Meet Melanie Fowler of Clos-ette, A Professional Organizer Design Connoisseur
When I first heard of Clos-ette and its inspiring founder Melanie Fowler reaching out for an interview to learn more about her and her business was an instant must! A professional organizer design connoisseur, Melanie and her company Clos-ette fashion spaces from the inside out.
“We focus on the intersection between the geometry of your space, your inventory, and your personality to create a cohesive and custom plan that marries both design and function,” her site explains. Through this combination of bespoke high design and time-tested organizational principles, Clos-ette helps you create the unique lifestyle and look you desire in your dream home.
Clos-ette’s philosophy as a professional organizer sets them apart as one of the premier holistic organizational design firms in the world. Their trademarked process helps you achieve great functionality in such areas as the dressing room or kitchen. Every detail is customized, from hardware to drawer inserts, to define and maximize each space in style.
If you are a discerning client that expects the highest quality and standards and are looking for a professional organizer like no other, you must meet Melanie Fowler and Clos-ette! Not only is her service top-notch, but her charisma, passion and entrepreneurial drive make her an amazing and powerful woman whom we are delighted to celebrate here at Love Happens!
Love Happens Exclusive Interview with Melanie Fowler, The Founder & Creative Professional Organizer Behind Clos-ette
Love Happens: What first sparked your love for organization and design?
Melanie Fowler: My parents designed and built many homes during my growing up years. As well we moved around to many different states and homes. That process is what sparked my love of organization. I think it created stability and control for me to be organized!
Lh: What led up to your decision to start Clos-ette in 2002?
Melanie Fowler: Honestly, I was freelancing for designers in their Showrooms and retails stores and one of them asked me to work on their private home. That designer told a writer at Vogue I had started this company designing and organizing dressing rooms and bathrooms and offices which are the spaces I worked on for her. The rest is history…
Lh: Tell us about your first project?
Melanie Fowler: Which one? They kind of all came at once after that Vogue article and they were in all shapes and sizes. From the massive apartment in the legendary 740 Park Ave to the incredible estates in Greenwich, CT, and Palm Beach and the cool downtown townhomes and lofts. I was thrown into a whirlwind and I loved it!
Lh: Are your clients mostly design firms or end consumers? Or is it a mix?
Melanie Fowler: We are now mostly to the trade but with a good 20 percent being direct to the end client. I still have clients that say I saved the Vogue article for 18 years because I wanted to use you when the time came, or New York Times or WSJ or Town and Country. Or my friends used you and were so happy! Word of mouth is the best kind of business whether direct to client or to the trade. It is also the best kind of compliment.
Lh: What do you love most about your job as a professional organizer?
Melanie Fowler: Working with people and helping them solve their puzzles! I am a people person, an extrovert and I just love digging into people’s lives to help them find solutions that streamline their lives and make them easier! More functional!!
Lh: What do you believe is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned since the creation of your business?
Melanie Fowler: Learning the Power of NO and that some clients are not a fit and you must cut bait. Now I am in a different position than I was when I first started and I can choose more. And still, sometimes I make a bad decision. Taking on a bandaid project to help a past client out or choosing to do something where I cannot likely exceed expectations because we are not set up for success.
Lh: What pieces of advice would you give to a young designer/entrepreneur looking to make it?
Melanie Fowler: Nothing replaces hard work and time spent, it is how we grow and learn. And wisdom is the result. Great entrepreneurs never stop, the hard work and drive are always there.
Lh: How do you balance your business and family (with 5 kids & 2 dogs!)?! Is there something you find key to making it all work.
Melanie Fowler: Yes! Joint custody!!! LOL No, but seriously, we have our kids half the time so that is helpful. As the breadwinners for our family, it was the hardest thing to share the time but now we embrace it since we are the ones who must work. Also, it gave me and my second husband the chance to have time as just a couple which many people do not always get a second chance at after kids!
Lh: What’s next for Melanie Fowler?
Melanie Fowler: Well, I did the hanger line and the product line company expansions and just recently closed it. My divorce prevented me from moving to the next round of raising capital, but I wouldn’t mind seeing that double patented hanger line finding its final resting place. Many people still call the office daily, angry the hanger production stopped. I was angry too, but everything has its time. Timing is everything. We have spoken to Time Inc about it, and Bed, Bath and Beyond…so, we shall see!!
TV is always something I have toyed with but this recent rash of organizing shows and how it got attacked by Hollywood and celebrity is not my style. I have really no interest in being famous so unless I was enjoying making or creating something in design or product I am not sure that the TV show world is organic enough for me, or sustainable. I would only do it if I could literally be the Martha Stewart of the organizing design world. Not on some reality show or just on a show to peddle product.
A Peek Inside the Fabulous and Inspiring Mind of Professional Organizer Melanie Fowler with the Lh Design Questionnaire
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
My husband and my children with me at the Ocean.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Oh jeez, jewelry and expensive coffee and wine!
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My son Charlie and being a good stepmother and a good second wife :). I’ve learned a lot, reparented myself and dealt with my inner child. All that work is paying off with my family life. The most important thing in the world.
What profession does your alter ego have?
I am a frustrated Chef who loves to cook, which is why functional kitchen design is now 50 percent of my business. I am also someone who would like to work with children or teenagers helping them build their lives once mine are grown. Helping people I think in another way could be my expansion from your earlier question.
The project you will never forget.
Working for Jay Z aka Sean Carter and building a Clos-ette for two teenage girls in Manhattan.
Your favorite business tool or resource.
Instagram and the long list of amazing designers and architects I work for who I idolize.
The most timeless design…
…is design today or yesterday that can sustain 30 years down the path and still look fresh and modern.
The biggest business faux pas…
…is trying to take shortcuts to get something you want to last forever. I wish more clients wanted the process as much as they wanted end product. You really can’t have one without the other. The process of design I fear is facing extinction in some regard.
Try to love every moment and try to make it all enjoyable and happy. That will draw out the best in people. Winston Churchill also said this and I really feel this – success is not final and failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.
Love happens when….
…you are ready for it and truly love yourself.
By Anna Beck Bimba