Today we’d like to introduce you to Julia Westwood.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Julia. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started the business in 2006 after years of volunteer work and raising my family. I recall reading an article about the personal concierge industry and how it was gaining popularity across the country. Upon further research, I felt I had the skill set to be successful in this business. So I formed an LLC, became bonded and insured, and quickly acquired my first client.
My client base grew through referrals as did the demand to offer additional services. I have always loved to have an organized and clutter-free home and found I could meet this need for my clients as well. My kids were thrilled that I was able to take my neat freak tendencies outside of the home and organize for others instead of invading their space.
As demand continued to increase, I added employees to form our team. We all have our individual clients we work with on a recurring basis, with a rapport built through trust and confidentiality. Also, we have the organizing clients that may be a one and done; once a year or once a month. This can be organizing one room or an entire house and then maintaining or tweaking as the client desires.
Staging and relocation services found their way into our repertoire several years ago. This has added a whole new dimension to what we can provide for our clients. We offer staging a house for resale, packing, unpacking and implementing systems, to coordinating the entire move. This has been a natural extension of our organizing and home management services. It is very rewarding to establish a family in their new home and set it up to look like a model home yet function for their reality.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I have hit a few stumbling blocks along the way. Shortly after forming the company I went through a divorce and had doubts about the ability to support myself. I set a timeframe of three years and if I couldn’t support myself at the end of that time, I would look for a corporate job. Needless to say, I have never looked back. I surpassed my original financial expectations and wouldn’t trade my lifestyle for anything different.
Another obstacle that was completely unexpected was the result of being featured in the Wall Street Journal. Within the first year of being in business, I was featured in the Home & Family section of the WSJ – I was thrilled to get that type of exposure! Unfortunately, one negative was a company in Ohio felt my original business name was too similar to their’s and threatened to sue me. I thought I had done my due diligence with trademarking the company name in the state of Texas. I learned the hard way… that wasn’t enough.
My attorney said they may not win, but I would spend tens of thousands of dollars to retain my company name. Hence, my current name is Julia’s Lifestyle Management, who can argue about the origins of that? There have been other minor challenges along the way. All of them have been lessons learned though, and probably one of the most exciting characteristics of being an entrepreneur – balancing the risk and reward.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Julia’s Lifestyle Management – what should we know?
We specialize in home management services. Whatever it takes to make your home or small office run more efficiently. We can take the burden off you, so you can spend time doing what is important to you. We do this by building relationships with our clients. Sometimes it is dealing with financial issues, or the need for organizing an out of control situation, this is where the confidentiality comes into play. We respect our clients and honor where they are in their life, and what got them there in the first place.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I have had an abundance of support! First of all my children Alec and Allison, during a challenging time in their lives they had the faith and patience to let me explore my passion and build this business from the ground up. My parents and my dear girlfriends who were always there for me in those early days with encouragement and the occasional glass of wine. Now, my dear husband Roger, who is my biggest advocate and sounding board. He is always there to bounce ideas off and listen when I’ve had a tough day or need assistance with business planning.
- Website: www.juliaslifestylemanagment.com
- Phone: 214-636-9145
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: juliaslifestylemanagement
- Facebook: juliaslifestylemanagement
- Twitter: @Julias_LM
- Yelp: juliaslifestylemanagement