Carrie Bradshaw Here We Come!
As you know, we have spent the past few years expanding NEAT across the U.S. and without fail, we get the same question every time we launch a new city, “Are you in New York yet?!”. We have had our eyes set on New York since the beginning and despite many interviews we just couldn’t find our perfect NEAT girl… until NOW. Our NYC NEAT girl is truly the COMPLETE package – smart, driven, motivated, and of course, NEAT. Want to know what makes her the perfect NEAT girl? Read our candid interview below!
NM:: Okay we are so excited to do this interview I think we collectively just let out a small scream of excitementl! Let’s start with the basics – tell us your name and where you are from.
MK:: My full name is Maria Elizabeth Kontovas. I was born in Rahway, NJ but my family moved down to Deltona, Florida when I was four, so most of my childhood memories are from there. When I was eleven we moved back to New Jersey to be close to family, settling in a town called Brick. It’s a big town close to the beach (affectionately known as the Jersey Shore), so I spent summers in middle and high school at the beach. It’s a huge part of my life and I can’t imagine ever living very far from the ocean.
NM:: Jersey Shore!? I think we need to do a completely separate blog post on that alone at a later date!
MK:: You let me know when!
NM:: So, is there anything that not many people know about you that you can share with us! We like knowing the little known facts!
MK:: I have a pretty fun story, actually! My fiance and I went to Paris for vacation last October. One night, after a visit to the Louvre, we decided to grab some food at a nearby wine bar with some friends we had run into. Unbeknownst to us, at the exact same time, Beyonce and Jay Z were sitting directly above us having dinner in the nicer part of the restaurant. I totally lost it when I found out! Best. Night. Ever.
NM:: That sounds like a dream come true! Ok back to talking all things New York – what made you settle there?
MK:: I ended up in New York completely by accident, but now I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
NM:: Please elaborate! We kind of wish we accidentally ended up in New York!
MK:: Shortly before I graduated college with a degree in Finance, I realized I did not love numbers nearly enough to make a career out of them, so I started to explore other options. I ended up landing a paralegal position at a large law firm in New York, and after several months of crazy hours followed by a long commute back to New Jersey, I decided a move to New York was in order. I moved to the Upper East Side in February of 2009 and have loved every minute since.
NM:: So if you could run into any celebrity on the streets of New York who would it be?
MK:: David Beckham - all day every day. Also, Jonathan and Drew Scott from The Property Brothers, though I am partial to Jonathan.
NM:: Ha ha – We love that you prefer one over the other. Now that we are talking properties, let’s talk about what will make you a perfect addition to NEAT! What’s your most OCD like tendency?
MK:: Straight lines and 90-degree angles - without a doubt. Anything on a countertop, in a drawer, on a wall - anything! - has to be at a 90-degree angle. This started when I was in grade school, actually - I remember being able able to tell if my mom had gone into my bedroom while I was at school because things would be slightly askew. I don’t think she ever figured out how I could tell!
NM:: New Yorkers are going to love that about you! But every NEAT girl has a flaw. Fess up – what is the least organized part of your life?
MK:: Ugh - my junk pile. I have this pile of stuff - mostly things that I haven’t found a home for yet - and it just lives wherever is most convenient at the time. Sometimes it’s on the dining room table, sometimes it’s on the desk. It migrates when necessary. I would love to not have a migratory pile of junk one day - it’s a life goal of mine.
NM:: We are thrilled to launch New York for about a million reasons. What makes you most excited about NEAT New York?
MK:: So much! First and foremost, I think that New York is the perfect city for NEAT - there are millions of people living here, most of them in too-small apartments, so the need to keep things organized and come up with creative storage solutions is massive. On top of that, most people living in New York are extremely busy - between careers, kids, social lives - it can become difficult to find time for things that seem non-pressing, like organizing your closet or kitchen. But I believe that if your home is organized, then your mind is organized, and everything around you becomes much easier to handle. I am so excited to bring my knack for organization to my home city and be able to help make New Yorker's lives that much better!
Welcome to the team, Maria! We can't wait for you to get your hands on closets like Carrie Bradshaw's all over NYC!! NEAT readers, be on the lookout for social media updates from Ashley and Molly in New York this week!
the NEAT girls