Online Magazine VoyageDallas wrote an article "Meet Ashley Bates of OCD Organize. Create. Decorate."
Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Bates.
Hi Ashley, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself. My story of becoming a Professional Organizer started during COVID when people were confined to their homes and working on feeling happy, clear-minded, and safe in their space. I knew I had a way to help people fall in love with being at home and to make a more streamlined and organized process in their new routines.
I always knew I was meant to be a Professional Organizer & Interior Decorator. My mom was an Interior Decorator, and I’ve always had a creative eye, skill, and love for all things Home Decor and Organizing.
I also knew I wanted to help people. That was something that has always been important to me, and I didn’t want just to show perfect pictures of spaces, people, and homes. I want to be real and authentic in my business and show my imperfections.
Often with social media, it’s easy to get lost in thinking everything, and everyone is perfect. Since I have a mild case of OCD, I wanted to help others with this, as I knew there were many people out there with the same and much more severe cases. The way I coped with OCD was by using the struggles I had with it and turning it into my superpower through organizing. It was a way for me to let out my creative side, but also a coping mechanism.
When I would get anxious, I would clean and organize until it passed. It really helped me focus, and I loved doing it – so I turned my passion into a business!
Now my team and I professionally organize homes in Ohio, Chicago, and Dallas!
My long-term goal is to help others, raise awareness about OCD, build a positive community around this, tell people’s stories, and have a portion of my proceeds go to an OCD-related charity. I know that OCD is not just pretty places and spaces or having everything aligned in the home, so I want to encourage all types of people to be supported in their OCD journey.
We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road? Absolutely not!
I started my business completely alone; I was the only employee for the first year, which means I did every single project myself (organizing entire homes, moves, closets, garages, and more). I did all the accounting, invoicing and budgeting, client meetings, creating the organizational concepts, running my social media, and traveled between the multiple states we are located in. At times it is very hard and scary, but this is my dream, and I won’t ever give up!
I sold my apartment I was living in at the time, sold all my furniture, and moved home to my parent’s house in Ohio (I hadn’t lived with them since high school!) so that I could save money and travel back and forth between projects in Ohio, Chicago, and Dallas (coincidentally OCD!). My Dad would take me and pick me up from every airline flight (he would always wish me good luck before I walk in the airport) I would pack up for a month at a time and do organizing projects living out of my suitcase, couch surfing at friends, and taking every single job I could.
I think as women in business, it’s really important to be honest about our journey so that we can inspire other women to take the leap of faith in themselves and be fearless to chase their natural talents and passions and know that even if you have never had business experience you can learn and be a business owner. That really goes for everyone – men, women, & younger kids – if you don’t ever give up, no matter how hard it is, you will make it.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next, you can tell us a bit more about your business. I am a Professional Organizer and Interior Decorator. My business is called OCD (Organize. Create. Decorate.)
What sets me apart from other Organizers and Interior Decorators is that I offer a higher level of service by staging and creating a space that is beyond your average organizer and just being organized. My goal is next-level organization, creating that “WOW” factor that you see on TV shows.
I am trained in interior decoration, and I specialize in customizing the design – picking out one kind material to match your home’s aesthetic, making the colors, patterns, and materials look like a storefront while being easy to use and organization friendly.
All of my employees also have training to support these skills, and their experience often includes being trained in architecture and design, art, organization, professional storefront design, and more.
I want to create something more beautiful, more thought out, and more perfect to the space and client’s goals than anyone else can. I really connect with each client. I try to stay away from similar cookie-cutter styles. I listen to my clients, their preferred style, passions, art interest, needs, special family mementos, and then incorporate that into their space for them.
In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years? Organizing has become very well-known in the last few years due to COVID, The Home Edit show on Netflix, and social media showing all things Home and Organizing. The awareness around home organization is spreading so fast.
The trends I see in the next few years are an increase in organizing moves. Over the past few years, so many people have relocated to other states and always need help getting settled in their new home.
Social media, especially TikTok, is increasing awareness of the business and teaching people tips and tricks on organizing. I am not sure having a website will even come close in the next few years to the traffic from social media.
Offices will play an important role over the next few years, if people are still at home and offices are no longer used in the business setting people will need to organize and design more office space into their home.
New product development will be significant over the next few years. We have seen such a huge increase in organizing material; you can’t walk in any store without seeing a home organization section.
I think making products more user-friendly, beautiful, and functional must further develop. My goal is to one day have my own line of organizing products based on all of my experience with clients’ needs and what doesn’t exist yet on the market! I have plenty of awesome organizing product and material ideas.. But I’ll keep them a secret for now!