By: Taylor DeVille, Associate Arts & Life Editor
24-year-old Natalie and 25-year-old Colleen Kochesfahani seemed to always have a talent for entrepreneurship. Starting out as nannies from the age of 15, the Towson grads were always bouncing business ideas off each other—first they entertained the idea of starting a summer camp with all the kids they babysat, then they detailed a plan to start a “closet swap” group at Towson before they realized they could find success by combining a lot of their talents into a unique, concierge service: Koches Koncierge.
The sisters officially launched their business in mid 2015, just one year after Colleen graduated.
“We sent some emails out to a few close mom friends, sent out a brochure of our services before we really had it established, and we got such an overwhelming response from interested people,” Natalie said. “Within a week, we were in the taxation office and had our first client.”
Koches Koncierge is a Baltimore-based luxury concierge and lifestyle management business. Staying true to their roots, Natalie and Colleen offer babysitter staffing as well as a number of other services, including home organization, day-of-wedding and event coordination, house sitting, grocery delivery, personal styling, vacation planning and personal assistance.
Having worked in New York Fashion Week for “several seasons,” the sisters “learned to deal with high stress situations,” Natalie said.
While the sisters don’t have a predictable weekly schedule, they prefer it that way.
“I like not knowing what the week is going to bring, I like constantly doing different things.” Colleen said.
Their usual week starts out Sunday night with a flood of emails from clients. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the sisters nanny. On Mondays, they hire babysitters and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, they’re preoccupied with home organization projects. Every couple of weeks, a “client emergency” throws a wrench in whatever they have planned for the week.
Although they like to take the weekend to relax, Colleen and Natalie try to make themselves available whenever their clients call.
“One of our biggest things, and I think it’s one of our selling points, is our personal touch,” Natalie said. “We just like to build these good relationships with everyone we work with.”
It’s the same reason the sisters aren’t looking to expand their services beyond Maryland.
“I feel pretty good about where we are right now. I don’t want to spread ourselves too thin,” Natalie said. “I would never wanna put our hands in too many spots and end up losing that personal touch.”
Besides finding time to relax, another challenge the sisters have faced is the assumptions other people in the hospitality industry have made about them as young businesswomen.
“We have to show people is that we’re professional, and we might not be totally at their level yet, because [they’ve] been building [their] company for 20 years or whatever, but [they] should respect us that we’re even here at all,” Natalie said. “We just want to be respected.”
“People kind of want to discredit us […] people just think millennials are lazy.” Colleen said.
As for advice for Towson students?
“If you have a good idea and you’re working really hard, the passion is what’s going to take you through it,” Colleen said. “Natalie and I held a ton of internships and there were companies that I thought I would love to work for, but at my core, I just didn’t have that passion for someone else’s passion. I knew I wanted to do something on my own.”