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

Hi Shannon, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
After working for my family’s business for all of my adult life, I found myself at a crossroads when my father retired in 2018. I had organized closets for fun before I got married (I even got my DBA) but eventually let it go. Fast forward to January 2020, I was thumbing through a magazine in a waiting room and saw an article about home organizing. It was like a brick had fallen on my head! I immediately knew that was what I was made to do and I was going to make it happen.

I knew that for my second act, as I was approaching 50, had to provide some type of flexibility regarding scheduling so I could continue to be available for my middle school daughter and my husband. I was also looking for some type of satisfaction and joy in my work. After years of office work, something that I didn’t truly love, I knew that organizing professionally was the perfect solution for me! It’s definitely been challenging but when I woke up for my first organizing consultation with a spring in my step, I knew it was the right decision.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a professional organizer, starting my business in March 2020, I definitely had time to work on my education through NAPO and build my website since I couldn’t go into homes and actually work. It was a little terrifying looking back on it now but I trudged along and booked my first paying job in late August of that year. I continued to work and learn through on the job experience but work slowed down as the holidays approached. Regardless, I knew that this was the right path and nothing would stop me. When checking in with a client after organizing her pantry, she told me that she walked in and smiled. Who knew that you could get excited about working?!?

I live for helping people save time and money by being organized. Almost all of my clients are busy moms and because I worked from home for many years after my daughter was born, I simply take what I’ve always done for myself and parlayed it into setting up organizing systems that can work for my clients.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is a tough one! I’m a born and bred Houstonian, although I was raised in Clear Lake I moved into the Montrose area in 1988 and lived there on and off (Austin and San Diego were college detours) until 2006. The area has certainly changed and I don’t have my finger on the current pulse of the city but I have a few favorites: the permanent Cy Twombly building/exhibit at the Menil Museum, Kuhl Lindscomb has so many fun buildings to peruse, especially their tablewares and home fragrances, iced shortbread cookies at Paulie’s on Westheimer (I dreamt of them while I was pregnant), and last but not least, Lola’s Depot on Grant St. I always favored the grittiness and realness of dive bars as I have a high BS meter. I met my husband at Lola’s 23 years ago and we’re still going strong. Houston is such a diverse city and my heart and life is here. I may not know the current hotspots but I stand by my tried and true.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I was lucky to find SCORE Houston, a mentorship program for new entrepreneurs, who provided me with great business coaching and forms for a business plan. Laura Bostram of Everyday Order is an organizer in New Jersey who was very generous with her time and encouragement. NAPO was instrumental in my education and my dearest friend, Eddie Brooks, paid for my first year in NAPO and has been a huge support whenever I felt doubtful or down. Kate Hinnant of Monarch Atelier was amazing in taking photos, logo design, and building my website. Most of all, my 13 year old daughter has been the biggest cheerleader of all. I continue to hope that I make her proud and set a great example for her.

Website: holmanhope.com

Instagram: @holman_hope

Facebook: HolmanHope

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