The Help: Concierge Services Get Hyper-Personal
Amanda Jones, a real estate agent from San Francisco, toured her house one day last month and counted the number of people she was paying to take care of her. There were seven.
April, the dog walker, was in the kitchen picking up Speedy and Willis – Jones’s miniature dachshunds — for their $35 walk. Up in the master bedroom, Christina, Jones’s $50 an hour closet organizer was strategizing with Jackie, her $200 an hour personal stylist, about what to buy at the Container Store (Jackie’s assistant was there, too, built into the hourly rate).
Meanwhile, two men were installing new windows in Jones’s bedroom, but she hadn’t hired them herself — she hired someone else to hire them. They came with rave reviews from Carrie Starner Keenan, a lifestyle management concierge who coordinates home contracting projects, plans events and secures the most elusive reservations at the best vineyards in wine country for $75 an hour.
“I turned to my assistant and said, ‘It takes a village,’” recalls Jones, who has a separate personal assistant to take care of work-specific matters.
“It’s kind of crazy but I feel like I need these things because I’m not going to sew a button on a shirt, and I’m not going to spend a weekend organizing my closet.”
People like Jones, with little time and plenty of money, have seen their options increase of late when it comes to personal providers, otherwise known as concierges. The line of work once specific to the hotel industry is now offering hyper-individualized services in industries ranging from home contracting and fitness to pets and pregnancy.