We had the good fortune of connecting with Charissa Woodward and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Charissa, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
In my life, I define success as “walking in my purpose”. One of the first books I ever read that significantly changed my life is called “The Purpose Driven Life”. To summarize, this book imprinted me with the idea that I indeed have purpose, we all do. Years after reading that book, I finally recognized one of my most obvious gifts.
I remember distinctly the moment I had this thought “Charissa, you’ve been hoarding your gift for organizing” I have been given a natural talent for it, but also a love and energy to sustain me to do it consistently, and in all types of scenarios.
One of my practical purposes in life is to help my clients declutter and organize their spaces, but I find my purpose also in how I interact with them. My name, Charissa ,means Grace and that is what I hope to bring to every interaction I have with my clients. Well, actually in every relationship in my life.
To me, anyone who is successful is doing the best they can with what they have to work with, and at max capacity is using their gifts and talents to bless others.
Success shows up in business, in marriage, in therapy sessions, in working a minimum wage job, in creating art, in paying debt, in quiet moments of reflection. Success to me is not measured with data, it is experienced in growth and gratitude.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Thank you for the opportunity to share. I remember casually scrolling online one day and coming across a graphic that asked “If you could talk about one thing for 30 minutes with no preparation, what would it be?” And my immediate answer was organizing! I started Grace to Organize almost 4 years ago now, and I look back with gratefulness for many reasons.
I remember organizing one day early on in my business and realizing that I didn’t just own a business to help others, I was on a path of personal growth. Owning a small business is like emotional, and mental boot camp. You will learn things about yourself and others that you never even knew you could, and can’t always learn from a book or seminar.
It had never in my life occurred to me that I could or would want to be a business owner, until I realized I had a gift for organizing that needed sharing, and there were people all around me who either don’t like organizing, are too overwhelmed to do it alone, don’t know how to do it, or are just really struggling to keep up with life’s responsibilities.
I think one of the most rewarding developments in my business was when I started to realize I wasn’t just helping my clients organize, but I was helping them by holding them accountable, encouraging and motivating them, or even just listening to their dreams and goals. In most cases I work one-on-one with my clients, going through some of their most personal belongings, or many times their lost or forgotten ones. We share stories and make fascinating discoveries. I see them be excited about their home after feeling anxious, or I see them have awareness of why they’ve been struggling, I see them tear up over items that remind them of someone they love, or lost.
What I love about my job is I am equally helping people with a practical problem, while also emotionally and mentally supporting them as much as I’m capable.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I absolutely love recommending enjoying the outdoors, of course! I am a Colorado Native, and am an outdoorsy girl at heart, so hiking is one of my favorite activities in the Summer. My favorite hike is the Manitou Incline. Now of course, if this friend is from out of town and not used to elevation, or isn’t in the best shape right now, it would not be a great recommendation. However, for someone who wants a challenge, it will be a thrilling story to return home and tell. If you’re not familiar, the Incline is 2,774 steps that climb up the side of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs. The path down is a leisurely stroll on Barr Trail (for about an hour or so) and is GORGEOUS.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I love the opportunity to share about the love and encouragement of others in my life! Whenever I’m asked a question like this, I immediately think of one person. Rebeca Flott. Rebeca is someone I met when I was 22 years old, I worked a part- time job that I loved. I remember one day she shared with me part of her story. Rebeca grew up in Brazil and had a dream of one day moving to America and pursuing her love of art. She saved for years to move here, even though people told her she was crazy to imagine being that successful. I don’t remember any more details of what she shared that day, but I remember how it impacted me. She left the room and returned unexpectedly to find me crying, she said “Oh Mama, what is wrong, why are you sad?” And I replied with sincerity “You have such a beautiful story, and I don’t have one” It sounds pretty sad now, but honestly… it was the most beautiful thing I could have said because it was vulnerable, and changed my life.
Rebeca took the opportunity to love me well, she chose to water my little seeds of faith that sprouted when she said, “Oh, you have a great story, and I want to hear it” In fact, she didn’t just say those words, she meant them. She started inviting me for coffee, to her home for tea parties, to go shopping with her. She just spent time with me, and learned my story, and then started to show me that I have a pen in my hand, and I get to keep writing, but now I could own my book! I credit her with the start of my journey of loving my story, and also sharing it!