Business Spotlight SEries
Your hair is often deemed as your best accessory. How you style and color it is a strong expression of your personality and taste. It is a way you can make a statement about yourself. A great hairstyle can give a boost not only to your looks but also your confidence. That is why Dai Washington, owner of Gorgeous Khaos Hair Studio, has dedicated years to providing professional and efficient hair care and hair coloring services. Her mission is to give her clients the best experience they can get and deliver results that they will love.
Dai is a licensed hairstylist of ten years and she worked at a corporate salon and taught at Paul Mitchell School before opening her own studio in March 2015. Her passion for hair styling started when she was a child and what inspired her to open her own hair studio was to provide a haven for women to come and just release, regroup and then become true their image. The tagline is ‘Finding the beauty within the midst of …’ She always wanted to create a space where women can give enough time for themselves, and her studio suite was designed so her clients can enjoy a private ambiance where she can really focus on them personally, one-on-one.
The hair studio specializes in custom and dimensional coloring, and blowouts. For dimensional coloring, they use 2 to 4 different colors that blend well together so the hair becomes “a beautiful canvas” and won’t look super flat after. It may sound like a complicated technique but the results are amazing and the studio prides itself in keeping the client’s hair healthy. Dai pays a lot of attention to her clients' preferences and needs when it comes to styling. That’s one of her studio’s biggest strengths. “One, I focus on the client's experience. So I essentially put my feet in their shoes and give them what they would want as the client. On top of that, I’m extremely professional and time efficient.” This is undeniably true as she has spent ten years and counting in giving professional hair styling and coloring services.
For Dai it’s not just about success financially but she also wants to create a legacy. She sees herself having a full salon space, growing a team of stylists to accommodate more clients in the near future.
Dai wants to share her professional skills with different types of clients, especially those who want to put their beauty image as a priority. Many of her clients consist of professional females who are government workers and business owners. In June she is moving her location to Brandywine, MD. The move will allow her to be more localized within the Maryland community and be able reach out to additional types of clientele.
Decluttering, organizing, and keeping things in order is often a daunting task for many, especially when years have passed since cleaning out a space- whether it’s the basement, the spare room, the garage, or the whole house for that matter. Charm City Organizers, founded in 2010 by CEO Mary Cate Claudias, steps in to help individuals find balance, order and wellness in their personal spaces in a way that is sustainable for years to come. She and her team have a passion for decluttering, organizing, and making a difference in people’s lives.
A former coach and teacher, Mary Cate has grown Charm City Organizers from a one-woman-operation to an expanding and talented team of specialized organizers that travel throughout Baltimore City and surrounding counties to serve their clients. She credits her growth to her team. “I could not have done any of this without them. I’m really lucky to have a phenomenal group of women who are behind me. They are out there doing everything from pantries to closets, garages, and entire moves.” Her drive for continued learning, teaching, and helping others, particularly women, reach their full potential is evident in the milestones she has achieved over the nearly 10 years in the business. Mary Cate has grown professionally through her active involvement in the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD), the Board of Professional Certified Organizers (BPCO), and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program.
After serving on the board early on, she is now the president of the NAPO Baltimore Chapter, and new membership continues to grow. “I’m really proud of NAPO and the people that belong to NAPO because we hold ourselves to a higher level of ethics, professionalism, and education. The key is ongoing education to be better for our clients. If you’re serious about your industry and helping your clients, then you’re going to be serious about continuing education and certifications.”
Mary Cate explains that her whole reason for starting this business was to “empower other women professionals and business owners to reach their full potential. My team is included in that. They are each their own organizer, professional, mom, wife, daughter, helping, and taking time out of their lives to really improve the lives of our clients.”
While she credits the awareness that popular organizers such as Marie Condo have brought to the professional organizing industry, she also expresses the downfalls of utilizing the same approach to each and every client that Marie Condo and other organizers may use. Mary Cate feels strongly that organizing is a very trusted service in which you enter people’s personal lives. The entire experience is different for each client, and it is not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Mary Cate admits to challenges early on when she was first starting out. She explains that the toughest thing about opening her doors was the mental fears about not feeling successful. “I left a full-time, 100% benefits position at a non-profit in the middle of our recession, and people were like, ‘are you insane?’ I said ‘probably', but my drive and passion for what I wanted to do was what kept me going.” Mary Cate’s hard work is paying off. She has a team with systems and processes to run her business, and she feels she is finally in a place where she can make some big things happen.
Mary Cate further adds that what makes Charm City Organizers stand out from other service providers is their experience, and their commitment and passion for continued education. NAPO may not yet be a well-recognized organization by the public, but Mary Cate and her colleagues are continuously working to educate the general public and to demonstrate the industry’s dedication to excellence and ongoing training for their professionals.
Charm City Organizers is also unique as they are an established team. “Many in the industry are solopreneurs which is awesome,” Mary Cate explains, “but if your goal is like mine to grow a team, then we can offer things that a single solopreneur cannot. We can come in and help with a big move or a big downsize or an estate cleanout. We have the hands and availability to do that. We also have awesome resources, whether it’s movers, pod storage, the right and easiest donation pickups, to landscapers, interior designers, and spatial planners, or how we can coordinate all that for you. We’re a one stop shop for all the various services that might complement ours and we help clients figure out what they need.”
Another unique aspect of Charm City Organizers is the wide variety of backgrounds of the organizers. The team has backgrounds in social work, teaching, senior care, and retail- to name a few. “That’s a huge strength since we are experienced organizers that have training not only in organizing, but in fields that really serve our clients… I think there is a huge personal satisfaction and gratification that comes from helping people learn how to organize and have a clutter free home and existence. It offers a lot more than just a ‘pretty after.’ It’s peace of mind, it’s sanity, it’s better function, and less stress. There are a lot of physical and mental benefits that come with our services.”
Mary Cate has worked very hard to develop internal processes and streamlined systems for Charm City Organizers, and this has allowed her to expand her services to providing productivity solutions for businesses. After pursuing advanced education, she is now a Certified Professional Organizer and Productivity Consultant, which is the highest designation in the industry that you can get. In 2018, she officially launched the new division, CCP Consulting, where she works with small to medium sized businesses that are looking to increase their productivity. ”It’s about time and task management, better systems and processes, internal team collaboration and communication and all the things that we as business owners find very challenging at the end of the day. Everyone is doing their thing and very busy. You might get up from your desk and ask yourself, well, what did I do today? Did I check email all day? Was I on social media too much?"
She observes that one of the biggest challenges among her clients, is the “overwhelming influx of new technology, apps, software, and everyone is trying to learn the band-aid or quick fix with each particular type of app or software. Then that becomes overwhelming to be in 5 to 6 different spaces or vehicles when you are trying to get one thing done.” Mary Cate assesses what the main person or what everyone on the team is doing and develops the solutions to the question, “how do we simplify this, how do we break it down, how do we use some of these technologies, and how do we batch them, so that you’re not in 500 different directions all the time?"
She serves and guides a lot of different people and aspects in a business. “It can be around HR, tech, leadership, management, and the way you delegate and automate systems. It’s involved, and I love it. It’s absolutely what’s driving my passions right now. I want to keep growing that, and keep Charm City Organizers alive and well. I know we’re one of the older and more experienced groups in the Baltimore Metro area and we want to keep that status because our clients are great, my team is great, and we just want to keep rolling."
Charm City Organizers serves Baltimore City and the surrounding counties for residential organizing services. For Productivity Consulting for businesses, CCP Consulting serves the Baltimore Metro area and the Washington DC area. She will also consult with clients virtually online.
For a free phone consultation, contact Charm City Organizers at (443) 676-3306, visit them at http://www.organizebaltimore.com/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For Productivity Consulting, reach out to CCP Consults at http://www.ccpconsults.com/, email email@example.com or call (443) 355-4426.
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