BY MARY MICHAELS | PHOTOS BY JULIE PRAIRIE PHOTOGRAPHY
Hang on. Help is on its way. I’ll be there as fast as I can.
The Little River Band may have coined this phrase, but one local business has adopted it as its mission. If your “to do” list is longer than the number of hours left in the day, let Queen City Concierge help.
Queen City Concierge is celebrating its first decade in business, and owner Ashlee Ferguson says even after ten years, they are learning new things about the concierge business to improve services for their clients.
For example, while Queen City Concierge started as a business to help people with daily tasks like running to the post office, the dry cleaner, or even taking care of laundry or grocery shopping, they have evolved over the years and now have added services like estate sales and have opened a consignment shop inside Gift & Thrift, Vintage 2 at the corner of 10th Street and Bahnson Avenue. Even though the venture into retail was a new one, Ferguson says they have been enjoying it and, in fact, have already expanded their space within the shop three times since opening last August.
“We are all so busy these days,” says Ferguson. “It seems like everyone is more stressed and trying to juggle the things they need to do at work and at home. Our menu of services can help them find better balance.”
One of the most popular services, she says, is home organizing.
“Our homes are living, breathing things,” Ferguson explains. “They are where our families come together and bond over meals and games, where almost all important conversations and decisions are made, where we relax and entertain, and where we feel safe. Each home should be a reflection of its owners, so when a home does not function as it should, its owners cannot thrive as they should.”
Ferguson adds that while it is easy to make a house appear clean, we all know what is behind doors and in cupboards and drawers in our homes, and that can weigh heavy on people’s minds. Queen City Concierge offers free consultations so their team can listen to the homeowner’s individual needs and make a plan to work within the client’s timeline and budget.
Queen City Concierge can help with other tasks, too, such as meal planning and preparation, seasonal decorating at home or at the office, home or corporate event planning, dog walking, senior companion visits, help for new moms or helping to arrange moving or handyman services. And, this list is far from being allinclusive. There is nearly no limit to what is possible with concierge services (as long as they are legal and ethical).
Ferguson recalls a recent situation where she received a phone call from an out-of-state client.
“She called me because her best friend had been in a terrible car accident and was being air-lifted to Sioux Falls,” she explains. “The woman was in ICU, had no personal belongings with her and was several hours away from home. Our client sent us a list of basic essentials, along with some comforts like a soft robe, to help with what appeared to be a long recovery ahead. We were happy to help, picked up the items as fast as we could and delivered them to the hospital.”
Queen City Concierge offers monthly packages to clients as a way to maintain and manage their homes, or what Ferguson likes to call “Everyday Life Insurance” for life’s little surprises, like a kid forgetting their science project or coming home to a flooded basement.
“Our clients count on us to be their everyday superheroes and problem-solvers,” she says. “Every interaction with our clients is confidential, and while we are not licensed therapists, there are times where we fill those shoes, too. That is all part of the Queen City Concierge experience.”
Ferguson says she started Queen City Concierge so she could spend more time with her family, and so her goal is to help others spend more time with the people they love, doing the things they love.
On a day to day basis, people find themselves stuck at work when they really hoped to run to the bank or to go grab that gift for a family member’s birthday. Or, they put off date night because there is laundry to do, a sink that needs fixing or they just remembered they’re supposed to bring game treats the next day.
Ferguson’s team wants to lighten their load.
“Family has always been at the center of Queen City Concierge,” she says, “and anything we can do to help bring families together or get them through the tough moments in life is of the utmost importance to us. We love talking with clients about their lives and how we can help take tasks off their plate so that they have free time to take care of themselves and their families.”