GUSTINE - An eye for detail and penchant for organization have developed into professional opportunities for a Gustine resident.
Jhoneé Fillmore and her family came to the West Side community about two years ago from Santa Cruz, and has since settled into the local lifestyle while consolidating her business ventures as an organizer, event planner and graphic designer.
Fillmore, the mother of two young sons, said the community fit the atmosphere she wanted to provide for her family. Her partner was raised in Patterson, Fillmore shared, so there was already a familiarity with the West Side.
“We fell in love with Gustine,” she reflected. “I grew up in the country, in a similar kind of environment, and I wanted to come back and give that to my boys. I am so happy with this town. It is a welcoming community. We have had nothing but open arms and smiles. I couldn’t ask for a better place for my kids.”
Fillmore said she also enjoys the work/family balance that she has achieved.
None of her professional interests are full-time, she explained, so she is able to take bookings as they come while also spending time with her family.
“I value time with my kids, and try to have a good balance of spending time with them and then picking up these things as they circulate through the year.”
Fillmore said she found herself a professional organizer through an unplanned progression of events. Friends who would visit her well-organized home asked her to help them organize theirs, she explained, and as word of her organizational skills spread “people started coming to me and asking if I could help them and they would pay me.”
Fillmore said she works with residential and commercial clients who turn to her for organizational services.
That knack came naturally.
“I have been an organized person all my life,” she commented.
Most clients who turn to her for organizational help “have enough space for their objects. Most people just don’t know how to use that space efficiently to store their objects,” Fillmore explained. “I think people just really need help being aware of how to store things. When everything has a place there is no confusion or guessing. You have a clear system in your household for all family members to follow.”
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the organizing business, she acknowledged, as that service typically requires meeting in the space that is being discussed.
Her guidelines for clients, Fillmore noted, are to set aside any negative feelings they have toward the space......and to not try to clean up ahead of time.
“We discuss hopes, and how they want the space to feel,” she explained. “You just have to know how you would like it to feel, and we come up with a game plan and go from there.”
She started organizing professionally in 2005.
Graphic design followed a couple of years later, and event planning opportunities “just happened here and there.”
Fillmore said she enjoys planning everything from birthday parties to family reunions to weddings.
“All three of my businesses are based on very fine details,” she reflected. “I love little details. I love people to love what they are visually seeing and have a good experience.”
Her approach, Fillmore commented, allows her to enjoy a variety of passions rather than focusing on one.
“I do smaller amounts of everything I love,” she said.
Fillmore and her family moved into the stately Gustine home known as the Davenport House.
Its history, she said, inspired her to consolidate each of her three businesses under the umbrella of The Davenport Company.
As part of her many endeavors, Fillmore authors a monthly column for a family newspaper called Growing Up Santa Cruz. She has offered to share that work with local readers as well. A column appearing today offers hints on family backyard “staycations.” A subsequent column will offer tips for parents to establish home classrooms to facilitate distance learning.