Why do you own dirty work? A private concierge will score last-minute tickets, write your checks – even organize your closets!
Chic and slender, clad in all black except for a Donna Karan tiger-print mini, Linda Rothschild talks authoritatively and fast. The 44-year-old president of Cross It Off Your List is a whirl of motion – a plus in her line of business.
Initially, Rothschild had no interest in the concierge business. “People always relied on me to find things – to be a reference,” she says. “I was looking for a career, and a friend said, ‘Just do what you do best.'” So nine years ago, she began doing light bookkeeping and running errands for clients’ that developed into assisting with moves and estate sales, then parties. Now, she employs a staff of ten.
Moving is Rothschild’s forte. “My clients don’t have time to look at a hundred apartments, so they describe what they want, and I go out with brokers till I see something I think will fit the bill,” she says. This Jane-of-all-trades can also find you temporary digs if your home is being redecorated. Better yet, when the time comes to move, you won’t have to life a finger, “The client doesn’t have to be there,” she says. “We hire and oversee the movers and unpack.” Moving someone else’s stuff can be a nightmare, but Rothschild snaps “before” photos as a precaution: “People want their books back on the shelf the same way. If the socks were in the top drawer in the old apartment, we’ll make sure they’re in the same place in the new apartment.”
Organizing, the second-most-frequent job request Rothschild entertains is becoming as trendy an enterprise as concierging. (Rothschild is the new president of the National Association of Professional Organizers.) “Chronic disorganization can become a lifestyle,” she says. Rothschild reorganizes some clients’ closets twice a year. For other, she and her staff sort through boxes of papers – even entire rooms – to help decide what to keep and what to toss.
But being a concierge can also be fun – Rothschild often shops for American food, makeup and CDs for clients who live in Australia. And Rothschild will even pay your bills – if you supply the funds, of course: “People hate that chore. We help them avoid late fees and keep their credit rating in good shape. Once a month, I go to their home or office and they hand me a shopping bag full of bills.”
Amazing feat: “If I had a Canadian couple that moved to New York,” recalls Rothschild. “The husband’s green card was in one of a million boxes piled up, and he needed it in 24 hours. By six o’clock we still had about 40 boxes left to unpack. I looked at the tops of those boxes and ponted to one and said, ‘It’s in there.’ And it was. It was a miracle.”
By Jean Herskowitz
Photograph by Alex Newhall
212.725.0122. 9am-6pm, by appointment only. $65 – $95/hr.