I often wish I had an extra set of hands to help me get everything completed each day. Most nights I don’t sit down until late in the evening. I know I am not alone.
Most people lead busy lives and could use more downtime. Two Charlotte businesses recognize this need and are trying to help people carve out more time for family and friends and find that work/life balance we all want to achieve.
And they both have names that could be considered controversial by some.
Metro’s Other Woman and Housewife for Hire are attempting to fill the gap between getting it all done and living a happy life. For a fee, they offer coordinated services to help with daily errands and household jobs such as:
- Laundry – wash, fold, iron, put-away
- Grocery shopping
- Closet and pantry organizing
- Gift buying and wrapping
- Child care
- Meal and school lunch prep
- Mail pick-up
- Moving – pack and unpack
Stephanie McGrath, 25, has been the director of operations for Metro’s Other Woman (MOW) since 2014. She manages staffing, scheduling, marketing, meeting new clients and the day-to-day operations of the Charlotte Office. McGrath always introduces new clients to their personal assistant in an “on-board meeting.” Clients pay $25 or $35 per hour, with a three-hour minimum.
MOW was started in Raleigh seven years ago by Sarah Benken. MOW grew out of Benken’s own need for help managing her family life. The Charlotte office opened in 2011 and since then additional locations have been added in Denver, Colo., Wilmington and Phoenix, Ariz.
McGrath supervises a staff of 10, but that can change depending on clients’ needs. Contracted employees range in age from 20s to 50s. Some are in college or starting their own business and need extra income. MOW pays $12-$17 per hour, depending on level of experience and type of work.
Housewife for Hire’s Stefanie Lucibello, 35, started her company in February 2016 with business partner, Lindsay Stewart, 34, an emergency room physician. The idea for this company came after Lucibello’s marriage ended, and she realized that the skills she acquired after raising her three children and being a housewife were not marketable.
“There was no place for me,” Lucibello said. “I had to start from scratch.”
But after she started dating, and was showing her dates how to keep house, she realized that there was a huge need for her skill set.
Just four months into business, Lucibello has 28 clients that include young couples, families and single people. She has helped several recently divorced dads set up households that will be welcoming to their children.
Housewife for Hire also offers design, decorating and renovation consulting. They charge $50 per hour with a four-hour minimum for their services.
Right now, Lucibello and Stewart are the only employees, but they plan to expand nationally.
Both businesses chose names that may be considered controversial by some people. When asked about their choice of company name, Metro’s Other Woman, McGrath offered, “It is trendy and catchy. It grabs your attention. We are a female-based company. We are focused on empowering women and promoting women.”
Lucibello is proud to be a former housewife and hopes to change the way people view the word.
“It kind of depends on how you look at a housewife,” she said. “To me, the housewife is the center of the home. We organize. We keep things streamlined so you can enjoy your family time, your quality time.”
Photos: Vanessa Infanzon; Metro’s Other Woman; Housewife for Hire