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Rising Stars: Meet Leslie Lainer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leslie Lainer.

Hi Leslie, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. Though I lived in Ann Arbor and Boston for my education, I always knew I would return home.

Right out of college, I went into early childhood education, teaching preschool and early primary grades. I moved out of teaching and into leadership positions in 2003, and in 2010 I became the Founding Principal of Valley Charter Elementary School in North Hills, CA. After a rewarding and fulfilling 25 years as an educator, I left education to pursue other passions.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Starting a business always has some bumps in the road – how to manage finances, what will my logo look like, how do I run my social media presence, what’s the best way to engage clients, all of those things are part of the ongoing learning curve of starting something fresh and new. I don’t think it’s been easy, per se, but I have enjoyed the process, and been lucky along the way with referrals and taking advantage of online resources.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?

As an elementary school teacher and principal for twenty-five years, I have always been very detail-oriented when it comes to my home or workspace. When I moved on from education, I was looking for something that was creative but also flexible, something that engaged with people, but also allowed me to problem solve. In 2020, early in the pandemic, I took it upon myself to organize a friend’s walk-in pantry and Organize with Leslie was conceived. As a professional organizer, I go into people’s homes, listen to their needs, help them declutter, and create functional and efficient organizational systems.

I believe that living in an organized home gives you a sense of calm and allows you to spend time on the things you love, whether that is walking the dog, reading, or playing tennis. Keeping a tidy and organized home doesn’t mean that it is always immaculate but it means that it’s easy to clean up as everything has a place.

After about a year and a half in business, I continue to love the time I spend working in my clients’ homes. I have met incredible people, and I believe I am bringing some function as well as peace into their homes.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
I was always a very imaginative child. But I didn’t grow up in the age of smart phones and the internet. I had to use what was in the house or outside to spark my interests. I remember I had this incredible doll house, it was two-story, and I made mini-furniture for it, foraging scraps of paper or cardboard and fabric and markers together to create roomscapes. It was such a fun outlet for me. And, who knows, maybe it was where Organize with Leslie really germinated, as I tried to figure out how to layout the doll’s rooms!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
2 portraits are Frances Iacuzzi Photography (in beige sweater)

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