We had the good fortune of connecting with Timber Lynn Price and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Timber Lynn, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
It comes as a surprise to many when they find out that I have not always been organized. In fact, there was a time in my life when my home was chronically disorganized. I was raised by a single father who worked multiple jobs and side hustles in order to make ends meet. He coached my soccer team, brought me to my tap dance lessons, play rehearsals, acting and modeling classes, and never once missed a school field trip. Being organized just wan’t at the top of the priority list. Everything changed the day of my 9th birthday party. I can vividly remember the feeling of impending doom as my dad and I rushed to clean up our house as the clocked ticked on. My party was quickly approaching and there was still so much to do! Dirty dishes, dirty laundry, the list goes on… It felt like an impossible task and I felt so overwhelmed I ended up having a meltdown. Spoiler alert: We were able to get the house into a presentable state and the party was a blast! From that day on, my dad and I worked as a team to keep things more organized.
If I was the type of person who gets embarrassed easily (which thankfully, I’m not), I would be mortified to think back to high school and reminisce on the fact that I carried around anything anyone could ever possibly need with me in my backpack. Lint roller, gum, tape, first-aid supplies, snacks, you name it, I probably had it. And it was all neatly organized in my backpack that luckily had a pocket for everything. So weird…
By this time in my life, my dad and I had moved around a bunch of times and lived in a few different cities within Sonoma County, but during the latter part of middle school and all through high school, we lived in a 650 square foot home that he built on a dairy in Petaluma, CA. Since he built the house himself, he designed it around the furniture we already owned, making it impossible to rearrange the furniture in my room. Instead, I rearranged my little closet and reorganized my drawers using tips I learned watching YouTube videos I somehow stumbled across.
Through college, I worked in Sports Merchandising, designing and selling merchandise at the various sporting events, reunions, and graduations. Although I can count the negative customer interactions on one hand (it was a pretty friendly crowd!) I found myself drawn more to the creative element of designing as well as setting up our mobile merchandise stands (aka organizing our back stock and creating visual displays). One day while on my lunch break, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw the profile of a Bay Area Professional Organizer. I couldn’t believe it! People make a living by organizing homes?! I remember feeling like I had finally found the answer to the age-old question “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
After graduation, I teamed up with one of my best friends, Agnes, who had a background and degree in interior design. A few months later, Top Shelf Organizers was born! We spent about a year working our full-time jobs and organizing on the side before her husband got an amazing job opportunity in Washington that they could not pass up. I continued Top Shelf Organizers back home in California and she started a branch in Washington. We grew a modest Instagram following and most of our clients found us though the app.
As for many, 2020 posed a lot of challenges for our business. We were no longer able to enter clients’ homes to help them get organized which caused us to have to pivot our business in order to service clients virtually. Around this time, TikTok became increasingly popular and Instagram started testing out Reels. As the months of quarantine added up, so did my level of boredom, and from that, so did my creativity. For most of my adult life, I was way too busy working and going to school to have hobbies and then all of a sudden, I had more free time than ever! I felt a spark reignite in my soul and I found myself drawn once again to so many of the things I was interested in throughout my childhood and teen years.
In December of 2021, my boyfriend and I moved here to Houston, TX. It felt like the perfect time to start a new Instagram account focused on our moving experience, the trials and tribulations of living in AirBnb’s while searching for a more permanent home, as well as some of my other non-organizing creative interests like fashion, gardening, and just life in general.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
If you ask me, organizing is definitely an art form in itself! It takes a specific kind of skill and talent to create an organizational system that is not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing as well. Whether the client wants a bold, color-coded system in rainbow order, or a light and bright, minimalist look, you have to have the eye for it. And with social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok propelling the businesses of so many entrepreneurs, it’s not enough to just be able to learn your client’s habits and family dynamic to create a system they can maintain… you also need to be able to tell their story or share their space in the form of a well framed, well lit photo, or entertaining, fast moving video.
When I started Top Shelf Organizers, I had no idea that I would end up becoming a website designer, a copywriter, a photographer, a videographer, a video editor, a graphic designer, a bookkeeper, etc… but it keeps the days interesting, it keeps my brain sharp, and I love the fact that I get to incorporate so many of my passions into what I do now – especially with the addition of videos!
I was also very lucky to have had an incredible boss when working for the merchandising company. He was an amazing example of a dedicated, knowledgable, business owner who valued both his customers and his employees. I learned so much from him in our seven years working together and will be forever grateful!
Getting to where I am today has been anything but easy. I’ve faced a lot of hardships in my 27 years of life. Growing up with only one reliable parent and another who was constantly in and out of my life was extremely difficult for me. From the ages of 18-20, I found myself in a mentally abusive and controlled relationship that resulted in a restraining order and me isolating myself from most of the people I attended college with out of shame and embarrassment. At 24, my dad took his life. At 25, we were in the midst of COVID (that was a hard time for everyone). At 26, my boyfriend of 5.5 years (and the man I thought I would one day marry) and I split up because he realized he didn’t want to ever have kids, and I definitely did. It was a really rough few years!! I think the important thing to remember is that everyone goes through hard times. Some people have had an “easier” life than I have, and some people have had a “harder” life than I have. I was not raised to be the type of person to take pity on myself and use my hardships in life as an excuse to treat others poorly, or “slack off” on my responsibilities or my aspirations. Any time I was upset, whether I was crying because someone hurt my feelings or I had scraped my knees, my dad would let me express my emotions and cry it out, but after I was done crying, he would have me say “I’M TOUGH!” And quite literally, any time I fell off of my horse, he would make me get right back in the saddle and continue riding. At times, it can be very very difficult to try to find a silver lining in negative life experiences. Sometimes you realize the lessons right away, and other times it may take a few years to glean what you were meant to learn from that hardship. Either way, I think it’s important to reflect on your past so you can learn from it. And for me, it’s also so interesting to think back on the chain of events in my life and how everything that has ever happened to me somehow resulted in me moving to Houston, starting my @TimberLynnPrice on Instagram, which somehow caught the attention of VoyageHouston, and how you, whoever is reading this right now, your life’s chain of events somehow brought you to wherever you are right now, and somehow led you to click on this article and read all of this random information about a complete stranger. So crazy to think about, right?!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
1. Pick them up from airport
2. Have lunch at Hyde Park Kitchen + Bar
3. Head home to let them get settled in
1. Breakfast at Sweep Paris Creperie & Cafe
2. Visit Market Street
3. Walk the Waterway
4. Lunch at home
5. Dinner at Torchy’s with local friends
1. Breakfast at home, but coffee and a snack at Third Gen Coffee
2. Visit Galveston Island for the day
*we haven’t had a chance to explore much around that area yet, so we would have to plan on having no plans that day. The restaurants and activities would be a surprise to all of us!
We aren’t really too fond of big city life, so we haven’t explored much of the city of Houston yet. But if they wanted to, we would (and have with friends that have visited so far) take them into the city to go see the Water Wall and have a fun night out on the town.
1. A late breakfast and coffee at Luv Coffee Pine Market (they have THE BEST avocado toast)
2. Show them around Conroe and Montgomery, etc.
4. Dinner at Republic Grille
Bring them back to the airport 🙁
I’m sure there are a lot of much more exciting things we could have shown them… but we’ve only lived here for (barely) five months and haven’t had enough time to discover all the hidden gems these cities have yet!!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my Shoutout to my SuperDad, Jim Price. From just the little bit I shared in this interview, it is clear to see that he was the most amazing father a girl could have ever hoped for. He gave me an amazing childhood, taught me everything I know, and we had so much fun together.
Sadly, he committed suicide in May of 2019. I discovered a year after his passing that he had been struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts since he was 16, but never shared that side of himself with me. I would also like to thank the Suicide Loss Grief Support Group and the Contra Costa Crisis Center in CA for their support during that time. And of course, a BIG thank you to all of my friends and family (and friends who have become family) who have supported me through the best and worst times in my life, and continue to offer me their love and guidance every day in honor of my dad’s memory. They all know who they are!
Instagram: @TimberLynnPrice & @TopShelfOrganizers
Other: Amazon Storefront: http://www.amazon.com/shop/topshelforganizers Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/timberlynnprice/_created/