Your Name: Katie Hustead

Business Name: Paper Moon Moves, a senior moving management company

Type of Business: Senior Services

Business Location: New York, New York, United States


Reason for starting
I spent way too many years in corporate America before finally, a few years ago, I realized I had to try a venture on my own. I have always loved seniors and have volunteered with them for years, so I searched for a viable business that would allow me to help seniors. I sort of stumbled on this industry – Senior Move Management – and realized, immediately, that it was the perfect fit for me, a person who can’t stand clutter and LOVES donating old sweaters. Now I spend my days helping seniors downsize and prepare for moves. It’s my responsibility to take over all the unpleasant and confusing parts of moving, so the senior can focus on how to enjoy their new home.

Biggest Success
One of my first moves was to help a recent widower move across the country to be near his son. He didn’t want to move, and wasn’t shy about telling me this every time I saw him. He was kind of hard on me and certainly took out some of his frustration about the move on me. But we pushed through together and I did everything I could to take the stress off his shoulders. A few weeks after his move, I called to check in. He cried on the phone when he heard my voice. He apologized for his behavior and told me that he couldn’t have made it there without me. And he said he loved California.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
My top challenge is staying on top of marketing when business is strong. Some weeks it seems I don’t have ten minutes to devote to marketing but then when moves are finished I find that I have some unplanned downtime! I’ve only got one employee so there’s a limit to how many new clients we can take on.

Who is your most important role model?
Michelle Obama.