Mom’s groups offer terrific opportunities for women to build relationships and explore common interests. In the case of Edina moms Ashley McCarthy and Lindsay Cisewski, a local mom’s group would be the fertile soil where a creative idea would take root.
Approximately a year and a half after meeting at a mom’s group, these adventurous entrepreneurs decided to collaborate on a home organizing business they call Style + Dwell.
Both have worked in corporate America—McCarthy in advertising, Cisewski in sales—and their new business venture combines the duo’s organizational skills with a mutual appreciation for aesthetically pleasing spaces. These women bring more to organization than simply sorting items into plastic containers. They customize projects to reflect a homeowner’s style and incorporate personal touches into every job.
“It’s organization reimagined,” Cisewski says.
“Our niche is putting style into our work,” McCarthy says. They create organized spaces that are as visually appealing as the rest of the home. Some ways they do this is by using wallpaper to accent shelving and storage spaces like the kitchen pantry. They also create pretty custom labels for bins and storage containers they’ve specially selected for appearance as well as function. “We have fun with it,” McCarthy says. “We can use plain acrylic containers but we prefer to add more interesting style elements.”
Each project begins with an in-home consultation. Homeowners give McCarthy and Cisewski a tour of their space and define their budget. Style + Dwell does the rest from developing a plan to personally shopping for and organizing the space. “You get two organizers for every project,” McCarthy says. “We each see things a bit differently but come together to achieve the same goal.”
Cisewski adds that in the beginning the women had no idea that they would be so like-minded, but thus far, have always been on the same page. Also, some projects can be pretty large, and Cisewski says having two organizers ultimately saves time and money.
Their approach is clearly on the mark. The two are shocked at the trajectory of their business. Some momentum has come from connecting with social media influencers. McCarthy says, “We’ve done some projects with local Instagram influencers. This way we can learn about social media and blogging and in turn, we organize a space for them.” The Style + Dwell website includes a blog with regular organization and style tips. Readers can attempt to incorporate those tips on their own or gather ideas of what they’d like to hire McCarthy and Cisewski to do for them.
They tell us that organizing garages is not really their thing. They specialize in family-centered spaces like kitchens, closets, playrooms and craft rooms. Something Style + Dwell is particularly good at is creating family command centers. A command center is “a central place in the home that helps keep the family organized,” says McCarthy. It’s a place to drop items when coming in the door—things like purses, backpacks and kid’s school projects. It’s also a place for a customized Style + Dwell family calendar or menu planner. Some of these organizational items can be personalized with family names, etc.
These female business owners also try to promote and showcase other female business owners by utilizing products from local woman-owned businesses whenever possible. They’ve found everyone in the local business community, both women and men, to be friendly and supportive. And in an effort to support our readers who want to get more organized, look for regular organization tips from Style + Dwell in future issues of Edina Magazine. This month’s tips can be found on page 7 and online at edinamag.com.