Name: Bradley Ryan Schlagheck
Location: New York City, USA
QC Design School Courses:
- Professional Organizing (graduate)
- Interior Decorating (current)
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I started dancing at the age of 7. After graduating from high school, I joined Boston Ballet School on full scholarship. I quickly joined the ranks of the main company. After a 12-year career of hard work and dedication, reaching the title of Soloist with Boston Ballet, I moved to New York City to chase my Broadway dreams. I joined the Tony Award-winning cast of An American in Paris.
Since then, I’ve traveled the country with the First National Tour of An American in Paris, had the chance to help create work for Broadway’s Carousel, and perform with the cast at the 72nd Annual Tony Awards. I am a three-year veteran of the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes.
I am still a working performer in the Big Apple, and I am exhilarated by this new career transition and bright future ahead. As a performer, I give myself to my art and to the audience every single show. There’s nothing I would love more than to continue to create joy in others.
After my work is done, I want my clients to feel like they’ve just watched an incredible performance. The art of organization can truly be life-changing, uplifting, and refreshing. I received my certification as an AIOP®- Advanced International Organization Professional from QC Design School and now use my expertise in organizing and decluttering to help improve lives.
Why did you decide to become a professional organizer, a completely different field from dance?
I was always a tidy kid. I enjoyed keeping things in order, rearranging furniture in my childhood bedroom, and keeping all of my belongings organized. As I juggled school work with my commitment to every dance class I could handle, my discipline only grew for keeping everything neat and tidy. This sense of organization led to my love for interior decorating and style. I wanted my home to represent the lifestyle I wanted.
When I started thinking about an eventual career transition, organizing was the first thing that came to mind. After finding QC’s online professional organizing classes, I went full force and finished earned my professional organizer certification in about 3 months.
Will your prior experiences in a professional company will help you on this new venture?
Yes, definitely. Being a professional dancer, I’ve learned so many tools that I know will help me with my future endeavors—discipline, hard work, problem solving, quick thinking, and working with many different types of people.
Also, Boston Ballet had a professional partnership with Northeastern University and I was able to take many classes through it. It helped me keep that part of my brain working over the last 5 years I was there, and that was an experience that I’ll always value.
I’m also the current Company Manager of Cirio Collective, a small contemporary ballet company with old friends from Boston Ballet and NYC. In addition to dancing with them, I do everything from email communications and travel to website upkeep, finances, and event coordinating and scheduling. These are all things that will prepare me to start an organizing business and help me to work in someone’s home and help them transform it.
What about professional organizing appeals to you?
It’s literally what I LOVE. I take so much pride in my home in NYC and keeping everything tidy, ordered, functional, and stylish. I’ve always helped my friends organize their houses or dorm rooms. I truly enjoy the process of assessing someone’s life, belongings, and/or living situation to help them.
The one thing I love about being a professional organizer is that the same technique or process doesn’t always work for everyone. It’s personal, and finding out what personally works for someone can really change how they feel about their home and their entire life.
What’s one thing you wish someone had told you before starting your professional organizer certification course?
I’m not sure actually! I’m a die-hard Taurus, and it’s always hard for me to take someone’s opinion or word straight out. I always have to find everything out for myself, and then make a decision. I value other people’s help and opinions, but I’m always about finding what works for me. I think that’s an interesting part of me because I’m not going to force my ways on someone else. I know that they need have to see what personally works for them.
Are there any career highlights you’d like to share? Any super rewarding moments that make you realize “Ah! This is why I’m in this field”!
So far, I haven’t had much experience with clients I don’t already know. But I have had my fair share of helping friends and family. Recently, I had a friend move into a new apartment, and she needed my help getting it together. I had just earned my professional organizer certification with QC, so I treated her like a real client.
We started in small sections, sorting her belongings and getting rid of clutter and clothing she didn’t need. From there, we rearranged furniture and put everything back in its place. We made her room functional and the design made it easy for her to keep tidy while loving the space. I was happy with the work we did, knowing I had made her room both comfortable and functional. I was so excited that I had started work in the organizing field and knew that I was going to continue enjoying the work.
Why did you choose QC over other design schools?
Living in NYC, everything is always go-go-go. And because I’m still a working performer here, jobs come and go and my schedule is all over the place. The freedom of learning online at your own pace is something that you just can’t beat.
When I started researching the professional organizing industry and found QC Design School, it just totally fit everything I wanted to pursue. Knowing that I could start and stop whenever I wanted and turn in my assignments at my own pace was really something that worked for me.
How do you think QC’s professional organizer course has prepared you to work in the field?
QC’s course taught me the fundamental skills and principles of organizing as a profession. I know that each assignment will be relevant to something that I may encounter in the field when working on my own. Learning about all the different types of organizing clients was a plus, as this is a very important aspect of the business. The course gave me the first steps in starting my organizing business. The course was so well-rounded and put together!
Is there a nifty trick you’d like to share that makes organizing a breeze?
I don’t necessarily think it will ever be a breeze; however, I think I can make it easy and accessible for everyone. My trick for organizing and keeping it that way is to make sure everything has a home. That way, everything is organized and has its place. Then, when you use or wear something, it always goes back to where it belongs. When something comes into the home, give it a home, and hold yourself to keeping it that way!
What’s in store for your professional organizer career in 2019 and beyond?
I’m just finishing officially launching my business, and I recently joined NAPO—the National Association of Productivity and Organizing. I’m finishing more courses to become a full professional member, and I’m looking forward to the coming months of networking and getting my name out there. I know the market is there because EVERYONE needs some help with organizing. It’s not a trend, it’s a necessity!
I’m so thrilled to start making a niche for myself. I hope the business will grow and Bradley Ryan Home Organization will become a very well-known name in the city.