Updated: Mar 27, 2019
Where are you from?
I am from Charlotte! I am very proud to say that I am a 4th generation Charlottean! The Kuesters have a long and proud history in the Queen City.
I went to UNC Asheville for college, worked up there for two years after college for a small semi-pro hockey team and then worked retail for a bit. I moved back to Charlotte for a job at Covenant Presbyterian Church as their Recreation Ministries Director. I held that job for 12 years before starting my current job with Simplicity Organizers.
College and certifications?
I graduated from UNC Asheville with a BA in Mass Communication and now carry a certification as professional organizer.
I am a Certified Professional Organizer with Simplicity Organizers here in Charlotte.
How did you get into your line of work?
I gratefully blame Inger Manchester! She was a co-worker of mine at Covenant and mentioned to me that I should meet this woman, Laurie Martin, who was in the young adult program. As Inger put it, "Laurie likes to do that organizing stuff you like to do." Little did Inger know she was setting me down a path I would be forever joyfully indebted to her for.
What fulfills you regarding your career?
Everything. I love my job and know that I am answering a call God has put on my life. I truly work with the greatest team in Charlotte. We are led by an amazing woman, Laurie Martin, who fosters a culture of professional and personal growth within the team. I can't believe I get to do the work I do each day! Our clients are wonderful people and I am continually humbled that I am allowed to help them in their journey to simplify their lives through getting organized. The job of professional organizer gives me an incredible platform to help people empower themselves into the realization that their value is not related to the items that they own, rather that their identity comes from our creator. We are not our "stuff.” We are so much more.
I have been married to Jon for 15 years! WOW - time flies when you are having fun! We have a 12 year old son, Cody, who is in 6th grade at Carmel Christian and a two year old Labradoodle, Abby.
Describe your upbringing:
Pretty darn perfect. My parents are amazing, hard working, loving people who provided a full and wonderful life for me and my brother, Sean.
Who is your role model?
I find inspiration in so many people. I love a good comeback story and tales of tenacity of the human spirit. I find inspiration from those who have overcome great adversity and didn't become bitter about their struggle, rather, they use their story to encourage others. I am particularly moved by how our wounded Veterans press on after they suffer horrific wounds in battle.
Not studying abroad in college. I played volleyball at UNCA so that schedule wouldn't have allowed for it, but my mother is from England, so I wish I could have studied there in order to have had that time with that side of my family.
What challenges you in your life, work, etc?
One of the greatest challenges in my life is being married to a Law Enforcement Officer. My husband is a Sgt. with CMPD and heads up a Special Street Crime Unit; he is also over a 40 person Civil Emergency Unit squad during times of crisis. I am so proud of him and honored to support him in his calling. His job is beyond hard and only getting harder - I deeply respect my husband for his 15 years as a LEO - it's not an easy job. Jon is my hero.
What is your income range: <50K, 50-100K, 100-150K, 150-200K, 200K+
Mine is WAY LESS than $50K...way less...ha! But I've never been happier!
What are your hobbies? Are your hobbies a side business?
My hobby is organizing. Believe it or not. I love to re-work spaces in my own home all the time. On top of being a Sgt. for CMPD, my husband runs a side business, Tactical Ops Gear, and I keep the inventory; well...you know...keep us organized!
What are you passionate about?
My faith, family, friends and people simplifying their lives. . . and on Saturday's in the fall, the Clemson Tigers.
Do you play any instruments?
I played the flute in grade school, does that count?
What moves you?
When I have a client that has an "aha" moment and begins to de-clutter their lives internally and externally. It is unbelievable to see how hearts and homes can begin to heal a bit without the chaos clutter creates.
What causes or charities are you involved with?
I am a big fan of the Joe Martin ALS Foundation, Charlotte’s Finest Legacy Foundation, Cookies for Kids Cancer, and Grier's Gallery in memory of Grier Christenbury. I am about to start a support group for Charlotte police wives too!
What do you love about the Carolinas?
I love that almost all my family lives here - there is just no place like home! Now, if I can get my brother to move back to Charlotte with his wife and my two nieces all would be right with the world! He is a Lt. Colonel in the Army and is currently living in Belgium.
Where do you vacation?
I love the NC mountains; there is nowhere more beautiful and peaceful than the Blue Ridge Mountains.
What are your proudest accomplishments?
A 15 year marriage to my best friend and being mom to Cody.
What outdoor activities do you participate in and where?
I love going out to the White Water Center.
What struggles have you faced in your life?
I blew my knee out as a senior in high school ski trip and lost a full athletic scholarship to play volleyball at Elon as their setter. My knee still bothers me to this day, but I no longer ask those "why" questions because I am too full of gratitude for the friends and memories that made my years at UNC Asheville. I was able to play volleyball at UNCA as a walk-on, but had to adjust to never quite being as strong or as fast of a player I had once been. It was a really, really tough time for a lot of years for me, physically, emotionally and psychologically, but it taught me so much about what is truly important. And let's face it, there are worse things in life than a bum knee. Had I never been injured and gone to UNCA, I never would have met Jon or had Cody and wouldn't have the life I have today. I'll take a knee injury anyday of the week for that exchange.
What do you want people to know about you?
That I am an extremely bold and passionate person who unapologetically loves her God, family, country and lives to change people's lives through the skill set of organization.
Where do you see yourself retiring?
The NC mountains
Favorite spot in the Carolinas to visit?
An amazing little place called The Straightaway Cafe. You must check it out!
Favorite TV series?
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I love to go dove hunting and skeet shooting with my daddy!
If money wasn't an issue, what would you do with your time each day?
I would still organize, but I'd love to also go around the country speaking to as many people that would listen about how they aren't meant to live under the false power of their possessions. Less stuff equals more life; that's the message I desperately want people to hear. Don't spend so much time, effort and resources purchasing and then managing your “stuff.” Go out there and live your life! Make memories, engage with people and experience things. No possession can replace living out loud and with purpose and please, learn to say "no" unapologetically. We must stop the glorification of "busy."