Fairy god­moth­ers

Berkshire Life - - Front Page - WORDS: Claire Pitcher

They sort ev­ery­thing!

For many peo­ple mov­ing home be­comes one of the most stress­ful things to deal with dur­ing a life­time, and it’s likely to hap­pen more than once. Get­ting fi­nance in place, sell­ing your own prop­erty and nav­i­gat­ing the highs and lows is enough to deal with, and then there’s the in­evitable move it­self. The sort­ing through of all your worldly be­long­ings and pack­ing them into a pile of boxes be­fore fac­ing the mam­moth task of un­pack­ing it all at the other end. If only there was some­one who could just sort the en­tire move for you. Some­one who could not only take away the stress but put the joy back in to what should be a happy oc­ca­sion.

A KIND OF MAGIC

Meet Deb­bie Robin­son and Char­lotte Hep­worth from Hen­ley, two ladies who were once re­ferred to as ‘fairy god­moth­ers’. These friends co-own Home Move Con­sul­tants, who, as their web­site says, ‘of­fer a high-end man­age­ment ser­vice that leaves you free to con­cen­trate on the things that mat­ter to you most in your per­sonal and pro­fes­sional life.’ This al­ready sounds like the stuff of fairy­tales – they’ve cer­tainly cre­ated a few happy ever-af­ters.

“We met at school four or five years ago,” ex­plains Deb­bie. “Our chil­dren are best friends. We hit it off straight away. We’d both given up full time work to be with the chil­dren and so we threw our­selves into do­ing bits for the PTA and found we worked re­ally well to­gether.”

Ad­mit­ting that nei­ther of them are par­tic­u­larly “cof­fee morn­ing mums”, they set to think­ing how they could put their skills to good use: “We chat­ted about what we could do that peo­ple would nor­mally out­source; what’s stress­ful, what peo­ple will pay to have some­one else do that they don’t like do­ing them­selves,” she con­tin­ues.

Char­lotte con­fesses to be­ing a se­rial mover, hav­ing had at least seven dif­fer­ent prop­er­ties she’s called ‘home’. “What I found in all of my moves is that do­ing it led to all the ex­cite­ment be­ing lost along the way. By the time it’s al­most over and you’re sit­ting in your new liv­ing room among hun­dreds of boxes it dis­ap­pears. You’re exhausted, you can’t wait to empty that fi­nal box but by the time you get to it you’ve had enough and it ends up in the at­tic.”

What the Home Move Con­sul­tants aim to do is ac­tu­ally help their clients keep the ex­cite­ment of their new shiny home. “And it’s so easy to do be­cause it’s all project man­age­ment and when it’s not our emo­tional move, it’s rel­a­tively easy for us to get or­gan­ised and make de­ci­sions,” Deb­bie ex­plains.

WHITE GLOVE SER­VICE

The two fairy god­moth­ers have ev­ery de­tail cov­ered, from stock­ing your fridge for your re­turn to en­sur­ing your new

Have you ever wished you could just wave a magic wand and your house move hap­pens like magic? We spoke to

two ladies who can make your dreams come true

home al­ready has WIFI. Yes, they of course take care of your de­clut­ter­ing, pack­ing, clean­ing and trans­port­ing your pos­ses­sions, it’s the ex­tra mile that gets you what you pay for. “In truth, this is not the kind of ser­vice that ev­ery­one would have be­cause there is ob­vi­ously a premium to be paid hav­ing some­one take it off your hands,” Char­lotte ad­mits.

“If it was me,” she con­tin­ues, “I would want some­body to book my hol­i­day, find some­where for the pets, or­gan­ise the kids to go away for a week­end.” Those are just three of the many headaches they han­dle. Then it’s the big ques­tions: what would their clients most want to come back from hol­i­day to? What would be a lux­ury? “If we know some­one is par­tic­u­larly into wine we have a wine mas­ter who will help us choose one. Re­cently we in­cluded a bot­tle of what the cou­ple had on their wed­ding day. We called their ho­tel in Greece to find out what it was and left it for them as a sur­prise.”

OFF-MENU

Char­lotte points out they al­ways knew it was go­ing to be a be­spoke ser­vice. “We weren’t go­ing to have a ‘menu’ with a list dic­tat­ing what you can choose from.” Since set­ting up they’ve added many con­tacts to their lit­tle black book, there are even some they have yet to call upon: “We have some­one who can look af­ter vin­tage cars, even peo­ple who can put art­work into tem­per­a­ture con­trolled stor­age. We wanted to make sure we had all the right con­nec­tions so what­ever is asked of us we can ful­fill.”

These two mums seem to have the work-life bal­ance sorted out and as the lit­tle ones grow up it means Char­lotte and Deb­bie can fo­cus more on po­ten­tially ex­pand­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally. How­ever, it’s not just the suc­cess of the busi­ness that brings the most re­ward: “It’s been more than we hoped it would be, be­cause when we see our clients’ faces when they walk into their homes and ev­ery­thing’s un­packed, the pic­tures are on the wall, the favourite toys are on the bed for the chil­dren, there’s a fridge full of food and wine, it gives such a sense of sat­is­fac­tion,” says Deb­bie.

“It’s given us ev­ery­thing we want re­ally,” adds Char­lotte. “When we look at what we set out to achieve in terms of some­thing we could do to­gether, that would fit into fam­ily life, it’s a lucky po­si­tion to be in. We keep hav­ing to pinch our­selves.”

Find out more at www.home­m­o­ve­con­sul­tants.co.uk

‘We weren’t go­ing to have a ‘menu’ dic­tat­ing what you can choose from’

ABOVE: Have a hol­i­day and find the fridge stocked and ev­ery­thing gleam­ing in your new home

Deb­bie and Char­lotte take the stress out of a home move

ABOVE: Come home to this... all sorted by ‘the magic fairies’

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