Small Business Saturday, Featuring ShelfGenie of Greater Houston
Happy Small Business Saturday, Mamas! In the spirit of all things ‘New Year, New You’ organizing, purging, donating, and Netflix binge watching of the adorable Marie Kondo’s “Tyding Up,” we thought it was fitting to feature a local company that can you achieve the spaces of your absolute dreams!
ShelfGenie is a national franchise that provides homeowners with organizational solutions. They’re best known for their Glide‐Out shelves that help their clients achieve improved storage and organizational options for their homes. Each of their solutions are custom made and handcrafted to fit clients’ existing cabinets. This allows their clients to transform their space without having to undergo a full renovation.
Founded in Richmond, VA in 2000, ShelfGenie quickly spread across the U.S. and Canada through franchisees. One of those passionate franchise owners, Linda Creswell, took over the Houston market last year and never looked back. She loves helping people achieve better space in their homes through quality products.
Linda is a mama herself and after 25 years in the corporate world of healthcare, Linda found ShelfGenie after a designer came to her home and sold her on the product. At this time, she was looking to change careers, but knew she still wanted to help people. She immediately fell in love with the product for her home, but quickly became passionate about sharing it with others, helping people achieve the spaces of their dreams.
The ShelfGenie mission and vision of the company is what keeps Linda excited about the brand and products ’til this day. “We transform clients’ lives by designing and implementing custom home access solutions that puts everything within reach”. She loves seeing the happiness on her clients’ faces after they’ve experienced ShelfGenie.
We got to sit down with Linda to learn more about this amazing company, how being a mother has shaped her life, and even scored a special AMAZING deal for all of you who want to dive in and get your spaces organized!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Katy?
I am from Denison, Tx – about 75 miles north of Dallas and right at the southern tip of Oklahoma. (Blake Shelton territory). I have lived in Houston 5 years now.
You’re a mama, as well! How has motherhood shaped your life?
Oh my goodness! How has it not shaped my life is a better question! I loved everything about raising my son. All the joy, tears, laughter, and frustrations made me the woman I am today. How else would I have learned unconditional love, setting boundaries, not sweating the small stuff, and strengths that I never knew I had? What a sense of purpose one has when raising a child…at least it was like that for me. And that wonderful sense of purpose continues as he grows in to adult hood and becomes the man that I knew he would be. What a blessing!
You come from the healthcare industry- tell us what you did before diving into ShelfGenie?
In 2017, I retired from healthcare. I had been the Chief Human Resources Officer for more than 25 years. I was ready for a change, but wanted to stay busy and continue to work with people. I called Shelfgenie for a consultation. I wanted to turn my built- in cabinets in my dining room in to office space. The designer came to my home, we worked together on a design as she talked about the company, the quality and the reputation. I was very impressed. I found out that the Houston market was for sale due to the previous owner’s illness, and I snatched it up. I absolutely love the clients, the product and the company.
What was the inspiration behind starting your business?
As previously mentioned, I wanted a business where I could continue to work with people. I love going in to client’s homes and helping them design solutions that bring them so much joy.
When did you open the Houston market for ShelfGenie?
The Houston market has been in place now for 10 years. The previous owner had some medical issues and had to sell. After a great deal of research, I fell in love with the concept and the reputation of the company and the product. Shelfgenie is the leader in glide out shelving and has existed since the 90s.
Tell us about the services you provide and what makes you unique in this space?
We really are the premier provider of glide-out shelving solutions. Our Glide-Out shelf line offers a multitude of cabinet space saving options. We offer an extensive line of custom-built, Glide-Out shelves for all areas of your home. Whether you need Glide-Out shelves for your bathroom pantry, kitchen, home office, garage or any other room, we can design the custom Glide-Out shelf solution for your cabinet storage needs. All of our solutions are retrofitted for your existing cabinets.
What’s your favorite thing about being a business owner in the Houston area?
My favorite thing is experiencing the excitement that the client has during the entire process. But the very best thing is once the installation is complete and they exclaim, “I don’t know how I lived without Shelfgenie before now!”
How do you think the Katy area community will impact on your business?
The Katy area has a huge impact on our business. We have many happy clients in the Katy area and we continue to grow our business in this area. As we all know, Katy continues to grow and prosper with lots of new residents. Homeowners are more educated on products and services and want to take advantage of maximizing all of their storage space.
What’s a day in the life look like with getting the ShelfGenie name out in the Houston community?
My days are very enjoyable. I am very involved in communities and civic organizations so I get to talk about Shelfgenie just about everywhere I go. My territory covers from North Willis all the way down to the coast. I am the only Shelfgenie in this area and have an outstanding team of designers and installers.
While we all have clients that we meet with in their homes, we also participate in home and garden shows. As a matter of fact, we have one in Sugar Land next weekend. January 19 and 20, https://www.sugarlandhomeandgarden.com/ If anyone books an appointment with us while at the show, we offer our best discount which is 100% free installation! This is huge! Plus, our display is very large and you get to see our glide out shelving first hand. It is very impressive!
Greatest joy about giving people the gift of organization?
This sounds simple, but the greatest joy is seeing how much easier it makes their life. Some of our clients are elderly and cannot bend down to search for things. Some are busy mothers that just need to be able to quickly get to whatever is needed at the moment, without having to dig through items. And we have a large male customer base that does all of the cooking and wants their pots and pans organized.
What’s one thing you’d like to go back and tell the you before you were a business owner?
That I wished I had done this sooner!
What makes your shelving better than the rest and where does your passion for what you do come from?
There are companies out there that attempt to mimic us. Regardless, no one has the quality of product that we offer, along with a lifetime warranty. We also provide many more solution options than the typical competitor.
Best advice for moms wanting to make the investment into ShelfGenie, but on a budget?
Right now has never been a better time for accessing 0 interest credit cards. Many of the major financial institutes are offering 18 to 21 months 0 interest. This is a great way to purchase Shelfgenie. Because our warranty stays with the house, this is also a great investment and feature for future buyers.
Advice for anyone wanting to start their own business or leap into entrepreneurship?
Use a consultant. I can recommend a great one and it costs you nothing. The consultant with help you so a self- inventory to determine what you will be good at, and then bring you businesses to look at. You are under no obligation to purchase and the consultant with guide you through the steps.
When things get hard, what’s one thing you tell yourself to keep going when running a business?
God has not brought me this far for me to fail. Slow down and breathe and remember why I am here. I often work on a vision board to reflect on my goals and celebrate my past accomplishments.
How do you balance working and family life?
It was much harder to accomplish a balance when I was in the corporate world. With Shelfgenie, we get to manage our calendars which means we actually have time for a quality life outside of helping our clients.
Future plans for your business?
I want to continue to grow the business. We have a great referral source and opportunities for stay at home moms that are involved in their communities.
What’s the discount our Katy Moms can look out for?
Katy moms get a great discount of 50% off installation. This is huge and very helpful! But remember to come to the home and garden show January 19th and 20th, schedule your appointment while you are there and you will get 100% off installation. The home shows are the only time that I can offer this deep discount because it is that good!