Is your to-do list prioritized? Or is it procrastinated? Is there something on there you know you should be doing, but you've let it go on so long that it seems insurmountable? (Hello, mountainous pile of clean, unfolded laundry, I see you!) Have you ever found yourself watching B-list stars on Bravo and wondering just how expensive a personal assistant would actually be?
Fortunately for you, there's now a service for that! You don't have to be on a bad reality show to get it, either. All you have to do is head on over to UpTown Concierge and book a free, 30-minute consult to see what tasks they can mark off your list — organizing, errands, shopping and moving assistance are some of the top requests. And at $60/hour (with a three-hour minimum block), it's actually a pretty affordable option, especially for big tasks like moving or cleaning out a closet (and there are discounted options available for pre-purchasing blocks of hours).
Though they don't do what she calls "the three Cs: cooking, cleaning and children," founder Kat Duncan says they've done all sorts of other tasks. UpTown's main clients tend to fall into three categories: Busy parents, who hire them for home organization and grocery shopping; business professionals, who want help with household chores like paying bills or meeting with repair people, or moving preparation; and people who actually have the time but just want to delegate the work of party prep, shopping or travel plans to someone else.
From the Founder: What was the hardest part of launching, and what was the best part?
"The hardest part was actually taking the leap. I quit my job. I had no idea if it would be successful. But I believed in myself. I believed there was a need and a desire for this service.
The best part is that UpTown Concierge has the best clients. They are loyal, encouraging, always wanting to refer others, and grateful for what we do for them."
Currently UpTown is available in Buckhead and Brookhaven, and travel is free within a 10-mile radius of their office on Piedmont Road (they do have a small charge for every five miles outside that radius). They also automatically budget 30 minutes of travel time for each appointment. Now, I know what you're thinking — "30 minutes in Atlanta traffic???" — but UpTown says that travel time has never been an issue. They plan accordingly to remove that stressor for their clients, with the latest weekday time block starting at 4:30 p.m.
Kat started UpTown Concierge in January 2016, as a recent college graduate who was trying to figure out what she wanted to do. "I knew what I was good at. Organizing, leadership and helping others have always been parts of my life; it only seemed fitting to have a career that developed and focused on these aspects," Kat says.
With glowing testimonials, more than 90% of clients completing at least two bookings, and multiple clients with standing weekly, bi-weekly and monthly appointments, UpTown appears to be off to a great start. (They are also currently offering a promotion of one hour of free service for every referral who completes an appointment, so if you try them and love them, you should definitely share!)
Kat says she has been fortunate to have a powerful female role model in her mother, who was also an entrepreneur.
From the Founder: What's your advice to other entrepreneurs? Anything that you wish you'd known when you started?
"The best piece of advice I could give is to go after it. Never look back. Once you decide to take the leap, go all-in 150%. It has been so much fun. Every day I feel stressed, anxious, terrified, excited, eager, determined, fulfilled and thrilled for the future of my company. Every day is a learning experience, but there is nothing more fun and exciting than having control of your future!"
"My mom owned her own business for over 10 years, kicked ‘you know what’ and took names. As I grew up, I was able to watch a strong business woman, engaged mom and loving wife; this proved it was attainable and possible," Kat says. "We hear all the time that 'you can do anything you want to do,' but to be able to watch someone actually do that … it made it real."
"Both of my parents have always instilled in me hard work, determination, going after your dreams, and caring for and respecting everyone around you. I was blessed to have been raised with such influential parents. I wouldn't be where I am without them and the rest of my family."
For the next step, Kat wants to expand outside of Buckhead, and eventually have locations in multiple metro areas across the country. She's also looking at potential partnership opportunities with high-quality companies who do handle "the three Cs," including a cleaning company, a nanny agency, and an in-home chef. For now, most of her new clients come from some type of referral, and social media has been an integral part of UpTown's growth.
And there's more: As part of their recent social media campaign, from now until Aug. 11, UpTown Concierge is running a contest for a free closet makeover. Dubbed "Atlanta's Messiest Closet Contest," the judges will be checking out submissions (just a few words and a photo) over the next few weeks to find the "best of the worst" closet disasters in town, and one lucky winner will get a closet makeover courtesy of the UpTown team of organization experts. (Note: I'd be totally signing up for this thing if it weren't a conflict of interest at this point. If you're not stampeding over to that sign-up link right now, I'm not sure we can be friends anymore. ... unless you're my friend Carley. In which case, your closet is already color-coded and sorted by sleeve length, so never mind.)
I did ask whether Kat's own closet looks amazing, or if it's hard to, well, bring her work home. She claims that staying organized is "in her DNA" and that everything in her home is in its place because it just makes her happy. Not to worry, she's still human — she says on rare occasions, she may run out of time for her own errands when she's helping clients, and they get bumped back a day or so. She gets you, busy people, she does: "No one has enough hours in their day. Everyone needs UpTown Concierge!"
So check them out online (and enter the closet contest) and see what their clients are raving about. UpTown Concierge: They have all the time you don't!