Meet MARLA OTTENSTEIN, Naples’ Premier Professional Organizer® and the Naples Daily News Get Organized columnist. Marla’s reputation for providing extraordinary customer service, expertise, and the highest level of discretion, as she helps her clients get organized, and simplify their lives is unsurpassed. She is recognized for her strong business acumen and her honesty, reliability, tenacity and inherent ability to make things happen.
Q: Are you currently working in Naples?
A: I have been a professional organizer since 2008. My company is called Professional Organizer Florida. I also write two columns each month for both the Naples Daily News and the Fort Myers News-Press about how to get–and stay–organized.
Q: What exactly does a professional organizer do?
A: I help simplify my clients’ lives by helping them get organized, de-clutter and downsize, and in many cases, if asked, I will coordinate an entire household move from start to finish, including packing and unpacking. Also, because I have a strong business background, I am able to help people sort through, consolidate and organize their paperwork, including setting up easy-to-maintain systems (www.ProfessionalOrganizerFlorida.com).
Everything I do, be it as simple as organizing a closet, garage or kitchen, or as complicated as helping a client navigate through the myriad details, paperwork and loose ends when a loved one passes away, is strictly confidential.
Q: What brought you to Naples?
A: I moved to Naples in 1997 because, at that time, Naples was a small town with less than 145,000 people. I was looking for a resort town with a significant cultural influence, easy access to an international airport and a healthy, sports-orientated vibe.
Q: How did you start your business?
A: With $500, brains, tenacity and absolutely no fear of failing! When the market crashed in 2008, I figured, what better time to do something I’ve always dreamed about doing, than during a recession. It wasn’t easy, but I prevailed.
Q: Do you have a favorite restaurant in Naples?
A: BrickTop’s never disappoints. Their crab cake is as close to being an authentic “Maryland crab cake” as is possible outside of the Eastern Shore. Another favorite is The Bay House. When I die, I want to be buried in their fried oysters.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about living in Naples?
A: Although Naples is growing way too fast for my comfort, it still feels like a small town. I also love the fact that I can play tennis 365 days of the year.
Q: What’s on your bucket list?
A: I don’t have a bucket list. If there’s something I want to do, I do it and I don’t look back.
Q: Tell me something no one knows about you.
A: My photograph was on the cover of Fortune Magazine when I was interviewed for an article about the future of business in America.
Q: Where do you shop?
A: In Naples, I like Lux Boutique for accessories and fun tops, otherwise, most of my purchases are made in Palm Springs at a wonderful shop called Wil Stiles. The owners, Molly and Wil, know exactly what I like and actually set things aside for me to try on when I visit every January for the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Q: What’s your favorite movie and why?
A: Having been a film screener for the Naples International Film Festival for the past three years, you’d think I’d pick an important film, but truth be told, when watching a movie, I want to be entertained. My all-time favorite is The American President with Michael Douglas and Annette Bening.
Q: What’s your favorite book and why?
A: I’m a voracious reader, juggling two or three books at a time. If I had to pick only two favorites, I’d go with “The Dutch House” by Ann Patchett and “Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
A: I’ve traveled extensively throughout Asia, but still have not been to Shanghai. It’s definitely on the list of places to visit, as is Iceland.
Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
A: Barcelona or Paris without a doubt.