Having trusted advisors who you can speak to, get advice from and brainstorm with is extremely important when building a supportive work environment. We all know that we can lean on one another, which helps ease any potential tension.
How do you project yourself and Mission 2 Organize in the future?
Schae Lewis: We will continue serving clients so they can relocate and get organized without unnecessary stress. Our goal is to keep growing and striving to be the best we can be for ourselves and those we work with. Despite any external challenges, we are confident that with the right protocols in place, our business will continue to thrive, and we will adapt to meet the needs of our community. While this is a difficult phase for everyone, we want to keep doing what we’ve been doing because our goals and mission are too important.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Schae Lewis: We, ourselves, are our only competitors. Every team member must strive to offer better service than we did time before. If we continue to do this, we will not only stay in the game but stay at the top of our industry. Our ultimate goal has always been to have our own television show. Through the show, we would like to share our love of and expertise for organizing with the average person who faces productivity challenges in their own lives but may have never hired a professional organizer before. We are currently proud to have an award-winning YouTube channel with more than ONE MILLION views of our “How 2” videos.
Your final thoughts?
Schae Lewis: It seems, now more than ever, people’s personal spaces (homes, offices, etc.) have become a major focal point. At Mission 2 Organize, we believe that having those spaces organized and orderly can help people feel at peace during these chaotic times and enable them to do and be their best in whatever they are pursuing. And however, we can be of help for them to accomplish their goals. We are happy to assist!
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