Over the years, I have met interior designers, business owners, architects, and other remarkable individuals, as clients and in daily life, whose work and lives completely inspire me. After getting to know these women and men, I have found that one of the keys to their success is organization. As a result, I decided to develop a question and answer series, The Organized Lifestyle, that showcases their work and dives deep into the daily organizational systems, products, and habits they use and incorporate into their lives. I hope we can all learn a thing or two from them.
This week, I interviewed Sally Steponkus Roche, owner of Sally Steponkus Interiors, Inc. I have known Sally for several years, and we have partnered on many projects, since organization and interior design often go hand in hand. Clients love her. I love working with her! Her positive energy and keen eye for detail allow for a seamless partnership, and I couldn’t be more excited to feature her on our new The Organized Lifestyle series.
The Organized Lifestyle: Q&A with Sally Steponkus Roche, owner of Sally Steponkus Interiors, Inc.
1. Tell us about your business! How would you describe it? What do you like most about your role?
I own a small, high-end interior design firm. My favorite thing about my job is meeting clients and taking their wishes and vision and creating the happiest and most perfect idealization of them. My least favorite thing we have to deal with is when a vendor lets us down no matter how detailed we make our purchase orders, etc. Mistakes happen often in this business due to so much human error, so we try to stay on top of things as much as we possibly can to avoid any problems.
2. Does your job require you to stay organized?
Uhhh, yes. When you have 6 employees and run over 20 jobs at a time, we have to stay super organized. Lots of moving pieces and details upon details.
3. Are there any organizing products or tools you use everyday and “could not live without”? (Can include notebooks, pens, apps, etc.)
4. Do you rely mostly on electronic organization systems or prefer the paper and pen type? Would you recommend a combination? How do you best manage both?
We use all electronic organizational systems: iCal, Evernote, Google Docs.
5. Are there any organizing tips you’ve tried over the years that did not work for you? What were they? Why do you think they did not work?
Hand-written lists & calendars don’t work for me.
6. Are there any habits you have formed and use everyday to get and stay organized?
We like to “pull up” and go through our To-Do List several times a week.
7. What is your favorite organizational tool that you use, whether it be a product, app, or routine?
We keep a Master To-Do List in Evernote that is organized by Client, then by Room and color coded as to who needs to complete which task, etc. This is the best way I’ve found (or my assistants found) to keep us totally organized all the time, whether in the office or on the job. Such a great app!
8. What sort of calendar or planner system do you use? What do you like about it? What do you not like about it?
iCal is super easy for us, and we color code it depending on who is attending the meeting, if it’s an installation, or a group activity.
9. Why do you think it’s important to stay organized in your role?
There are too many details in our business whether it’s per piece of furniture, per room or per job so we try to keep all of these pieces of info organized so nothing falls through the cracks.
10. What is one piece of advice you would give others to stay organized?
Keep a master list and divide it into sections that are easiest for you to read, edit & stay on top of action items.