Laura Harrison {Women On A Mission}

Moderate Minimalist. Organizer. Designer.

No matter what problem you bring to Laura, she rolls up her sleeves and helps you start breaking it down piece by piece. By the end of the conversation her belief that you will get through it makes you believe it too.

One of her go to phrases is “why don’t you just (insert incredibly profound yet easy to execute solution)” ... followed by “let’s just do it now.” 

In addition to her can do attitude, she is committed to living a life that feels good. What she has taught me has been a game changer. She is committed to bringing the best out of people and spaces - and wow is she good at it. 

** In addition of being an amazing business owner + space design consultant, Laura also did the set styling for this photoshoot ... I mean, how cool does that table setting look with disco balls and peonies ?!?!


In Her Own Words

Who I Am: Mom. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Neighbor. The list goes on and I try to do all I can for all of them but let’s be honest, most of the time is spent enjoying and worrying about my two young boys.

What I Do: I’m the combination of an organizer and an interior designer. I work to take the chaos out of people’s homes and lives by creating functional, stylish spaces. Think form meets function. Organizer meets designer. 

What I Belive: I truly believe in the power of living a life with less (mess, anxiety, things) so you can have more (time, confidence, life). 

How I Got Here: I used to plan people’s lives to the minute at employee conferences and events. I loved it. I loved knowing all the details. I loved people coming to me with their woes and hoping I could solve them.

However, after years in the corporate world, I decided I wanted to do something that more directly impacted people. I was laid off and took time to figure out my next step. After purging my sister’s closet, then an entrepreneurial minded friend’s closet (17 bags to donate later), I decided this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to help people see the benefit of living with less anything (expired food, shirts, old love letters) and having time for more life. So less mess more life was born.   

 


Q&A With Laura

What are you most excited to share with the world? My superpower is the calm I can create in a given situation – a chaotic house, a wedding with dynamic families, a mom dealing with cancer, a conference for 500 lawyers...the list goes on. I want to give that calm to as many people as I can. Yes, I love to create organized homes that look good too. When this happens, people feel better, they are happier. Most importantly, they are calmer which allows them to focus more on what matters. 

What advice would you give to someone who has a mission they want to start or pursue? 
First - Self-employment is an amazing journey. I always say it has the highest highs and the lowest lows. When I leave a successful client session I say, wow, I’m really doing this. Seeing low balances on business bank accounts that wow quickly becomes oh my, what was I thinking, I can’t do this. That’s when I turn to my community, my wise, wise women to say, help me through the lows and help me celebrate the highs. Find that circle. Find those people. 

Second - Who you think is your competition may actually be your biggest supporter. I will never forget when I discovered the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) on a Monday and attended their regional conference that Saturday. I barely had a business name, certainly no cards, and was clueless on the industry. I arrived 5 minutes before the keynote speaker, intentionally skipping the networking breakfast (why would anyone want talk to a competitor?).

Of course --- one seat left. Remember, these are organizers so naturally punctual and ready early for the session. I could not have been more wrong. Two women took me under their wings, helped plan my day, offered a follow-up coffee to ask any questions I had, offered me to shadow them on projects, etc.

My competition became my mentors, my cheerleaders and my guides. They gave me the confidence to do this. So tap into people with experience in the same industry (and different). Show them your vulnerability and eagerness to learn. You will be amazed how that works out. It’s why when anyone is trying to start a business, especially an organizing business, I’m the fastest to say, let’s have coffee. Let me help you. My turn to pay it forward. 

How do I lean on and use my community? How has your life changed having a community to go to? Accountability. Vision. Strength.  Three words that describe what I get from my community, my inner circle of women who help me do what I do.

They hold me accountable. They remind me constantly why I do what I do. They also remind me constantly that I could be doing so much more. This business could be so much bigger. Your impact could be so much greater. Now get your ass in gear. And let me tell you, this girl needs that. I’m an excellent fairly good to-do-list follower. I’m a really good self doubter. None of that flies with them. They are making me go places. And I am so grateful for that.

What part of your work do you enjoy the most? What most excites you? I love walking through people’s homes and sharing all of my ideas. I love giving them hope that change is possible and not as hard as they think it will be.

It’s watching them physically feel lighter as they are verbally communicating their house issues to me. It’s me saying, we can change that…and them believing me. I truly believe that people do better/feel better when their home provides comfort and is in a calm state. Life is hard enough that we should all have somewhere peaceful to retreat. When I create that, people’s faces light up. They feel lighter. They feel better. And in turn, I feel good.

How do you start and end your day? My favorite days begin with a workout. A super intense workout where I run (and I shouldn’t be) and lift weights and leave the gym so drenched. I’m the crazy one going to OrangeTheory at 5:00 a.m. and trying to recruit others to go with me. The sense of accomplishment I feel when I walk in the door at 6:05 a.m. or even at 5:10 a.m. and I’ve already run a mile outweighs the one less hour of sleep I get that night. It provides this “starving for alone time” mom a workout and alone time prior to my children waking up. It’s empowering. It’s invigorating. It’s powerful.

To end the day, I go to the other extreme. I put my pajamas on as soon as the kids have gone to bed, get on my corner of the couch, pull out my coloring book and listen to music or whatever may be on the tv that night (if it’s on). I get in MY zone with my coloring and tune out. I put down the phone. Put away the laptop. And color. It’s therapeutic. It’s cathartic. It’s just for me.

What is your favorite book? The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. It’s a make you work book – one where the more you put into answering the questions, the more you will get out of it. Luckily, a solo five-hour flight gave me the much needed focused time this book deserves.

I was forced to think just a little bit deeper, write down those things I was scared to say out loud, and think really hard about just what might be holding me back from taking my next big leap.