In celebration of National Small Business Week, we’re spotlighting some of the enterprising entrepreneurs who are building their small businesses with a little help from TaskRabbit.
Saving the world one retirement fund and one IKEA assembly project at a time
Would you rather assemble an entire house full of furniture or explain to someone how to trade on the foreign exchange? Most people would say “neither,” but Brandi M. would volunteer eagerly to do both. The Houston Tasker not only has Elite status on TaskRabbit, but she is also a licensed financial advisor who manages life insurance, retirement investments, and more for individuals and small business owners.
Tasking and financial advising might not sound like they go hand in hand, but Brandi says tasking has helped her build her client base. “Everybody wants to know, what else do you do?” she explains. “So when you start running this alphabet soup of qualifications you have, they’re like ‘wait a minute, I need that!’”
Case in point: Brandi was working on a home renovation with one client when he confided that he was trying to figure out what to do with his late wife’s life insurance money. Brandi put her hammer down and suggested some options. “In that initial conversation, he said it was $250,000, but once he actually sat down and we started talking, we found more to invest,” she says. “The plan we set up for him is going to pay for the rest of his life. And they will have money in that family for generations to come.”
How does she balance the physical and mental heavy lifting? We’re exhausted just listening to her schedule. “Nothing is typical in my life, but usually I’m busy in the mornings with TaskRabbit. I prefer to get the heavy lifting kind of work done early,” Brandi says. “If I have a financial advising client, I do that in the afternoon and evening. I also teach people how to trade on the foreign exchange, so around 7-8pm, I’m usually hosting a trading class.”
For Brandi, the freedom and flexibility tasking offers is allowing her to chase even a lofty goal: to hit $15 million in investments for her clients. There’s no doubt she’ll get there, hammer in one hand, pen and paper in the other, and a smile on her face.
Delivering happiness, meal by meal
When four friends banded together to start a kosher restaurant in Manhattan a few years ago, they had no idea of the winding road they would take to get there. Matt Glick, Sage Kitchen’s CEO, recalls sending food to friends in hopes of building a customer base and receiving dozens of calls and requests for catering. Seeing the growing demand before they even had a space, the team doubled down on a catering business focused on high quality, delicious food that happened to be kosher and dairy free.
Sage Kitchen’s small operations team turned to Taskers to help with deliveries. “Because we’re primarily a catering company, delivery is one of our most important touchpoints,” Matt says. “Being able to develop relationships with Taskers who can be the face of our company has been a huge asset.” Sage Kitchen’s director of operations, Saadiah McIntosh, even hired one of the team’s most trusted Taskers when an operations role opened up a few months ago.
Business has steadily grown through word of mouth, enabling Sage Kitchen to open its first brick and mortar location in the East Village earlier this year. There, chef and co-founder Jasmine Einalhori serves individual portions of Sage’ Kitchens catering favorites, like chicken schnitzel grain bowls, herb rubbed turkey sandwiches, house-made hummus, and salted tahini chocolate chip cookies.
“Restaurants are such a different ball game,” says Saadiah. The restaurant business is notoriously unpredictable. “With catering, we know what our work will look like for the next day. [At the restaurant], we don’t know how many people will walk in and who will want what. It’s kept us on our toes and learning.”
The learning never stops for Matt, Saadiah, and their team as they look ahead to more restaurant locations and expanding the catering business. “I really do believe that we do food, and kosher food, in a way that’s unparalleled,” Saadiah says. “I’d like to reshape people’s perception of good food in general. I have full belief we can get there.”
A labor of love and style
Elina’s small business journey has spanned over two decades, beginning in 1994 when she started making and selling hats and scarves from a little storefront on 18th Street in San Francisco’s Mission District. Since then, she’s had three hat stores, numerous pop-ups and craft shows, an Etsy store, and a cleaning business through TaskRabbit. Her specialty: custom hats for chemotherapy patients, crafted from recycled cashmere and natural fibers. Each hat and scarf, she says, is a labor of love.
From her Tasker reviews, it’s clear she brings love and attention to all she does. Her TaskRabbit clients have called her “the angel of cleanliness and purity,” and “trustworthy, reliable, and meticulous.”
The most challenging part of being a small business owner? “There’s always work to do,” Elina says. “I love Tasking because it helps me be physically active, which balances out days when I sit and sew for twelve hours.” When she gets an early start, she tries to sew two hats before she starts tasking. Afterward, she’ll split her time between her sewing studio and working on other art projects.
The long hours are worth it for the impact she has on people. “The most rewarding part of all the work I do is meeting wonderful people, and feeling like I provide great service and product,” Elina says. “I love doing both, cleaning and making hats. It is a great balance for me, and I cannot imagine doing anything else.”