We've all been there or will someday, a major move that unnerves us or a loved one. Whether it's a cross country move due to a job change or the tides of time causing us to move to an assisted living facility, most likely we won't be prepared. If we are facing this situation alone, it is even more daunting. Joanne Devereaux and Tina Chen are out to remedy this.
Identifying the Need
The inspiration for their business venture was born out of a rising need combined with what they experienced and witnessed firsthand. Both Joanne and Tina had situations with their own parents needing to make a transition. Nobody was prepared. Unlike most modern families Joanne and Tina both come from larger families. This was a blessing and aided in the transition. They recognized others were even less prepared and didn't have the luxury of family members to help. Situations with friends provided further evidence of the need for help. All of these signs culminated in Joanne suggesting, "We should do this!"
Moving to Action
So moms and aspiring entrepreneurs, they bound together to make moves easier for others and Mindful Transitions was born. Now Joanne and Tina provide the support, and practical planning for others that face moves. They facilitate solutions for the many details involved prior to and during a residential move. No matter the situation, they delicately assist and manage home moves for individuals, families and estates. Individuals and families facing remodels, divorce or separation, estate sales, downsizing, and job relocations no longer have to act alone. Joanne and Tina even help clients recycle, repurpose, and consider charitable donations for things they no longer need.
Joanne's background as a professional photographer formed a basis for her entrepreneur training. Other talents she brings to the operation include marketing, research, website development, and teaching. Tina's background in corporate finance and accounting has proven helpful as has her organizational skills developed while chairing successful school fundraising events.
Enlisting SCORE East Bay
When asked why they came to SCORE, the duo reported that they really wanted to know that the business could work. Tina said, "Jim Cogan, our SCORE mentor, validated our idea, and kept us on track. Our meetings with Jim were intense, every other Monday. As soon as an appointment finished, we made another." Joanne added, "He never sugar coated anything. He kept pushing us. We went to our first meeting with a mission statement and loose business plan. He told us things right away to do. He was very clear about directing us to saying what the business was, being clear on our elevator speech." What started out as validation grew into a trusted advisor relationship. Tina offered, "They are completely unbiased toward our situation. We felt comfortable with Jim. He was genuinely interested in our business."
They also attended valuable workshops. "We took a class in social media. It opened up ideas including the need for developing word of mouth referrals. We hosted an event and the by the next week we had received a referral. We plan to attend more workshops and always have SCORE in mind as things come up," Joanne said.
Tina and Joanne remarked on the value of having a co-founder. Joanne said, "Having a different voice, from a different industry is mutually beneficial. We agree on most things. We'll bounce ideas off each other and find a balance. It has worked out very well."
When asked if they would recommend SCORE to other entrepreneurs, Tina said, "Definitely! We've been really up front with a lot of people. After we had the ideas, we marched in to SCORE right away."
Advice for Others
What advice you would you give another entrepreneur? Tina advised, "Start with SCORE. Be really diligent and committed. We made a decision that we were going to put this together and through all the ups and downs we always stay committed." Joanne added, "Do the research, especially young entrepreneurs, the marketplace constantly changes. Be flexible in your business and be willing to take a different path if necessary."
What's next for the business? Tina and Joanne said they plan to have more conversations with different groups and keep earning new clients.This duo is out to improve our experiences during transitions that represent more than merely moving our stuff. So, if you or someone close is looking to transform a house into a home, need help de-cluttering and getting organized, or have a move on the horizon, please consider Mindful Transitions. Joanne and Tina will be grateful for the referral and take good care of all of those involved.