Local entrepreneur launches concierge service

  • Kristin Hardwick. COURTESY PHOTO

Business NH Magazine
Published: 12/21/2021 8:24:35 AM
Modified: 12/21/2021 8:24:20 AM

Photographer and entrepreneur Kristin Hardwick saw the pressure bearing down on her and her fellow working moms during the pandemic as they tried to balance families and careers with remote learning and keeping kids COVID-free. “Many of my colleagues were at a breaking point. We needed a duplicate of ourselves,” says Hardwick, who in addition to a photography career started a coworking office space, Coworking House, or CoHo, in Milford two years ago.

Hardwick actually chose to add to her full plate as she saw an opportunity for a new concierge business to support “working professionals who juggle it all.” She launched Crew Assistants in Milford in September, a subscription service providing personal assistants to clients throughout southern NH.

Memberships range from $120 per month for four hours of help a month to a platinum membership for $1,200 per month for 40 hours of help a month. Personal assistants can provide shopping; meal planning and prep; errand running, calendar management; travel prep and arrangements; event planning; family sports support, and home organization. “You can focus on career, parenting and self-care — that stuff you can’t outsource,” Hardwick says.

Clients can change levels and can send task requests via email, text or WhatsApp. Assistants can make purchases on behalf of clients using company cards, so clients do not have to provide them with their personal cards. Instead, clients are invoiced.

Hardwick says Crew Assistants allows professionals to get the help they need through challenging periods of their life, such as caring for an elderly parent or coaching their kid’s sports team, without the need to hire and train an employee as a full-time assistant.

“When a potential client reaches out, we have discussions about their needs and assign them a personal assistant,” who can work remotely or come to their home, Hardwick says. Hardwick currently has two personal assistants and herself providing services.

As for her coworking business, Hardwick says the pandemic has actually increased business at CoHo. “August was the best month we had. So many people were forced to work from home and found it’s not the best option for everybody. We have people who worked from home for years and now have a spouse working from home and needed a quiet place. We expanded month over month,” Hardwick says of CoHo.

Members increased from 30 a month to 47 in the last six months while drop-in users increased from 240 to 350, Hardwick says, adding CoHo has seen an uptick in people from out of state.

“Our members have a sense of community and have been wonderful about staying away and quarantining if they’ve traveled or do not feel well. There has not been one case of [COVID-19] transmission in the space. I am so proud of that,” she says.

Hardwick says she wants to expand Crew Assistants throughout New England, and plans to hire five more assistants before year-end. “I hire women who have been stay-at-home moms and managed busy houses, volunteer efforts and kids,” she says. “I offer flexible mother’s hours and pay a living wage and use their valuable skills.”

For more information, visit crewpersonalassistants.com, cohonh.com or kristinhardwick.com.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org.

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