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Moving Sucks. A Company Is Trying To Change That By Selling The Star Treatment
You may not be Angelina Jolie, but you can jump houses like she does. NorthStar Moving Company co founder Laura McHolm tells us about the new service changing the way L.A. moves
How is NorthStar Moving different from other local moving companies?
Typical movers take boxes from point A to point B, and that’s what people expect. We listen to customers. We think about what people really do when they move. They still have to take the kids to soccer practice, they still have to make dinner, all the while packing and moving into a new home. Not everyone has mom and dad next door to watch the dogs or kids, so we step in and offer these additional services.
Your services packages are named for celebrities—The Paris, The Angelina, The Britney—what’s that about?
“The Angelina” offers nanny services, “The Britney” providers you with closet organizers, and “The Paris” includes pet care. “The Martha Stewart” offers home staging and décor. “The Jay Leno” offers luxury car care and transportation. And “The Mother Theresa” helps people donate belongings they don’t want to move. We have connections with repair companies to offer repair services to our clients as well.
Which package is the most popular?
To be honest, having to reorganize your life during a move—restyling your closet or home décor—sounds exhausting. How do your services save people time and energy?
All of our packages save people time, especially “The Mother Theresa.” Some people use us for basic moving and others use us for what we call photo-perfect moving. Film companies, for example, will have us take dozens of photographs for film shoots and unpack and stage things, then make it look as if nothing was ever moved.
The economy is rebounding, but do you find people are ready to splurge on what could be considered luxury services like these?
We do have a certain clientele that finds our services very valuable, and we help people who inquire about our services but don’t use our packages by mentally walking them through the moving process. We help people realize what they should be thinking about to make moving much less stressful than it needs to be.
What are some surprising service requests you have received from customers?
Having celebrity clients and servicing the Los Angeles area, no request is too out of the ordinary for us. We’ve been called in at 2 a.m. to move a dining room chair. We have been asked to hide all evidence of packing and moving because the client did not want any evidence of them having moved out. Whatever the need, we can basically meet it. We won’t move firearms, though.
When is the last time you moved? Describe the process?
I just moved my mother into my house, and I and sold the home that she lived in for 35 years. We used “The Mother Theresa.” A lot of things went to Goodwill and Move For Hunger. The company helped us think about if we wanted or needed to keep that box of 16 spatulas.