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Room to Breathe Helps Restore Order

by and on April 29, 2015 4:20 PM

For Room to Breathe’s founder, Jessica Dolan, what began as a childhood interest has grown into an entrepreneurial passion — a business designed to organize and balance the lives of others.

Crossing between work in the residential and business areas, Dolan, a self-professed Bringer of Order, seems to bring one common bond to her livelihood: making a difference.

Ginger Hall, the Communications Director for Calvary church, explains it quite clearly.

“She (Dolan) helps lighten the load, helps you lose all the clutter that is weighing you down,” Hall says.

Many of Dolan’s clients are drawn to the business as part of either residential organization, interior redesign, and/or management plans.  The expertise of these offerings seeks to decrease stress and increase productivity, leading to healthier lifestyles.

Over the years, Dolan’s two-fold approach is really one thematic piece. The Room to Breathe design work is paired with getting clients organized and setting up functional systems for them while creating a beautiful home or office.

“We believe that if you have a space you enjoy being in, you are more likely to keep it organized.  It all plays into each other,” says Dolan.

One such client is Calvary church, based in State College. Room to Breathe started work with the church a couple of years ago. As part of the process, Dolan and her team looked at the overall resources and helped organize the offices and use of space, resulting in a much more efficient workplace.

“She brings a new perspective, sometimes challenges your perspectives, but in the end, she helps everyone stay on track and work towards your goals,” Hall says.

Dolan started her business, Room to Breathe, in October 2004 and generally serves Centre, Blair, Huntingdon, Clearfield and Lycoming counties.  However, she is not confined to central Pennsylvania.  In addition to some bordering states, Dolan loves to travel, working with clients as far away as Colorado, Minnesota and California. 

Clearly, Dolan is happy to make those trips because of the difference that she and her team, which includes Chelle Tambroni, bring to people’s lives. 

Tambroni spent several years in Ithica, N.Y. restoring older homes.  After a move to Pennsylvania, she teamed up with Dolan, bringing efficiency and transforming routines through order.  “We look to simplify clients’ lives, helping them be more productive on a daily basis,” she says.

While there are many clients to choose from, Dolan herself is particularly proud of an ongoing success story — involving a family that has transformed from clutter and inefficiency to clarity and happiness.

“They (the family) started with arguing, tension, and stress,” Dolan recalls.  Over the course of a few years, her team has added storage solutions and custom work space tailored to family members.  With Dolan’s maintenance visits, she has seen a complete resurgence within the family.

“Everyone is happy; the house is clean. And the best part, the family now travels all the time,” she says.

Another couple that Dolan and her team helped came away with a happier marriage.

“The clutter was a huge battle between the two of them,” says Dolan.  “By implementing some easy-to-follow systems, the fights disappeared.”

She added that having a well-managed environment has led to healthier lives for clients, providing benefits that include stress reduction and even weight loss.

These and other personal success stories are part of what keeps Dolan and the Room to Breathe team going during the busiest part of their year.

“It gets started in January with ‘getting organized’ topping the New Year’s resolution lists.  It then rolls into home sellers preparing their houses for the spring market and then gets coupled with spring cleaning.  It all hits at once,” says Dolan.

At times like these, Dolan admits the long hours of physically and emotionally exhausting work would be impossible to sustain without a passion for what she does.

“I have a strong desire for order and living within your means,” Dolan says.

And this philosophy carries over to Dolan’s own life.

“I don’t want to waste one precious moment of life searching for something. I believe in living with less and having time to do fun things, spend more time with family, doing what you want,” Dolan proclaims.

Besides personal success stories, Room to Breathe has a practical side with great financial benefits — home staging. Over the past seven years, Dolan has worked closely with Steven Bodner of RE/MAX Centre Realty, meeting with sellers to determine their needs.

Dolan’s work “adds value through staging — organizing furniture, overseeing items to keep, items to go away, and color schemes,” says Bodner. “Jessica and her team are very well-skilled and educated in working with clients to bring them the greatest amounts of success.”

That success is echoed by Tambroni, who considers staging homes for the market to be one of her specialties.

“I don’t think people realize the impact it (staging) will make on selling their home,” Tamboroni says.

“The difference is night and day,” Tambroni continues. “Staging a home brings in deals at that highest asking price and often leads to quicker sales.”

Looking at the big picture, Dolan finds every aspect of the journey to be truly self-fulfilling. “Transforming how people live, work, and interact is about as good as it gets,” Dolan says. “Making lives better … what is better than that?”


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This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.

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