Today we’d like to introduce you to Nancy Peham.
Nancy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
It’s been a road of twists and turns to get to Helping Hands. I was an active, energetic kid who loved run around the neighborhood, ride my bike to the zoo and area lakes, have craft sales, and carnivals in my back yard and go skating in the winter. I loved ballet and modern dance, and spent many years following that passion. I left my home state of Minnesota and moved to Connecticut, NYC, and then Los Angeles where I was finally ready to find a profession that would provide stability. I was encouraged to pursue computer programming and spent the next 16 years in IT as a systems analyst.
After 2 kids, a move to Dallas, and a divorce I decided to start fresh. It was about to be the new millennium and I knew the time had come to reinvent myself. I had grown up in a family of entrepreneurs. My dad, an inventor, and his brother owned a manufacturing company and my mom and aunt were involved with bookkeeping and other tasks. Throughout my young life I watched and absorbed my parents’ strong work ethic and love of what they had created. So maybe starting my own business was part of my DNA.
After leaving my job I found that my plans for a new career were only “half baked.” It took a while to realize that becoming a professional organizer would provide the fulfillment I was seeking. I’ve always needed order and simplicity in my own living environment and found that helping people find that same peace would be rewarding for both me and my clients. I love the opportunities I’ve had to meet new and interesting people, hear their stories, and help them overcome obstacles.
Starting any business is difficult and risky but there was no turning back for me. Now, 16 years later I have established a core of repeat clients, a steady flow of prospects and new clients, and get referrals from previous and current clients. I’ve contributed to magazine articles, spoken to groups, been on television and radio a few times over the years and have written articles for my own clients as well as being featured on Angie’s list and elsewhere. But the best part of my job and the most satisfying and fun for me has been working with my clients.
Has it been a smooth road?
I’ve had my share of challenges along the way. Being the only income earner, having 2 small children when I started out, and owning a home has been stressful at times. I had to build a clientele from scratch and figure out how to run a business. Fortunately, my mother assisted me financially when I couldn’t pay my bills. And my ex-husband has created and maintained my website since the beginning. They say it takes a village and in my case it’s true. As a result of the lean times I have worked hard to keep my schedule as full as possible. Now that more people are aware of the existence of professional organizers and many websites have sprung up which feature our services it’s easier to get exposure and win the clients’ trust.
In many businesses as well as my own there are times of year that are better than others, but overall it tends to even out in the long run. Now that I know and can anticipate the cycles it’s easier to stay relaxed and not worry too much when things slow down.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
My company is officially known as Helping Hands Personal Services but you can call me “Helping Hands” I’m a Certified Professional Organizer, which means I’ve helped a lot of clients over the years, taken a certification exam, and participate in continuing education to improve my skills and knowledge.
I work primarily with homeowners and have 3 main areas of focus. I organize and de-clutter all areas of the home including kitchen and pantry, wardrobe closets, bathrooms, laundry rooms, closets, kids’ rooms play rooms, craft rooms and practically every other area of the home, including garages.
In addition I work with clients to reduce or eliminate paper clutter, set up and maintain filing systems, and organize home offices. And finally, my third core service is assisting with moving, which includes downsizing, de-cluttering a home for easier sale, packing, unpacking, and setting up my client’s new home. I also work with senior citizens and their families when downsizing or moving is necessary, which includes all the tasks mentioned above. I love the variety in my day-to-day work and consider myself lucky to enjoy all aspects of my business.
I charge by the hour and have a 4-hour minimum per visit. Some clients want me to organize one room. Others want me to work with them on their entire home. Some clients want to accomplish their goal quickly, while others like to spread their projects out over time. Many clients have me come back periodically for a “tune up” or to tackle a new organizing project. I pride myself on being non-judgmental, and compassionate. As a member of NAPO, the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals I follow a code of ethics which sets my clients at ease.
What sets me apart or what I’m known for is my strong work ethic, professionalism, knowledge and experience, and the fact that I work quickly and value my clients’ time. Sometimes my clients feel overwhelmed and hopeless. They appreciate that I can come in with a plan, help facilitate the process and keep them on track to completion. I also have clients who are busy with work, kids or other commitments and want me to complete the project for them with minimal supervision. These are usually clients I have worked with previously, who know they can trust me to do the job according to their preferences. I enjoy working with both types of clients.
I’m really proud of the fact that I have persevered through the ups and downs of self-employment and can say that I have truly found my calling. I know this because every now and then I talk to people who tell me how glad they are that it’s Friday. I think to myself how lucky I am that I look forward to working no matter what day it is or how many days I’ve already worked that week. Don’t get me wrong though. I love a day off here and there to follow my other passions. Working out at Jazzercise or the Gotta Dance studio, and roller skating at Thunderbird rink. Sometimes I just sit on my couch and relax.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Dallas is a great place to be a professional organizer. The area has been growing for many years and has a diverse economy. I feel very lucky to have started my business here. I live in Plano but travel all over the North Dallas area and beyond to serve my clients.
- Website: www.HelpingHandsPs.com
- Phone: 214 274-0106
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: @NancyPeham
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/helping-hands-personal-services-dallas-2
- Other: https://www.angieslist.com/author/nancy-peham.htm