Lisa Gritzner, a high-powered public relations executive, said she has no time to tackle everything on her to-do list, starting with her bedroom closet.
“My friends were ready to stage an intervention on my closet,” she said. “There’s a lot of stress that comes from being disorganized.”
Enter Jennifer Roach, who works for the Occasional Wife out of Los Angeles.
For $50 an hour, Roach said she acts like a “life concierge,” handling tasks like organizing cabinets and planning events to running errands. On one recent day, she helped Gritzner pare down her clothing and move to a much larger closet space in her Los Angeles home.
“Right now the husband has his gym equipment in there and every day she stubs her toe and it is an obstacle course to get dressed in the morning,” Roach said. “She is the president of a company — she doesn’t have time for that — and he [her husband] is like ‘I don’t want to move that.’ So I came in and I help marriages. … I help the husband and the wife.”
Companies like the Occasional Wife, which was founded in New Orleans and currently staffs 30, are popping up from coast to coast.
At the Occasional Wife, a “husband” can be rented for $25 an hour to paint a room. Client requests range from managing the carpet cleaners to helping a bride-to-be find favors and hire vendors for a wedding. Roach said she made organizing fun for her clients and helped them get further in their businesses and relationships — and even find time to work out.
“They are paying for my services so they have time for their life,” Roach said.
Roach said the name “occasional wife” was all in a good fun.
“This is for working women,” she said. “This is actually the biggest feminist company that a person could reach out to because we want to help. … There’s a need for this.”