ANNOUNCING THE WOMAN OF THE MONTH
Fort Worth women are making headlines daily as business owners, entrepreneurs, top management officers, and political leaders. So, here at Fort Worth Woman, we are selecting one of our city’s shining stars each month. These are the movers and shakers you need to know, and we are proud to honor their accomplishments as our WOMEN OF THE MONTH.
Owner & Lead Organizer of A Simple Space
Meet December’s Woman of the Month! Jess Batchko is the Owner and Lead Organizer of A Simple Space, a professional organizing company that proudly serves DFW. Originally from South Austin, Jess graduated from Texas Tech and landed herself in Fort Worth after following her husband to Cowtown. From an early age Jess had an appreciation for organization as well as a desire to become a teacher.
From Austin to Lubbock to a Fort Worth classroom and later a promotion that placed her in an educational leadership role, Jess felt as if her ‘life plan’ at the age of 28 was aligned perfectly That is, until she and her husband received a diagnosis of dementia for her father-in-law. “I am not going to sugar coat it and say that we quickly adjusted and figured it out. It took me three solid years to find the strength to be the support my husband and father-in-law needed.” The prep work alone was daunting. “I remember spending countless hours at night with my husband culling through boxes of his father’s past not knowing what half of it was. We were trying to reason what we needed to keep, what could be donated, and what was for trash. I was overwhelmed with the tasks that my husband and I had to attend to. We needed to edit down his belongings, figure out if he had a Will, move him out of an apartment in to a Memory Care Facility, sort through his financials, attend to his medical needs, all while I was working in an over-demanding, toxic work environment,” she states. The avalanche was continuing and it was drowning out what mattered most – the people involved.
A beautiful combination of introspection, intense empathy, and a bit of therapy later, Jess found a way to truly organize the attention and feelings of what was important as they adjusted to a new way of life for her father-in-law. Thanks to “an amazing husband and an incredible support system made up of friends/family, I was finally able to let go of the things on my list, put myself and my husband first, and start caring for the ‘person’ Mark (my father-in-law) versus his boxes of things and the endless to-do lists. That is how A Simple Space started. “I wanted others to start valuing the importance of moments and people in life instead of being weighed down by the ‘things’.”
Jess’ focus is to simplify home and work spaces. She enters your home or office not to judge the clutter, but to find a solution to your chaos so that you can continue your own successes in your simpler, easier to handle, more efficient use of space. Jess states, “I truly believe an organized pantry can change you and your life for the better. While we spend most days organizing the most fun playrooms, stunning closets, and the sweetest nurseries, how this business all started is a little messy.” This vulnerability and understanding that Jess brings to each job is exactly why she stands out from the crowd of organizers. She brings her heart to the table (or closet, or pantry, or office, or playroom), has your life in mind, and strives to make your space work for you – your same life, just created more simply.
After just a few completed jobs, A Simple Space made a name for itself in DFW and word has continued to spread like wild fire since. Jess’ idea and talent is working. “I help my clients sort through their belongings and only keep what they truly need, love, and want. I encourage clients on every job to deal with boxes on tops of their closets, the plastic bins in their attics, or the stacks of papers on their desk because if we don’t deal with those things now, one day it could get in the way of feeling what is important,” Jess states.
Then, out of nowhere, four years after her father-in-law’s initial dementia diagnosis, enter COVID-19 and our world has changed. While in-home organizing was temporarily paused alongside the rest of the world, Jess and her husband Brock had a choice to make regarding her father-in-law’s care. They decided to move him out of Memory Care and in to their home to ease his confusion and isolation.
This time, her father-in-law’s living transition wasn’t debilitating.
This time, this life altering moment wasn’t all-consuming.
This time, they could focus on Mark and his needs, not the minutia.
“This time, we weren’t worried about all of the things because we had already taken care of that. This time, we were able to fully immerse ourselves in the situation and embrace bringing Mark in to our Simple Space – our home,” Jess states.
When the work an owner creates works even in their own life, you know the product is one that is life changing. Jess has a heart that gives, creates, and makes the world a better place. Using her combined experiences as both a teacher and business owner, she and her husband have created a space for her father-in-law that is simple yet his and is just as stimulating as it is safe. Jess is also, safely and slowly, making her way with her team back in to homes/offices to create the same kind of spaces for the people of DFW.
What Jess loves about the city of Fort Worth are the women. She explains,”this city has a community full of women entrepreneurs that lift each other up. When I was a teacher, my network seemed to stop at the walls of the school, but being a small business owner in Panther City has opened my eyes to how connected and supportive other small business owners are. This magical city is full of cheerleaders, teammates, and a few head coaches when you need them.” Jess sees our city for its’ positives and has been able to create a support team around her that believe in not only what she creates, but who she is.
To describe her impact as a businesswoman in this city, her word was all too perfect: clarity. Jess continues, “clutter can take over your life rather easily and quickly if you let it. When you take the time to deal with the physical clutter, you can find clarity in your mind. When you have an organized home, you are able to focus on the people living in that home versus the things. Your children will be able to clean up their own playroom and that gives you time as a mother to enjoy their giggles a bit more and reduces the chances of a clean-up time meltdown. Cooking dinner can become something you love when you are able to open a cabinet without Tupperware lids falling down on you. I want you to find clarity in your home under all that clutter so that you can focus on what is most important – the people you love.”
2020 was messy enough. Let A Simple Space clean up your 2021. Visit https://a simple spaced.com/contact/ to get started!
Michelle has a passion for connecting, encouraging and informing about the good happening in our city. The good people, events, food, stores, entrepreneurs, and good deeds are her focus. She has created a niche for herself by using social media as a native marketing tool that has created meaningful exposure for local businesses in Fort Worth to a wide but very particular local audience.