By Shoutout Atlanta
We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexia “Lexy” Ford and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexia “Lexy”, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking I come from a family that is very fearful of taking risks. To add to it, I’m a Virgo, a perfectionist, and a planner so risk taking was something I always feared until a friend stated I was scared of everything. That stung because I realized he was oh so right. From that day on, I vowed to conquer new things and to not allow fear to hold me back or stop me from living. I have since quit my corporate high paying job with amazing benefits and my second job of 15 years to launch Passion Organizing. I honestly felt paralyzed with fear. Despite being the scariest decision, it was one of the best I’ve ever made for my life and my happiness. I moved from Ohio to Georgia with only about 3 months’ worth of savings and have managed to do way more than survive for almost a year. I’ve stated since my arrival that I have no regrets. I am the happiest I’ve ever been thanks to taking those risks that I so feared. All in all, risk taking has inherently negative connotations that we all should try to overcome. We should all ask ourselves “What’s the worst that can happen?” Make a conscious decision to remember that taking a risk could take your life to greater heights than you’d ever dreamed. I now try to think about risk as exciting opportunities to try new things. A risk in this context is exposure to failure. The only failure I believe I will ever truly experience as a business owner is not striving for more, not trying something new, not setting myself apart and not teaching myself that I CAN do all things within reason that I put my mind to. After all, the biggest risk is not taking any risk!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work. A Professional Organizer is an independent consultant who advises, guides and assists clients in attaining order within their space(s). We assist with decluttering, minimizing, sorting while maximizing your space(s) and creating permanent locations for all your belongings. Our primary focus is to help clients, families and businesses transform their environments into spaces that work best for their lifestyle. What sets me apart is my genuine passion for what I do and my need for helping others. This is not just a job for me. Not only do I love helping others, but I love organizing so it’s a win win for me. We not only provide organizing services but also provide packing, unpacking and cleaning service whereas most other companies only provide one or the other. We like to work as a team in 8-10 hour shifts to get the job done quickly vs other organizers prefer 3-4 hour shifts. We build relationships and treat all clients like family and not just a client number. I am most proud of how far I’ve come since 2016 and that my children are now following my footsteps and advice into the life of entrepreneurship. What I’m excited about? I’m excited about the thoughts of growth and where Passion Organizing will be 5 years from now. I have big dreams so watch out now. How I got to where I am today professionally, I’d say being vocal about my business. No matter where I go, what I do or who I talk to, I find a way to bring the business up in conversation. I also wear my brand everywhere as if it was Nike or Louis Vuitton. My thought is, “Why rock a brand of some person whom I’ll never know, making them rich, when I can rock my own brand that will help take care of not only generations to come but also the families of my staff, the clients who support me, and the community that I reside in. I’m my own walking billboard. Being a board member of the National Association of Black Professional Organizers has helped by allowing me the opportunity to network with other professional in my field. Finally, constant social media posting, and engagement has been crucial. I have received a lot of clients and opportunities just by being active on social media. I received clients and even built business relationships/partnerships. Through these relationships and conversations, I have been able to encourage others to follow their dreams, to take the leap of faith and become organizers or whatever else their heart desires. I’ve also encouraged my kiddos to start their own business as they chose a carpet cleaning business called All Around TLC that is growing and gaining much success. Was it easy getting to where I am? Absolutely not. It’s a constant struggle to this day being a small business owner because without an office staff you’re wearing many hats. I’m not just the owner. I’m the Administrative Assistant, Human Resources Director, Marketing Director, Finance Director, Photographer, Social Media Director, Sales Director ooh and I’m also the day to day employee just to name a few. I overcome many challenges by doing five things 1. Treating myself to a Bundt Cake. 2. Watching Netflix to calm my thougths. 3. Telling myself “This is enough slacking, that I got this, nothing has, can or will stop me, I come from strong stock.” 4. Thinking “What got me to the point of feeling the challenge and what I need to do to get past it”. Also, keeping in mind why I do what I do. Why I started in the first place. I’ve learned many lessons. I’ve learned to know my worth and to not settle for less than what I deserve. Organizing is an art and a skill that most people don’t have. It takes a mindset that often gives people anxiety but gives me peace. Not just anyone can organize a space to make sense, but I can. Many people want to nickel and dime you because they think this is easy work, but that is an outdated mindset. They think organizing is as simple as cleaning and that cleaners get paid $10 per hour uum wrong not in 2021. Organizing is not as simple as cleaning actually far from it. The national average cost for house cleaning is $25 to $50 per hour per cleaner and if someone charges less than this they are often not licensed/insured or just starting off with no real experience. The national average for a Professional Organizer per hour is anywhere between $50 to $150 per hour per person. So, with that being said, why would I charge less when I know what I’m worth. I know what I’m bringing to the table. I’m bringing skills, education, knowledge, experience, and love for what I do just to name a few. I also learned to always keep it professional because people will take advantage of a good-hearted person if you allow them to. Business is business and consistency is the key to success. I will get what I put into the business by staying consistent and focused on the goal. What I want the world to know about Lexy is that I have a heart of gold. I don’t just love what I do it is my passion. It is a gift that I was given from God that I have chosen to share with the world. With this being said it is my promise that I will always perform each and every session with love and dedication.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to? I have to say that I moved to Atlanta right in the middle of COVID, so I haven’t been too many places however, I have had the chance to go to a few spots that are my all times favs even if I have to go alone. My number one go to is Atlanta Breakfast Club the best breakfast, hospitality and service I’ve ever received, and you will ever have in your life (Peach Cobbler French Toast, Grits, Shrimp Gravy over Biscuits) are my favs. Second, would have to be The Battery by Atlanta Braves Stadium. This is a nice place to walk off all the food from ABC and take in the nice scenery and friendly people. Third, iFly right across the street from the Battery. If you like a thrill, then this is it. Flying in the air in a controlled environment. Forth, I love Top Golf between the atmosphere, vibe and food it’s just a great overall experience. Fifth, fifth, fifth would be Old Lady Gang Camp Creek. You cannot get a better dinner than this um um um I love to get a little of everything on the menu including (Kandi’s Honey Glazed Blackened Salmon, Macaroni & Cheese, Collard Greens, Green Beans, Loaded Smashed Potatoes and Cabbage) yeeees all of that is what I order each and every time. Finally, dessert goes to Nothing Bundt Cake or Small Cakes (Smyrna). As a cupcake connoisseur who has tried many bakeries in Atlanta these 2 are my locations of choice. If you want another experience, then try riding the Scooters downtown or signing up for a Segway ride and tour this amazingly beautiful city.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout? It’s too many to name however, I’d like to thank all that played a role in helping me become who I am today for standing by me while I made my dreams a reality. Including but not limited to my clients first and foremost. I wouldn’t be in business if not for the continued support I receive from each and every one of them. I thank them all for trusting in my staff and I. I’d like to thank my mother who is there for me in more ways than I can list and who still maintains our Ohio based clients, my son Jaylen for stepping in to assist when I need him, my daughter Theresa for taking on the job as our Operations Manager even when I know as her mother, I’m not the easiest to work with. She makes everything right. She makes sure client booking is performed, I stay on task, payroll is completed on time, invoices are accurate, marketing is completed and so much more. I’d also like to thank my mentors Naeemah Ford Goldson and Caroline Rogers who not only brought me to The National Association of Black Professional Organizers as a Board member but along with Tracy Johnson, Atama Dindyal, Tiffany Griffin, and Theresa Jenkins. All these ladies take the time to be a listening ear, helping hand, referral partner and more. These ladies never fail me and if there’s ever something I don’t know or need help with I know these ladies have my back. Last, I’d like to thank Armond. If it wasn’t for his questions and encouragement, I would have never got the courage to launch Passion Organizing. There are so many others but for time and space sake know that I thank and appreciate each and every one of you that supported me during these years of change and growth.
Other: Google: https://g.page/passionorganizing/review?rc
Image Credits Anthony Shepherd @shotby3_ (Instagram)