A few weeks ago I had a great evening at a dinner/meeting hosted by Anne Day’s Company of Women. These business-oriented functions are super networking opportunities attended by dynamic women and conversations are animated and informative. There’s never a dull moment and this time I met a couple of true Divas!
You know I love to tell other people’s stories and today I want to introduce you to the fabulous ladies of Downsizing Diva. Now don’t they look like women it would be fun to hang out with? Energetic, always smiling and fun-loving, they run a business that offers a tremendous service. I was delighted to have them pay us a visit here and Karen took some time to answer a few questions.
How did you and Gail first meet? Was this a personal friendship that became a business partnership?
Gail and I first met at a Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) meeting when Gail was starting her business and I had been in business for just over a year. We quickly discovered we shared similar values and wanted to help the same people, that would be seniors, organize, downsize and move.
For about six years, we were friendly-competitors sharing resources, ideas and sometime projects. Over this time, we became friends and, this time at a POC Conference in Vancouver, we decided to become business partners.
The next thing we knew we were approached and asked to think about franchising our business! The rest, as they say, is history. Our learning curve is not a curve at all – it’s straight-up! We love what we do and we do it all with care, compassion and, sometimes, comedy!
The name of your company, Downsizing Diva, is fabulous. What is the origin of the business?
We love the name too! Years ago, while working with a colleague who called herself “the organizing goddess”, we were moving a large number of items through a rather up-scale condo lobby. The Property Manager, wondering why we were not using the loading dock, stopped us with the question, “Who do you think you are?”
Of course, Pat responded with “I am the Organizing Goddess” and then, it was my turn! Not to be outdone, I pulled myself up to full height and answered, “And, I am the Downsizing Diva!” Lots of laughs ensued and a new company name was born!
Are most of your clients in the “seniors” demographic or do you find you are helping younger people as the condo craze explodes?
Gail and I are pioneers in the “senior move management business” and, over the years, we realize how important the “downsizing” component is to any move. We all have too much stuff and our job is to help our clients take only the items they want, use and need when they move to a new home.
We know that there are lots of people who could use the services of Downsizing Diva, and we also know the people we enjoy helping the most!
Historically, our clients tended to NEED our services, but recently, we are finding a whole new group of clients who WANT our services. Either way, we are committed to helping our clients go from overwhelmed to overjoyed when they contemplate their upcoming move.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
The most rewarding aspect of the work we do is having the opportunity to help people every single day. We are proud to say we do our work WITH our clients, not TO them because we understand the emotional rollercoaster involved with preparing for a move. We take time to listen to the stories while continuing to move forward on the sorting, downsizing and packing part of the process.
Sometimes, at the end of a move we realize that our clients don’t have anyone to help them with some of the day-to-day stuff – banking, bill-paying, shopping… That’s why we created “Diva-at-your-Service” to continue to help.
We like to say, we treat our clients like family…and we mean that in the nicest way!
With the aging of our population, a business like yours that offers such important assistance can only continue to grow. Is this something you would recommend to others to pursue?
Would we recommend this “senior move management” business to others? In a heartbeat!
We love what we do and we have decided to franchise our business so we can help even more people! We’ve developed a recognizable brand, a successful business model and wonderful, supportive network of Divas – it’s a dream come true! Think you’ve got what it takes to be a Downsizing Diva…give us a call! We love to talk!
You, Gail and Gerine have such winning personalities. What would you recommend to others who are contemplating offering services such as yours?
Our recommendation is…follow your passion and be authentic! That’s it, in a nutshell!
We know we can teach people how to “downsize and organize”, but what we can’t do is teach anyone to LOVE working with senior clients. You either do, or you don’t
Fortunately we do…we love our clients, we love doing what we do and we mean it when we say, we love what we do…and it shows!
What’s not to like about that???
To add to their list of talents, these two Divas are authors as well! They’ve written the essential book on moving and you can easily order it directly from their website by clicking right here.
Do you have Downsizing Divas in your neighbourhood? We’re very glad to have them in ours! What sort of networking groups do you belong to, as a writer or for other reasons?
What a good idea this business is! There are so many seniors who need this service in this age of the baby boomers.
Exactly! The need is only going to continue to mushroom. Karen and Gail and their team have the perfect attitudes and personalities to make this business a win/win situation for everyone. The less stress in this world, the better!
Claire 'Word by Word' says
What an inspirational pair, I am sure they lessen much anxiety for many people and help turn a stressful event into one of fun and humour, I’m not surprised they have become such a success. Bonne Continuation to you both.
So true! These women have the perfect personalities to help people deal with what can be a stressful situation.
cc spencer says
I’ve never heard of such a thing! That’s awesome! Which obviously answers the question on if we have any downsizers in our area…lol….what you’re doing is great – I know a LOT of people could use some downsizing, including myself!
This is a great service! My sisters and I helped our mom do that – twice! I’m doing now with my husband. These ladies are providing a helpful service not only to the seniors but to their families as well. Some folks just don’t have a clue how get through everything they’ve saved and let go of some of it. Others just see it as too big a job to handle. I don’t know of anyone in my area doing this, but I’m going to suggest it to some young people I know!
Great interview, Patricia! Nice to know your story, ladies!
Patricia Caviglia says
What a great idea! Most of us need a little downsizing, and some professional guidance sounds like a good idea.
Natalie Hartford says
What an absolutely amazing service and pair of fabulous ladies! I love it. And I love how they said that they think of their clients as family. How touching. I don’t think we have a service like that around here but I wish we did…incredible!!!