NVDAILY.COM | Lifestyle

Posted December 19, 2008 | comments Leave a comment

Local entrepreneurs 'Always Happy 2 Help' clients

By Stacey Keenan -- Daily Correspondent

The list of errands seems endless, the laundry basket is toppling over and time is running out on planning a birthday party for two dozen 5-year-olds.

Forget it.

For many people, it often feels as though there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done, much less have free time to spend with friends and family. If only there was somebody willing to do it for you.

Now, there is somebody ready to help -- in fact, there are two of them.

Always Happy 2 Help is a personal concierge service based in Frederick County. Operated by Misty Stambler and her business partner, Amber Brown, Always Happy 2 Help provides services ranging from one-time event planning to weekly errand running and pet sitting.

About a year ago, Stambler and Brown were busy working mothers, and, as Stambler says, "had [their] hands full." While talking about their need for help, the pair thought about the numbers of other people just like them.

"We were sure other people were in the same situation. We couldn't find anyone else [running a personal concierge service], so we decided to start our own business doing it," says Stambler.

The women offer a broad range of services that can be tailored to custom fit any family's needs.

"We work a lot for elderly people and the homebound who can't get out of the house to do the shopping, run errands, pick up prescriptions and that sort of thing," says Stambler. To help seniors stay independent longer, they also perform light housekeeping and other odd jobs, such as changing light bulbs and checking smoke detectors.

Another segment of the ladies' business is personal shopping and errand services. Among the list of chores the women will take care of for their clients is dry cleaning, grocery shopping, light housekeeping, picking up prescriptions, taking care of movie rentals and shopping for, and wrapping, gifts for holidays and other occasions.

Another popular service Always Happy 2 Help offers its clients is a waiting service.

"If you're just moving in, or you're having deliveries or repairs made, we'll sit at your home and wait for the delivery or repair person to come and provide their service or product they may be dropping off, so you don't have to cancel your plans or leave work," says Stambler.

The women offer house-sitting services for clients who are on vacation or away on business, or who live in another location part of the year. Always Happy 2 Help will also assist with event planning, including cleaning up after the party.

Pet sitting is also a service Stambler and Brown offer their clients. The duo come to their client's home, and care for the pet in the comfort of its own home. While they follow a client's specific requests and the pet's schedule, they do require a minimum of two visits per day. During those visits, they'll feed the pet, play with them and give them any medications.

Always Happy 2 Help offers its services on an a la carte basis. All services, except for the waiting and pet sitting services, are charged by the hour, with a one-hour minimum. Any time beyond the minimum is charged by the half hour. The waiting service is charged differently because of the usual window of time required by service providers. Pet sitting services are charged by the number of days a pet requires care.

Clients also have the option of purchasing a package deal if they require regularly scheduled services. Packages offer five, 10 or 15 hours of service a month or the ultimate in personal assistance, an hour of service a day Monday through Friday.

"We are much more affordable than people believe. We often get the response of, 'Oh, you do all that? No way I could afford all that, it seems like such a luxury.' We want to make sure people who need us the most can afford us," Stambler says. "Prices range from $18 to $25 an hour, and that's all based on how often you need us. If you call us and need something done one time and it takes one hour, it's the standard $25 an hour. If you purchase a package, the price drops significantly depending on how many more hours you need."

They encourage those interested in their services to contact them to set up an in-person consultation and then let them worry about the everyday things.

"Our services are so broad. We can tailor them to your needs," said Stambler.

For more information about Always Happy 2 Help personal concierge services, call 539-4988 or 539-4998 or visit the Web at www.alwayshappy2help.com.

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137