Success Stories

Kelly Hensley

                Kelly Hensley is the owner of Leftovers consignment store in San Francisco.  She works with over 5,000 consigners and currently has a wait list for consignment, which she attributes in part to her prime location at the epicenter of Russian Hill, Nob Hill, and other upscale San Francisco neighborhoods. 

                Consignors leave their goods at her store for sixty days, after which they can either reclaim what hasn’t sold or donate it.  All proceeds are split 50/50 between the consignor and the shop.  The constant flow of new and unique goods gives the store a different energy from a big box store that can be counted on to have the same types of furnishings indefinitely.  Kelly runs her business for two sets of customers, her consignors and her shoppers.

                By the nature of her business, Kelly is able to make monthly donations to mission-based thrift stores like Out of the Closet and Goodwill.

                Kelly also gives... Read More

Kerry Rego

Kerry Rego and her husband were in the process of starting a family, when Kerry decided to start her own business.

What made you want to start a business as an organizer?  How long did you do it? What type of clients did you work with?

My husband and I started our family while we were living in Indio, California and decided to return home to get the support of our mutual families. I was out of work and thought about the types of skills I had that were marketable.

I had excelled at office and personal management in the past and decided to start my own business capitalizing on those skills.  I started my business as an assistant-for-hire and the title and value proposition shifted to organization based on what my clients were asking for. I worked with individuals and small businesses to streamline their physical and digital assets for increased efficiency. I organized homes, closets, garages, filing systems, technology setups, and work spaces. I did that for... Read More

Knotty Hole Woodworks

Tod Detro’s first job was building cabinetry at O’Neill’s Surf Shop in Santa Cruz.  In 1978 he decided to start his own business, Knotty Hole Woodworks. Today he owns a high-end custom cabinetry business in East Palo Alto with 25 employees. 

Many of his employees have been with the company over 25 years.  When he was forced to institute 20% pay cuts across the board during the recession, everyone stayed.  Knotty Hole Woodworks employees not only enjoy a good benefits package, a flexible schedule, a dog-friendly workplace, and retirement options, but they also take pride in the intricate and unique work that they do every day.

Tod and his team supply directly to home owners as well as through contractors.  They have chosen to focus on the building of the cabinetry, working with a network of trusted partners for the finishing and installation.  They don’t need to market as they get all referrals through word of mouth.  Some customers like the work they’ve done for their... Read More

Brown Sugar Kitchen

            Tanya Holland started Brown Sugar Kitchen on January 15th, 2008.  Her soul food restaurant offered full service dining and some catering. Tanya’s first restaurant was so successful that she leapt at the opportunity to expand to a second location.  “We needed to expand since the first business has limited seating and hours and the demand for our product was great, and still is.  We’re still busting at the seams now, with 45 minute to hour long waits at both places,” said Tanya about her growing empire.

            Tanya found out about OBDC from a neighbor who works at the organization.  In 2011, Brown Sugar Kitchen received a $50,000 SBA Microloan from Oakland Business Development Corporation (OBDC) to cover renovations to Tanya Holland’s 60 seat restaurant in West Oakland. The renovations included new flooring, kitchen equipment and a new grease trap. A portion of the proceeds was also used as working capital.

            OBDC provided feedback on her... Read More