Four years ago when I began this adventure it was me and my computer (and Penelope).
Of course I should mention my husband was my cheerleader. But really it was me, myself and I. I had an office in the house and I did not understand boundaries - I worked all hours of the day and night (it was definitely unhealthy, but I love what I do, so I did it).
Then came Joan (above right)... praise the Lord! I needed her help. She had been working for one of my clients and every time I saw her I asked when she was going to start helping me with my accounting? She is a die hard number-cruncher and keeps my finances in order. An over-achieving rock-star who has resume with places of employment such as Mobil Oil (and I ain't talkin about the service station on the corner)... I can only assume that furniture, draperies, fabrics, lights are more exciting than oil? However, it is certain that my bank account will never look like Mobil's.
Did I mention she's a certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor? Gotta love her. Joan cares about accounting like I care about design- it's her passion- and that makes me very happy. We don't always speak the same language... but I sleep at night because I can rely on her expertise (and occassionally she seeks mine). She's as square as they come... which I love and appreciate more than she knows. She walks a fine-line between "really organized" and "riddled with OCD" - you should see her house (and her fridge and her closet!). I often get looks like this (above) when I lose receipts, check stubs, or fail to get a W-9 signed by someone. These two keep me in line. I could not run this business without them.
This time last year I was on the verge of a melt-down... I thought I needed to clone myself or I'd never make it through another day. Busy is a 'happy problem', but my 'happy problem' was starting to kill me. "What are we going to do?" (Joan gave me a look like that one above) and then answered her own question "you need Paula!" (Paula above on right)
Paula is a total Godsend. Paisley adores her too (sometimes this makes me jealous). A QuickBooks whiz and an organized-type (like Joan) she keeps every aspect of this business under control... from placing and tracking orders to organizing project work, to making sure I don't leave for a meeting without my phone, my keys, my tape measurer, my camera... and my brain. Paula is compassionate and loves the Lord, she spends multiple nights a week voluntarily leading a small group at her church for middle and high school girls. She is not easily frazzled and keeps everything in perspective- something I unfortunately struggle with.
These two beautiful women are such a blessing to me. This Thanksgiving I want them to know how thankful I am for their help. They are tidy, organized (don't touch Joan's pen (yeah, the one with her name on it) or else!), they care about Urban Grace Interiors as much as I do, and are genuinely hard-working women... I could not ask for more!
Joan and Paula, thank you for all you do!
I'm leaving today for a week-long much-needed break... I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!