After the Storm: Amanda LeBlanc Talks Home Sweet Home
I have said this over a million times, but I will say it again: When you are from New Orleans, it's part of your soul and your being—and no matter where life takes you, it's part of who you are. I started my business on Marshall Foch St. in the Lakeview area of New Orleans. They were happy times, and Katrina did not change that. No one escapes this life without obstacles, sad times and tragedy. I never thought that I would be any different.
Three days after the storm, I woke my husband up in the middle of the night and told him this was a great experience. Just as sure as I am that God has given me this gift, I believe I was in that house for a reason. I knew very quickly that this was God's way of helping me help others. I went through the ultimate purge. I was now better equipped to help people make those hard decisions with a knowledge and perspective I didn't have when I started.
After Katrina, I was faced with rebuilding my own life, and could have easily walked away from my business. My husband encouraged me to take some time off, but I had clients in New Orleans that needed me. We chose Birmingham, Ala., because it was the perfect location for the company to grow. We were within driving distance of New Orleans, Atlanta, Nashville,and several other cities my clients had relocated to. By October, after Katrina, I was driving back and forth from Birmingham to New Orleans to work with my clients and help them. I never considered letting go of the city I love or leaving the clients that had helped make my business what it was.
For almost 7 years now, I have made the drive back and forth to New Orleans to help change people's lives. Not only have I continued to split my life between two cities, I have not raised my rates once in all of this time. I believe in what I'm doing and the city I was raised in. I will continue to help the citizens of New Orleans clear their homes of clutter, create systems that make it easy to be organized and do what they do best—live!
Make sure you tune into The Amandas Monday nights at 8/7c on Style to see the organizing diva in action!