I’m a firm believer that ‘everyone has a story’. We often downplay our life experiences and think that other people lead much more interesting lives than us. But the truth is, it’s all the little experiences that make up our life journey that are the most interesting. Our latest blog series, Why I Do What I Do is a celebration of personal journeys (and an opportunity for me to indulge my interest in other people’s stories). We hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as we have.
This week we caught up with Chantal Imbach from Simply In Order…
1.Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m a Swiss-Australian living in a beautifully green and hilly suburb of Melbourne, a wife and a mum to two lively primary-school aged boys, a professional organiser and business owner specialising in office organisation and time management. I love to read and to travel and can’t wait to see more of Australia.
2.What led you to doing what you do today?
Before I started a family I worked in the corporate world for about 20 years. Most of the time as a personal assistant, but also in project offices and as a financial controller. I went back to part-time work after I had the boys but it didn’t feel right anymore because my priorities had shifted. Very soon I knew that I wanted to be my own boss.
But what to do? I had many interests but I didn’t feel passionate enough about anything to start a business. In the meantime, I did a lot of volunteer work at our school, much of it was event management. Everyone suggested I should do this professionally but for me it didn’t tick all the boxes.
One day, a friend suggested to become a virtual assistant. I did some research on that and stumbled across professional organising. Wow! That was just totally me! Everything fell into place, I immediately started training and started my own business called Simply In Order.
3.What else would you be doing if you didn’t do what you do?
I would probably run a B&B.
4.What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
I think this would have to be that one never knows what is waiting around the corner (so better make the best of today). It can be good or bad and hit you out of the blue. The two main events in my life that taught me this was the sudden diagnosis that my dad had cancer and a month later he passed. A day before his 62nd birthday.
The other one was the relocation to Australia seven years ago. My husband received a job offer out of the blue and we kind of new from the first second that we were going to accept this challenge. We had travelled in Australia before but never looked or even thought about moving away from Switzerland. We had just bought a house and had two young boys aged 1 and 3.
The job was a chance in a lifetime and we have never regretted the move even though we of course do miss our loved ones a lot. In the meantime, our boys are more Australian than Swiss and we all became very proud Australian citizens last year.
This country has opened doors for us that we never even dreamt of and we’re so grateful for this. One of them is starting my own professional organising business. It’s still a very new industry and back in Switzerland or Europe it is even newer and I’m not sure whether I would have come across it at all. My hubby would probably say that one of his dreams came true when he finally has a big enough backyard to have a ride-on mower ;-).
5.What is your next must-do?
Professionally it’s definitely to get the accreditation as an Accomplished AAPO member (AAPO is the Australasian Association of Professional Organisers). On the personal side, it’s traveling the West coast and the Kimberly in one of the coming years with my family.
That’s where we spent our honeymoon and we’d love to take the boys to this absolutely wonderful part of Australia.