We had the good fortune of connecting with Elizabeth Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Elizabeth, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Sure…NOW I have a successful brand and business as a professional organizer.. But 30 years ago, I was a painfully awkward misfit roaming the desert looking for my people. You think I’m exaggerating. I was so invisible in high school that I spent sophomore year eating my lunch on the pink pleather sofa in the second floor girls’ bathroom rather than face the dreaded cafeteria. No one would’ve looked at me then and thought “Oh, well, there’s a successful entrepreneur and public speaker in the making.” And don’t get me started on all the jobs I stunk at over the years. I was a dog bather who wanted to take all the dogs home, an ice cream scooper who ate all the ice cream, an introverted McDonald’s birthday clown, a county extension agent who was supposed to teach people how to can and cook and sew but had to Google “how to slice tomatoes” and “how to sew on a button.” The list goes on. The reason I stunk at all of those things was that I’d been fighting my own brand of weirdness the whole time. Merriam Webster defines “weird” as “of strange or extraordinary character: odd, fantastic.” I think it’s interesting that they define it in such opposite ways. I’d always thought of myself as weird in a negative way. I mean, by the time I was 6, I could pinpoint the exact location a Sharpie pen cap needed to be in so all your Sharpies laid the same way, logos facing up. I noticed EVERYTHING. Every single detail of the environment I’d be standing in at the time. And I was a perfectionist with impossibly high standards. Then, in my mid-30’s, I discovered professional organizing. I remember the exact moment I realized the very things that made me “weird” in my past made me “fantastic” as an organizer. I was born to be an organizer. And in that moment, I never thought of myself as weird in a bad way again. My clients LOVE that I obsess about every detail in their homes. They hire me for that very reason. Even today, when someone makes fun and calls me OCD, I smile and tell them “OCD pays my mortgage!” I also LOVE what I do. I mean love it like I can’t wait to get to work every day. I miss my clients and projects on my rare days off. TGIF doesn’t exist in my world. And I think that’s true for every successful entrepreneur. I’m always surprised when someone tells me what they love and then tells me what they do for a living. Someone will tell me they love art and when I ask them what they do, they’ll groan about their job as a security guard working night shifts at a bank. If you love art, go find something – anything – to be around art all day. It doesn’t matter if it’s entry level. Surround yourself with what you love and every road will rise up to meet you. So if you’re reading this and wondering how to launch a successful brand and business, always stay true to these two things: Revel in your weirdness…and love what you do.

What should our readers know about your business?
My company is Nest & Transformation. We specialize in visually stunning residential organizing for an exacting clientele. We don’t just organize. We beautifully style every nook and cranny so our clients are delighted every time they open a door or drawer. No day is the same. One week, we might be organizing a client’s beloved family photos or their extensive collection of Jadeite. The next week, we might be organizing a pantry, master closet, or home office. And the next week, we might be laying 17 rooms of drawer and shelf liner and then completely unpacking a client after their move. We’ve worked on spaces as small as 700 square feet and ones as large as 28,000 square feet. We love them all. People also hire me to speak about organizing. There’s nothing I love more than geeking out about how to make your boots stand up on a shelf or how to purge all the terrible gifts you got last Christmas to a room full of women daintily eating chicken Caesar salad. It’s the best. Something happens when people sort through their belongings. They find themselves. One of my favorite quotes is from Michelangelo – “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” That’s always my goal when working with a client… to chip away at the things they realize they don’t want or love until we get to the masterpiece of their lives. The average home has 300,000 things in it {The National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals}. That’s a lot of marble. If I had to name one thing I’m most proud of, it would be the trust my clients have in me. There’s something sacred about being in another person’s inner sanctuary. There’s a vulnerability there that you have to protect. They have to have an absolute faith that a) I won’t judge them and b) I’ll see the solutions when they can’t. I can absolutely walk into any room in a client’s home and see its stunning potential. I don’t see the mess or the boxes or the stacks of paper or the hundreds of Legos daring to be stepped on. I see a completely finished space with everything in its place. I’ll freak out if I’m not 45 minutes early to a movie. But I never freak out about a project. And I have the most darling clients on the planet – some whom I’ve had for years. I even visit some who have moved away. There is a bond that happens when you cherish and find a way to celebrate all the little things in a person’s home. I know the names of all their children—and pets— and the special occasions in their lives. They could call me years later, and I’d still remember what is sitting on the second shelf to the right as you walk into their pantry.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The Lubbock {Texas} Optimist Club. Even though I was a straight A student, I was MISERABLE in high school. I dropped out my junior year and waited tables at an all night diner for a few months before I came to my senses and decided to go back and graduate. I was sitting in Mr. Womack’s economics class {Hi, Mr. Womack!} when I got a note to report to the principal’s office. You remember that feeling. You’re sure you didn’t do anything wrong but you’re trying to figure out what could possibly warrant the summons on that long walk to the principal’s door. When I got there, there was a man and woman I didn’t recognize. Were they there to adopt me?!? Please no! I loved my mom! Were they there to arrest me? I couldn’t do time!! I had a dog waiting for me to get home from school! No, they were members of the Lubbock Optimist Club. I’d been nominated for a college scholarship through their organization for students who overcome adversity to stay in school and graduate. And they’d selected me. My first semester in college was paid for. And I’ll tell you this…I turned that scholarship into two degrees and graduated with highest honors from Texas Tech University without a penny of student loan debt. One scholarship lead to another and then another. The Optimist Club believed in me, and that mustard seed of faith changed the entire trajectory of my life.

I also would not be where I am today without my amazing team. Each and every person on my team is incredibly talented, exceptional, and creative…not just professionally, but personally, as well. We have an organizer who can swap out your hangers like it’s Olympic sport, an organizer who can make the tabs on your Le Cordon Bleu recipe binder in English and French, an organizer who sang the national anthem at Wrigley Field when she was 15, and an organizer who once fashioned a teeny tiny Flip N’ Fold to perfectly fold toddler t-shirts that were too small for our regular folding boards. Each and every beloved member of our team is a problem solver and comes to the table with great ideas for even the most challenging spaces. They have such heart…and they make me laugh every day. I really feel like I hit the lottery with them. Ok, I have to stop before I cry.

Website: www.nestandtransformation.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/theocdbachelorette

Image Credits
Elizabeth Jones/Nest & Transformation