Today’s CoChic Cool Chick happens to be one of my all-time favorite clients, Brooke Ruder. Brooke and I share a love and appreciation of an organized closet, as she manages the Chicago market for NEAT Method, a professional organizing company. She organizes more than your closet, though. The NEAT girls have a passion for organizing anything, so we make a great tag team: CoChic Styling can edit your closet and show you how to pair outfits you already own & NEAT Method can take care of organizing!
I first met Brooke when she hired me for personal shopping and styling for her engagement photo session (see photos below!). Brooke is one of the most friendly, bubbly people I’ve ever met, and she probably had the most organized home I’ve ever seen. Makes sense for a professional organizer, right? Read on to find out how Brooke got into professional organizing and what inspires her entrepreneurial spirit. Also, Brooke and I are going to be collaborating on an exciting opportunity! (Sign up to receive the CoChic Styling newsletter to be the first to hear about our collaboration!)
If you are new to CoChic Cool Chicks, every Monday I feature a woman entrepreneur who inspires me, who I am lucky enough to have in my girl boss network. These women are doing great things and whether you aspire to be an entrepreneur or not, I hope that they inspire you to do great things, too. I encourage you to check out their businesses, websites, and social media. And reach out to them, ask them questions, say hello. They’d love to hear from you!
Tell us about your business.
Hi CoChic readers! My name is Brooke Ruder and I manage the Chicago market for NEAT Method, a residential professional organizing company committed to providing more luxurious and smartly appointed living spaces. We create uniquely personalized systems that transform spaces from chaotic to composed! We’re located in 12 different cities across the country so be sure to check us out in a city near you!
What made you take the leap to become a business owner?
I first joined the NEAT team around 3 years ago and since then, have become more and more involved in the company. Between the amazing NEAT team here in Chicago, the other city managers as well as the NEAT corporate team, I work with amazing women every day. It’s because of these incredible women that I left my background as a Registered Nurse and took the leap to manage the Chicago market and haven’t looked back since!
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
Beyond working with the NEAT girls, I love the excitement and learning curve(!) of running my own business. I’m always discovering new systems and processes to implement within our team and structure but as well as new organizational products and designs within our clients’ homes. Change is constant around here!
What is the most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur?
Knowing how and when to shut down for the day! Efficient time management has become my new M.O. It feels like there are always 5 more things I could cross off the checklist but I’ve realized how important it is to close my laptop, stop checking email for the night and enjoy time with my fiancé and/or read the latest pick for book club.
What do you enjoy most about organizing?
Revamping a client’s space in a matter of a day is one of the most rewarding feelings for two reasons – 1) it dramatically changes that client’s energy and outlook regarding that space and ultimately their home as a whole and 2) it lets us channel our OCD-tendencies in a productive manner on a daily basis! Every type-A girl’s dream!
Have you always loved organizing?
Absolutely! As a kid, I definitely had more fun organizing my Barbies’ clothes and accessories than I did playing with the actual Barbies!
What is your best piece of business advice?
Make it a priority to build an amazing team. Whether it is mentors or contractors, surrounding yourself with people that share your passion and goals is one of the most motivating things you can do to build your business.
Do you have any tricks of the trade you could share with us?
For sure! In a closet, color-code everything – tanks, tops, pants, shoes, anything looks better color-coded. Also, switching over to uniform hangers and/or baskets is another tip that makes a big aesthetic difference, whether it is in a closet or a pantry or playroom.
How would you describe your personal style?
Pretty classic. My “go tos” are dresses or my black jeans with a button down blouse! I don’t stray too far from those typically but thanks to Alyssa I’ve started venturing outside my usual uniform and incorporating timeless, yet edgier pieces.
What does being CoChic (comfortably chic) mean to you?
Effortless yet well polished!
Anything else you’d like to share?
Be on the lookout for the launch of NEAT’s collaboration with CoChic Styling! Sign up for our newsletters (NEAT & CoChic) and follow us on social media to be the first to hear about it (NEAT & CoChic).