It's All in the Family

By: Sofia Jemal

Sofia is LMO's Sister. She works with her full time and is LMO's full time driver

“You work with LMO? That's so much fun”
“LMO is your sister? I didn't know that! How fun!”
“So like, are you very organized?”
“Does being organized run in the family?”
“There's a third sister? And she works with you guys too?”

These are samples of questions that I get asked on a daily basis.  Most people who know any of us Tawil girls know that our organization stems from our mother, Marilyn. She has OCD. REAL OCD. For those of you who constantly wonder if I really am as organized as Sara and if she only hired me because I'm her sister, the answer goes as follows:

As much as Sara and I are very much the same, we are also very different. Yes, we were both born from the same OCD womb. We both had the same slipper thrown at us if our dirty laundry was not thrown in the hamper and were both given "the look" if our dirty plates weren't put in the sink. Some things we do are of course the same but, and this is one major but, we are VERY different. I am an early riser, whereas she is a late sleeper. I shop every store for my groceries and Sara gets everything delivered. I go to sleep before 10:30, she's up till 1AM. I am chronically five minutes early and Sara is chronically five minutes late. There are others, but you get the idea. 

In October of 2013 I was officially initiated into the LMO team. My first assignment was to make pick ups from IKEA. My mom was so afraid of what would combust between both Sara and I that she decided to take the first IKEA trip with me. Sara was unpacking a move-in job and I was to pick up all the necessities and extras that she finds she needs as the job progresses. I needed to pick up a table, a lamp, a mirror and some other things I cannot recall at the moment.We shopped the store, retrieved all of the things we needed off the shelves and then we headed to the “pick it” section. Please keep in mind that I was an avid IKEA shopper. I had been Married for 5 years, had 2 kids under the age of 4 and had moved 3 times. With each move came a newly redecorated space using mostly IKEA products as they have the most bang for their buck. The shopping initiation continued, I moved fast, I carried all of our items, I made friends with the helpers at IKEA and best of all I was in control of my own flatbed. Mom saw my strength. By the time we paid, packed our bags, hauled ass to the car and loaded it, I realized I needed a vacation. We drove around Brooklyn dropping off each clients items to their respective homes where I was of course the runner. By the time we landed at our last stop, I QUIT. It was enough. I was at a point in my life where I was spinning six days a week and had the heart rate of an athlete. But this was all too much. I had quit. I was done with LMO. My sister needed my help and I loved her, unfortunately not enough to warrant that kind of physical labor. And then I got paid. I realized I loved her a lot more than I thought. I had un-quit and reapplied for the job.

Sofia's current apartment

Sofia's current apartment

As the days went by the Jobs were coming in steady. She needed a right hand woman who understood her perspective and could handle the speed. I would go to Target, Home Goods, IKEA and have time to spare. After a few months we decided to put my other talents to work, my drawing and computer skills. We started making floor plans to scale and sent email proposals that included all of our ideas, furniture details and accessories. While I was measuring and drawing out floor plans I realized I had something under my thumb that most people didn't have. Experience. Sara would ask me about a certain IKEA Table and nine out of ten times I owned it in one of my former apartments. "Had it." "Broke it." "Tried it, hated it." "Changed it." "Went with CB2" etc. I even had knowledge of the best movers and the worst movers. The best storage boxes, cardboard or plastic, and what storage facility I liked best. 

Sofia's second apartment, wearing IKEA beautifully.  

Sofia's second apartment, wearing IKEA beautifully.  

As if this weren't enough I decided to incorporate my love of art into our work. I studied and practiced art at school for many years and had forgotten how much I loved it. LMO Reminded me how much I loved to beautify places and spaces . I looked back at my second apartment and how I used my own art to decorate and save some cash. I could be helpful at that . Sara was so great at theme-ing spaces up I could help her with the art. That was my thing! And so I started to create custom art for certain clients. After realizing how time consuming that was, I decided locating and framing the art would be just as rewarding and a lot less stressful on the bank. 

Here is a photo of the art wall in one of Sofia's apartments.  

Here is a photo of the art wall in one of Sofia's apartments.  

As the weeks went on we were finishing each others sentences, Instagramming the same images to each other and practically sharing a brain. Sara and I really brought each others strengths to the table and would create a beautiful cohesive room with style and practicality. We would have our spats as coworkers and sisters but we would learn to put them behind us whether we agreed or disagreed. So as most people ask: "Are you organized?” YES “ Are you qualified?” I'd say, YES!

Looking forward to many more beautiful spaces! Cheers sis!