Upon moving to the Capital Region, Sheilah began building a career in the non-profit world, specifically as an activist and advocate. No matter her job title over the years, Sheilah always worked hard to see projects through from beginning to end. Four and a half years ago, this talent and enthusiasm led to the launch of her own business: Call Sheilah! Your Personal Concierge and Move Specialist.
So, what exactly does a personal concierge do? Sheilah put it best, “We’ll do whatever task you don’t want to do, especially the ones that make your eyes roll into the back of your head.” Of course, there are a few caveats. “If we have the skillset, and as long as it’s legal,” Sheilah added. But other than that, the sky’s the limit.
“Asking for help is a spiritual act,” she explains. However, Sheilah understands just how easy it is to become overwhelmed by all facets of a busy life. “Many people need help with overwhelming projects not because they can’t do it themselves, but because it may not be something they can accomplish because of other overwhelming aspects of their lives: children, jobs, aging parents, dogs, business, and so on.”
From small to large, Sheilah has seen it all. Sheilah’s shopped for groceries, picked up dry cleaning, and helped pack up an entire four-bedroom house and coordinated the logistics for the relocation. Once, she even helped a family find the perfect puppy. In the professional realm, she helps companies organize focus groups, downsize, relocate or plan events.
Recently, during the Covid-19 lockdown, the types of projects she has worked on and how she handles them have changed. “To be quite honest, I thought the business was going to tank,” shared Sheilah. “Not because people didn’t need Call Sheilah!,” she was quick to clarify. But she had to ask herself if she could take the responsibility of sending herself and her team into possible danger.
“Everybody’s had to pivot,” remarked Sheilah. As general safety protocols went into place, Sheilah has been able to get back to work with a core team. Being a source of strength for others is still at the heart of who Sheilah is, both in her professional and personal life.
Lately, Sheilah works behind the scenes with the activist groups that make up the local Movement for Black Lives. She helps with paperwork, filing, organizing behind the scenes--whatever is needed from her. Sheilah pressed a hand to her heart. “That’s an act of love. It’s not a gig. I do it because it is meaningful to me, and important to the community, which is why I expend the love and resources.”
It is not surprising that Sheilah has become deeply involved in her community. After moving to the Capital Region from Long Island, Sheilah worked hard to create connections in her new home. She became involved with local activist groups in the community to grow new roots and carve out a place for herself. “Now I consider myself a Capital Region resident with a remaining hint of a Brooklyn accent,” she said.
Originating in New York City, Sheilah was able to develop a deep appreciation for the Capital Region. “I love the small-town feeling inside a small city,” she explained.
There is one aspect of the Albany area that is particularly important to Sheilah. “As an activist, I’ve always loved that we are a hub for social justice movements in the state.”
Since Sheilah lives far from her family now, the connections she has made here in the Capital Region are incredibly important to her. “My closest friends are my family, as my biological family lives far away,” she explained. She also loves to hike, travel, and consume all that the area offers, from good food to the arts, theatre, and movies with her surrogate family.
Of course, many of these activities are off the table at the moment. Still, despite these changes, it is easy to see Sheilah’s optimistic outlook on life.
“Success, to me, is being able to live in the moment, free from the worry and anxiety of the world; time away from business or worrying about my loved ones. Being able to accept what comes my way, whatever it might be, and living in the knowledge that I will be OK, no matter what comes along. I don’t always get that perfect,” she admitted “but I practice.”
Challenges have never stopped Sheilah for striving towards those beneficial goals and helping others to do the same. “There is nothing that feels as good as a day free from worry and anxiety on a repetitive loop.” Sheilah helps and supports her clients in finding joy by alleviating some of life’s burdens, one meaningful relationship at a time.
Published previously in the September 2020 Albany Real Producers Magazine. Article written by Isabella Browne Lorcher. Photo by Dino Petrocelli, Jr.