How Sortifi was Born…
After 11+ years of working in corporate America, I was “burned out.” I chose to work long hours and devote myself to this work which, at the time I felt “passionate & excited” about. I did love my career and the people I worked with, but to say this was my passion was probably a stretch, in hindsight. I think I told myself this to justify my long hours. Does this sound familiar? Eventually I got to a place where I was just going through the motions and I didn’t know why. Whenever I become complacent, that is my sign that it’s time to change something.
Eventually I started daydreaming of turning something I was truly passionate about for the past 15 years into a new career — I wanted to become a Professional Organizer! It was something I did for myself, family & friends. I enjoyed it so much it didn’t feel like work at all. When I was researching the organizing industry before leaving my corporate job, one of the first things I Googled was “design programs for organizers.” I was accustomed to creating digital designs in CAD software when I was a structural engineer in my early career, so I thought surely there must be a design tool for organizers. I started following organizers on social media & even asked what design program they were using to help make their vision a reality, everyone shared they were either sketching designs on paper, drawing products over digital photos of the space, had the ideas in their heads, or were overbuying products & figuring it out onsite. I was shocked — however, I had to accept this and move on & decided I would have to get better at sketching on graph paper. LOL
After months of planning, I officially took the plunge and left corporate America in 2019. Six months later, COVID arrived — you all know this story all too well because we were all living it. This strange time where we were confined to our homes & isolated from our friends and family was an adjustment. I will say the silver lining for me was learning to slow down & to be more intentional in my life. Coming out of months of COVID quarantine, I realized I wanted to approach this new chapter of my career differently. I wanted to avoid burnout again. I wanted to have work/life balance. I wanted to love what I do every day. I wanted to enjoy the journey — sound familiar? In order to do this, I had to figure out how I could work smarter, not harder. As a solopreneur, we wear many hats, so I had to figure out how to be more productive. As I looked at where I was spending my time, I realized a big portion of my office time was dedicated to project research, planning & design. I love this part of the job, but it was taking me entirely too long. I would spend endless hours looking for the perfect products for each job, going around and around in circles on all of our favorite websites like The Container Store, Amazon, Target, & Bed Bath & Beyond. Then I would sketch my vision on paper so I would have a clear picture of the products, zones & categories involved — which, sadly didn’t look anything like the vision in my head because I can barely draw a straight line with a ruler! This whole process, from start to finish, would take me hours, sometimes even days, for larger projects. I just chalked it up to being a new organizer & that over time it would get easier & faster. Well, that didn’t happen & I’m not very patient! LOL
Each time I had a large project that included products, I couldn’t help but daydream about what it would be like to have a design software that was made specifically for Professional Organizers. This thought kept making its way to the forefront of my mind more & more every day to the point where I could no longer ignore it. Late last year, I started brainstorming on what it would take to make this daydream a reality, which would not only help my organizing business, but also benefit the whole organizing industry that I love so much!
I started reaching out to my network to see if anyone had software development connections & learned more about the tech startup world & all of the things involved. I was fortunate to find an awesome development partner through a fellow female entrepreneur. I am also grateful that my husband, Riaan, has a technology background & agreed to partner with me on this venture to manage all of the tech, integrations, & CRM.
My vision for Sortifi was to create a design software that is simple to use and does not require rigorous training, so you can start saving time on Day 1. I also wanted Sortifi to have a feminine & minimalistic feel to it. As organizers, we believe less is more, so I tried to keep this at the forefront of all our design decisions.
Here we are, almost a year later, getting ready to launch this tool that was once just an idea in my head. I am grateful for the amazing mentors & partners who have guided and supported us through this entire process. We also have an awesome Beta community of professional organizers who were willing to test the beta version & provide great feedback to help drive the direction of Sortifi. I’m thankful to be a part of the professional organizing industry and look forward to Sortifi being your new favorite tool.