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Meet Ginger Willis of Element of Fun Organizing in Smyrna

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ginger Willis.

Ginger, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Today, I am a Productivity Consultant and Professional Organizer, but my interest in Professional Organizing began in high school when I watched Peter Walsh on Clean Sweep as he helped the show’s cluttered participants work through the emotion, frustration and overwhelm of the stuff that was impeding their lives. In 2005, there was no college track for Professional Organizing, so I chose my next interest, Interior Design.

I completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design in 2009 and pursued hospitality design. I designed hotels and commercial spaces and worked my booty up to a Project Manager position, but I still dreamed of running my own business and being a Professional Organizer. On a particularly difficult birthday, I realized I was not happy and did not want to be a designer forever, but I wasn’t ready to quit my job either.

In 2016, my first daughter was born. My priorities changed, and the final straw came when my ideal working mom plans that I had worked very hard to create were derailed without any input from me. I figured that while starting a business and being an entrepreneur has risk, so does being an employee. You are trading your time and talent for what you’re told is security, but really being an employee is risky without decision making ability because you could be fired at any moment or have your wages cut or be piled up with work and have zero say-so in the matter. As an entrepreneur, I figured at least I am behind the wheel and I’m empowered to make my own decisions or mistakes or failures good, bad or indifferent.

My husband was my biggest champion. He had already taken the leap into entrepreneurship nine months before me to be a Freelance Journalist, and any time I worried, he asked me, “What’s actually the worst that can happen? What are they going to do to us?” My grandfather who was a serial entrepreneur and always encouraged me to start my own business, died in 2016, and his voice was also in my head. We used to have breakfast and long talks together at IHop, and he would always ask me “When do you plan to start Ginger Willis Design or Ginger Willis, Inc?”

So, in 2017, after eight years of being a Hospitality Interior Designer, I quit my job and started Organizing. Initially I worked with other Organizers on projects requiring a team and gradually gained my own clients. I joined NAPO (National Association for Productivity and Organizing Professionals) and the NAPO Georgia Chapter, found my tribe and some mentors, and was invited to join the Board. I do hands-on Organizing for residential and business clients. I present workshops and speak to groups. I love my work and I love my clients! My favorite part is when a client says to me, “I never would have thought of that!” It reminds me of the value I bring to their lives. I love that I get to set my own pace and schedule. I love that I have more time with my husband and our daughters. And did I mention I love my work?

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’ve had ups and downs like any business owner. It’s tough to ride the ebb and flow of business and not take it personally. My biggest personal struggle has been working on a part-time schedule with full-time ambition. You see, my husband and I have two young daughters age three years and five months and while I’m proud to be a working mom, for me it can be complicated. I love that I get to set my own schedule and make my family a priority, but on the flip side, I have less time to grow my business. That trade-off can be frustrating when you have big dreams and goals. I’m modeling for my girls how you can be a good mom and be a good businesswoman, but it certainly creates hectic days and some real “mushy brain” as we call it. That’s where your mind is still focused on work thoughts when you get home or vice versa.

Another struggle for me has been dealing with imposter syndrome. It can paralyze me. My latest pep talk has been “Feel that? That is fear. Fear is good! Fear is what you want because it means you are doing something new and big and scary. This is good. Feel that fear and do the hard thing anyway.”

Please tell us about your business.
My mission on this earth is to help people get organized and focused so they can become their best, highest selves. Wherever someone is stuck whether that be a jammed closet, an overwhelmed calendar or a limited mindset, my mission is to help them find a way to make progress so they can move on to a more positive and intentional state of living. And I believe this process can be fun!

My clients often say, “You bring such a good energy” and “You always know just what to say.” For some, Organizing can bring up negative feelings like shame, disappointment and frustration. When working with my clients, I guide them through the process encouraging and uplifting them along the way so it is a fun experience. Often, we take ourselves and our situations so seriously, myself included! We can be too hard on ourselves. I like to remind my clients of all the things they are doing right and all the progress they have made and will continue to make.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’m growing my group workshops and public speaking this year. While I love working with my clients one-on-one, I want to reach a bigger audience and as the daughter and granddaughter of ministers, public speaking has always come naturally to me. The recent lockdown due to COVID-19 has slightly stalled this effort, but it also pushed me to finally start sharing my knowledge and insight on a YouTube channel, a long overdue goal. Check out my channel and send me some “likes!” I’m currently a solopreneur, but I am looking forward to building a team as my business grows. I also am flattered to be NAPO Georgia’s incoming chapter President. I’m thrilled to give back to this organization.

Pricing:

  • I offer package pricing in the form of half day, full day or 3 day packages.
  • If you want to work with me, mention you found me through VoyageATL and I will give a 10% discount on your first session or package!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ginger Willis

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