Alumna Spotight: Paula Novacki, `14
Ever wondered what life after graduation will look like? Meet Paula Novacki!
Jacqui Chiari is a 2016 graduate of the University of South Carolina motivating others to live a sustainable and intentional lifestyle through her company Tidy for Good.
Chiari’s journey to entrepreneurship began in January 2019, when Tidying Up with Marie Kondo came out on Netflix.
“I’d always been interested in tidying,” she said. “My parents kept a tidy home when we were growing up. They saw that skill in me, and they were always like, ‘Oh, can you organize our CD rack?’ and other things like that.”
Watching the show inspired Chiari to do the KonMari method in her own apartment and to take it even further.
“I learned about the opportunity to become a certified KonMari consultant,” she said. “By February or March of 2019, I realized I wanted to do that.”
Her idea to start Tidy for Good came in the midst of a major life transition.
“I was searching for a new job, and the field I’m in is not lucrative financially,” she said. “The frustration I felt around finances really led me to want to start my own business. When I thought about what I’m good at, I knew it was helping people organize.”
Chiari originally intended the name “Tidy for Good” to be the name of a program within her business, but she realized it was the best name for the company itself.
“Tidy for Good captures everything I want my business to represent,” she said. “Tidy is good for you, for your spirituality, for the planet, forever. You have to be intentional and mindful of what is in your home – what you need to keep and what you need to discard.”
Through Tidy for Good, Chiari offers multiple session types, depending on the client’s needs.
“If it’s a KonMari session, it’s typically about three hours and we work through the correct order according to the KonMari method,” she said. “If it’s an hourly, in-person client, I can work alone or with the client to organize whatever they want. I ask lots of questions with all clients so we can organize in a way that will meet and exceed their needs and make their lives easier and more joyful.”
As a team leader for the Office of New Student Orientation and peer leader for University 101, Chiari’s time at South Carolina taught her the importance of inclusion, which helps her better serve her clients now.
“During my time in orientation, I learned so much from my teammates, peers and supervisors, specifically about different identities and inclusion and justice,” she said. “I’m able to be conscious of the world around me. If my business can be a small part in creating justice, then that’s a huge goal as well.”
Chiari has learned a lot in her entrepreneurship journey and advises those who want to start their own business to do inner work and be patient.
“Something I’ve had to unlearn is working 24/7,” she said. “I’m not leaving my 9-to-5 job to work every second of every day. There are times it can get tough. You have to release the timeline, as things can happen before or after you expect them to.”
As she transitions to being a full-time business owner, Chiari aims to apply what she’s learned from South Carolina and her career thus far.
“I want to build a business that is sustainable in terms of longevity for myself, my current family and future family,” she said. “For my clients, I want to help them. It’s not just about tidying up. It’s about getting rid of the clutter and making space for the more important things – the better things, the new things – so they can start a new chapter in their life.”