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Who is Andrew Mellen?
That is an excellent question 🙂
Hi there—this is Andrew. I’m going to take control from the tech team and talk to you myself here. Let’s start with some basic facts: I grew up in and around Detroit, Michigan. I bounced around several suburbs until I graduated from Troy High School.
Then I moved to the Upper Pennisula where I attended Northern Michigan University. If you’ve never been to the U.P., you really should visit. I’ve been to many parts of the world and Lake Superior and the north woods are pretty special.
Anyway, it took me 6 years to graduate—partly because I spent some time playing drums in several local bands and spent a semester interning at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. And partly because I couldn’t really get it together to graduate. See, I wasn’t always the most organized man in America!
One of my professors bet me $50 that I wouldn’t graduate at the end of my sixth year and I just couldn’t let him win—that should give you some insight into who I am.
So diploma in hand, I moved back to Detroit and started working as an actor. I did commercials, plays and had a small roll in the film, “The Untouchables.” I sat behind Patricia Clarkson in the courtroom for 3 days. No, she won’t remember me.
I also toured the U.S. living on a school bus performing improvisational theater in prisons—those are some good stories! I worked in the theater for 20 years. I went from acting to directing pretty quickly and then starting running organizations in addition to making art.
I ran a theater company in NYC, an award-winning art center in D.C., and another theater in Seattle. I liked being the boss and I also liked not having to audition. Then I got laid off. So I headed back east to co-produce an awards ceremony at The Kennedy Center.
And that job was the unexpected catalyst for the work I do now.
I never thought I’d be a professional organizer, and truth told, organizing is the least of what I do at this point. I solve problems now more than anything else. And coach my clients. No offense to my colleagues (or monkeys), but a really smart chimp could probably arrange all the clothes in a closet from light to dark. And even more to the point, as much as I like nice things, and I do, I don’t really give a sh*t about stuff.
Which doesn’t mean that I won’t treat your stuff with respect.
What I mean is that stuff is not what we should be spending our precious time focusing on.
So while I can make you a pretty pantry with fancy labels on it, I’d much rather help you solve whatever problems are keeping you from living an amazing f**king life beyond your wildest dreams. Doesn’t that sound better than a perfectly organized linen closet?
I mean, a tidy linen closet is great—I have one. But an amazing life is a lot better than a tidy closet.
So I’m a bit of an outlier in my industry.
I am passionate about life—mine and yours—and about making an impact. I believe we get one chance to be here and I don’t want to waste a minute of it, because I don’t know when it will end.
I love solving problems and finding the quickest route to any solution. Doing that for other people, both my clients and my friends and family, makes me very happy. And I’m really good at it.
I am incredibly tenacious and have ridiculous stamina so I can usually wear down just about any problem—I don’t often take no for an answer.
You should probably also know that I’m an introvert.
Yes, I know, I was an actor. I am very comfortable on a stage but crowds do not recharge me—they drain me. I’ll be super friendly if we meet in public but after a while I will crave being alone and resting and recharging.
So that’s some stuff about me.
The other stuff, the fact that I’m one of the pioneers of professional organizing, and that I travel the world speaking and teaching, is also relevant. And I’ve worked with some amazing clients, including the NY Mets, biotech giant Genentech, American Express, Time, Inc. and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Really. It still blows me away that I got to work with the conservation department at The Met!
Here’s what I know—stuff is very useful AND gives exactly zero f**ks about us. It’s inanimate.
So spending any more time than you need to with a thing that doesn’t love you back seems not only silly but counterproductive and possibly even self-destructive. I’m on a mission to bring this message to as many people as I can.
You can think I’m crazy or stupid … you wouldn’t be the first … but I’m still going to do it.
I think the world looks the way it does today because we make sh*tty choices, focusing way to much on our comfort and not enough on our values.
So I’d like to help change that as well. If you don’t have the basic needs taken care of, comfort is important. No one should be hungry or living in a cardboard box unless they want to be.
For the rest of us, comfort is a fool’s errand—because we’re already comfortable. So what do you want to spend your time doing? THAT’S what I want to help you do. That’s what excites me.
Because a world where everyone is engaged in activities and relationships that matter to them is a rich, robust and diverse world.
And that’s where I’d like to live.
If you’d like me to help you achieve those goals, click on the button below and we’ll jump on a call.
Then we can change the world together—and in the process, you’ll also end up completely organized and with more time on your hands than you ever thought possible. Sounds pretty good to me … how about you?
These Are Our Company's Values
Meet The Team
ANDREW MELLEN • FOUNDER, CEO
A man with a dream, tilting at windmills, trying to make a difference in the world. Born and raised in Detroit, he’s delighted that his team is grounded in midwestern values while wielding big city skills.
ALICE CHIN • EXECUTIVE ADVISOR
In addition to running her own growing business, Your Other Half, Alice serves as an advisor for AMI, focusing on strategic growth, impact expansion and everything HR-related. She loves helping small businesses thrive and finds a particular alignment with Andrew’s theme of “more love, less stuff!”
KEVIN SMITH • CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
KELLY CASE • EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
KARI WHITCRAFT • MARKETING MANAGER
Kari has been an entrepreneur since 2005 and loves helping other small businesses by providing valuable tools and support that allow them to take their businesses to the next level. Like Kelly, she also lives in Ohio with her family and knows first hand how important organization is when working from home!
PENNY STOFFEL • CONFERENCES COORDINATOR
City Harvest is New York City’s largest food rescue organization, feeding the more than 1.2 million New Yorkers who are food-insecure.
American Red Cross provides emergency assistance, disaster relief, and disaster preparedness education in the United States.
Covenant House has helped transform and save the lives of more than a million homeless, runaway and trafficked young people.
Housing Works fights to ensure that all people living with HIV/AIDS have access to quality housing, healthcare, HIV prevention, and treatment, among other lifesaving services.
Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in local communities across the United States. Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
American Veterans, is a volunteer-led organization formed by World War II veterans of the U.S. military. It advocates for its members and causes that its members deem helpful to the nation at large.