Hi there, friends! We’re back with the latest installment of our Working Women We Adore series! I’m thrilled to introduce you to a talented Houston professional organizer who has a passion for her work and is oh so talented at her craft. Meet Amy Vance, a Houston professional organizer, and owner of Eco Modern Concierge.
As we’ve mentioned before, the Working Women We Adore series has become near and dear to our hearts here at ABA. If you missed our first few installments of the series, read them here, here, and here. We love providing an outlet for women to share their stories, advice and the hard work they’ve put in as females in business.
Today we introduce you to Amy Vance, a native-Houstonian who started her business, Eco Modern Concierge, before she’d even graduated college! Talk about a go-getter! Amy has utilized her knowledge of the city and savvy networking skills to garner an amazing client list and serve in leadership capacities within her industry. This Houston professional organizer is the membership director for the National Association of Productivity & Organization Professionals (NAPO) and the Director of Philanthropy for the Greater Houston National Concierge Association.
Of course we all need a little help with organization in our lives, but usually get overwhelmed halfway through. Amy has a knack for making her clients feel like they can do it! I know, because Amy helped me conquer organizing my small office closet into a space that could actually be used, check out the before and after in this blog post. Not only does Amy offer organizing services, but she also offers personal concierge services – everything from running errands, event organization or even putting up and decorating your home for the holidays. I truly mean it when I say, if there were every a person you need in your life, it’s Amy! Plus, this Houston professional organizer keeps it real. She’ll be the first to tell you her home is NOT organized to the nines, and shares quite a bit about her adventures and behind the scenes on social media, which is so refreshing! Amy is the real deal, a true example for local female entrepreneurs on how to successfully run a small business.
In her spare time, Amy is passionate about volunteering, serves on a Houston Livestock Show & Rode committee, loves to travel and go to concerts – she just got back from ACL in Austin. Read on to learn more about this Houston professional organizer, Amy and her business Eco Modern Concierge!
I love a good career story and yours is fun! Your college hobby, turned into your career. What was your intended career or plan after school? What made you decide to move forward with your hobby?
AV: Yes, I was working for a pipeline company in college and started my concierge company on the side to help pay for school and living expenses. I originally went to college to be an international buyer in the fashion industry. I have a bachelor’s degree in Retail Merchandising. Once I went to graduate school I had built up my clientele with Eco Modern Concierge and stopped working for the pipeline company. I then went full time with Eco Modern Concierge. I’ve been in business for a little over 14 years, and am so thankful for all of my clients who keep making this little company grow.
Your business works with finding environmentally friendly lifestyles, which is a lifestyle you embrace. What is the easiest change or most common change someone can make toward an environmentally friendly lifestyle? What do people tend to struggle with the most?
AV: The easiest and most common change my clients make is starting with recycling and switching to more eco cleaning products. People tend to struggle with more complex things like eco building materials, composting, etc., but everyone has different shades of green. I am by no means perfect, and do what I can when I can.
You offer many services through your company Eco Modern Concierge like personal and business organization, personal assistant and business services, speaking engagements… the list goes on. What is your favorite task/help that you offer to your clients? What do you feel is most rewarding?
AV: I love most aspects of my career, but I really love all of the errand running. I love a good challenge and all the different people and companies I get to interact with on a daily basis. I think it’s fun that everyday is different.
The most rewarding part of my career is the relationships I build with clients and seeing that I can help them in so many different ways. A number of my clients are like family and I’ve been working with many of them for 7+ years.
What was the biggest or most surprising challenge you have come across with your business and how did you overcome it?
AV: There are so many challenges I have faced after being in business for over 14 years, but it is always the little things that that can be challenging like hiring, insurance, taxes, accounting, finding the right people, companies, services, etc. to handle various business tasks and the like. You just take each day as it comes, stand your ground on what you believe is right and keep on moving forward.
What is your favorite organizational product?
AV: I have SO many!! I think one of the most useful for clients is the behind the door racks because it can really maximize space.
You play an active role or are a member of several industry or business owner organizations. What do you feel are the benefits from participating?
AV: There are so many benefits: education, endless resources, referrals, colleague connections, getting know industry professionals & local businesses, discounts, and the list goes on. I highly recommend joining a professional organization in your industry. No matter how successful you are, I think there is always a benefit to joining a professional organization nationally and locally.
A successful business, spending time with family, concerts, theater, volunteering and travel. How the heck do you do it all? What is the secret to your balance?
AV: There is no perfect balance! There are different seasons of life and sometimes some things take the back burner more than others. I’m eternally searching for perfect balance, but outsourcing certain services is a life saver for me. There are so many things that you can outsource. Find what your pain point is and figure out how you can outsource it. It will alleviate so much stress!
AV: I LOVE live music and used to go to concerts all the time, but have slowed down through the years because I am more tired these days than I used to be. I love so much different music. Styx was my first ever concert; I love classic rock. Paul McCartney has always been phenomenal every time I’ve seen him. Norah Jones is great live. I love going to see Incubus, Grace Potter, Gary Clark Jr., The Black Keys and Leon Bridges when they are in town. Coldplay, Matt & Kim and Jay-Z consistently put on high energy shows. George Strait & Willie Nelson are Texas staples. We went to see Greg Allman a few years ago and I loved it! I could go on and on…
Cause close to your heart? Or favorite or upcoming volunteer opportunity?
AV: I LOVE volunteering and would probably do it full time if I didn’t have to pay bills. I have been volunteering at The Women’s Home Cottage Thrift Shop & Museum of Fine Arts Houston for I think around 12 years now and love it! I also volunteer for the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, which is a huge time commitment every year. My volunteering ebbs & flows every year depending on what else is going on in my life, and this year I haven’t volunteered nearly as much as I have hoped, but it will change. This is just a particular season of life.
Any upcoming vacation plans?
AV: I don’t have any big plans in the near future because we did traveling in the summer, but we go to Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL). Next year we are hiking the Grand Canyon rim to rim with friends. I have various other travel plans for next year.
Favorite date nights?
AV: I really love going out, but don’t get to do it as much as I would like sometimes. I think it is always fun to try new places to eat/drink and go on new adventures. Lately because of our work and time commitments my husband and I have been having breakfast dates, and it has been a great change of pace. I am pretty easy going and like low-key things. I really like whole in the wall places. I have so many Houston favorites I like to go to.
What is your source of inspiration? What inspires you?
AV: My clients, magazines, various blogs, travel and daily Houston adventures are big inspirations for me. I feel most inspired when I am not stressed, and usually as I am working out I think of so many ideas. It just clears my head.
Favorite, go-to, can’t live without, career gal look/outfit/piece?
AV: Well I am in workout gear most days when I am doing organizing projects, but when I get to wear “regular” clothes jeans and a t-shirts or button downs are my go-to or dresses. I love wearing dresses because they are so easy.
What is your advice to any young women, starting down the path of their own business?
AV: Go for it and have fun. There will be so many challenges along the way, but take those challenges as learning experiences. I have learned so much through the years and continue to learn every single day.