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Conversations with Dr. Sandra Walker

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Sandra Walker, Co-Founder of The Time Fairies.

Hi Sandra, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
The Time Fairies is a Lifestyle Management company that provides a dual service line. Our Personal Concierge Services are geared towards individuals who are essentially “time poor” and need help with everyday tasks such as errands, appointments, pick-ups/drop-offs, and home organization – we even offer public notary services.

Our Business Concierge Services are an effective solution for entrepreneurs or non-profit organizations who are looking for assistance with building out their businesses. Initially, we provided grant writing assistance because my background is in nonprofits and grants management. As we began our initial consultation with businesses, we quickly learned that most companies needed much more than grants assistance. There are a lot of small businesses and nonprofits that need essential business guidance and consultation. Due to the identified need in the industry, we expanded our business concierge to offer ad-hoc business services which includes business consulting and grant writing services. We seek to help those that help others. This helps us maximize our reach in assisting the community.

This is pretty much the same rule of thumb used for our personal concierge services. We seek to help those out in the communities that really struggle with time, due to hectic work schedules, or in the case of those who may not be physically able to complete everyday tasks (such as grocery shopping) due to the pandemic.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The road has been swift and a bit overwhelming at times. We quickly grew our clientele but were struggling to continue the same quality of services. We recently hired two part-time contractors to assist us. With regard to our business concierge services, we have been challenged with clients getting discouraged by the journey. Nonprofit management and grant funding development is not an easy road to navigate. It can be very discouraging for clients to receive the declination letters from funders and a bit deflating for us as well. We believe in all they are doing, and are working hard to help them succeed – so it takes a toll on us as well.

On the Personal Concierge side, since we operate in the local market, the struggle has been getting the word out that we are here and available to help. We’ve had several different, but very interesting client requests. One client left her “special” outfit at home when she flew into Kansas City from New Orleans. She needed us to make a run to Chicos at the Oak Park Mall to pick up a new wardrobe for the event she was attending and deliver it to her hotel. Another client who has a pretty big presence here in Kansas City, needed help with her appearance as she regularly appears on local news programs. She really wanted someone to take pictures for her, make sure her outfit and makeup looked good for TV, and to be an extra set of hands on the set. Then there was the client who gave specific instructions on preparing an Easter basket for her grandson. She gave us everything she wanted included in the basket and the destination for delivery, and the rest was history. We offer an array of services including line waiting and DMV ride alongs, where we simplify DMV procedures by being the transportation for those who otherwise would not be able to obtain their driver’s licenses or driving permits. We had a client who had an event over the period of three days and needed some assistance setting up vendor booths and cleaning up afterwards. We really enjoy the range of projects our clients present to us. Not saying there won’t be any obstacles in the future, but there really isn’t very much we don’t accommodate.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
As Business Concierge Manager of The Time Fairies, I specialize in nonprofit grants management. I am known as the subject matter expert for grants in my “day” job. I have 20 years of experience in the field ranging from entry-level work to management level. I have done both pre-award and post-award grants management. My background started in accounting and most of my positions have been financial management and analysis related. This experience gives me a well-rounded approach when assisting my clients. My education is what I am most proud of and what sets me apart from others. I am in the final steps of obtaining my Doctorate of Business with a specialization in leadership. The focus of my research is nonprofit sustainability during times of crisis. My research will be invaluable to our clients and the industry as a whole.

Our co-founder, Que, who serves as The Time Fairies Personal Concierge Manager, is a professional governmental underwriter. She has been an integral part in the approval process of the small business grants being administered by the government currently. She has some pretty valuable experience in auditing, compliance, and over 20 years in finance. Que holds a degree in Management with a minor in Public Administration and also a certification in Contract Law. Her professional experience makes her a great leader, however it is her down to earth personality and ability to connect personally with our clients that makes the real difference.

Actually, that’s what sets The Time Fairies apart from other small businesses – the personal approach we use when assisting others. We make everyone feel welcomed. Clients feel like they’re talking to friends they’ve known for years and not many professional service providers can do that.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
We believe that there is always something to learn. We network with others in our fields, adjacent fields, and anyone we encounter. Sharing knowledge is priceless. I am naturally a people person, so being open to talking and listening to others has been the one thing that has worked the best for me.

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