If you couldn't tell from the title of this post, a new NEAT girl is hitting the scene… this time in San Francisco. After years of having Molly as the head point of contact in SF, we have found an amazing person to take over running the city. Please meet, Lisa Ruff! Lisa has been on the team for quite some time now and the transition to bring her "up to bat" in SF has been a long time coming. This January, we made it official and thought it was only right to formally introduce you to her. Enjoy getting to know our latest NEAT girl!
NM:: So, let's start simple and ease into this…what is your full name?
LR:: Wow! You weren't kidding about simple! It's Lisa Marie Ruff.
NM:: And where were you born? Raised?
LR:: Like most NEAT girls, I am a Midwesterner. I was born in Flint, Michigan and raised in a suburb called Grand Blanc.
NM:: We love that you are from the Midwest! What made you settle in SF?
LR:: My husband and I moved here after college then we moved to Brooklyn for three years. We came back to SF because we missed living in a city with immediate access to the outdoors. We love going on day trips to Sonoma for wine, Tahoe for snow or Half Moon Bay for the tide pools & fish tacos. These trips are currently a little aspirational considering we have a newborn right now!
NM:: Yes! We heard the news you had a baby! Can you tell us a little bit more about your adorable family?
LR:: It was just my husband Corey and I for a long time. In 2011, our daughter Louisa Scout arrived. Last month, we welcomed our newest addition Beatrice Valentine! My mom retired after Lulu was born and now lives in Sausalito. Corey is completely outnumbered, but I think he secretly loves it.
NM:: Okay so you have your hands full right now! If you get a minute to sneak out, where do you like to go? What are some of your favorite shops? Or where do you like to eat? Hang out?
LR:: Now that I have kids, I stick pretty close to my neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods, but I’m lucky because there are loads of great shops. One of my favorites is Books, Inc. My daughter Lulu took her first steps in their Haight Street store. For kids, I also love Fiddlesticks in Hayes Valley. At Christmas time they have the BEST stocking stuffers. Lulu and I also regularly snack on the infamous $4 toast at The Mill.
Whenever Corey and I get a chance to eat out alone, we go to Bar Crudo. For some reason, I always drink something sparkling there so it feels like a mini celebration. This past weekend we were feeling particularly brave and we took both girls to El Mercado Urbano for tacos and sangria. It’s a converted garage with two large doors that open, so antsy kids can easily spill out onto the sidewalk.
NM:: Okay, let's take it in a totally different direction…Where did you go to college? Were you involved in anything fun on campus, besides socializing? 😉
LR:: Ha. I attended the University of Michigan. I was actually a bit of a nerd and participated in several volunteer organizations like the Prison Creative Art Project. I facilitated improvisational theatre workshops in men’s prisons in MI.
NM:: Who is your current celebrity crush?
LR:: Indris Elba. I loved him from The Wire, but was hooked after hearing his native British accent in Luther.
NM:: Who doesn't love a good accent!? Is there anything that not many people know about you? Something interesting you want to share with our followers? Allergy? Embarrassing story? Something unique about you? Anything – ha!
LR:: Ahhh, this question always kills me! I’m a licensed attorney and I don’t drink coffee. I have a very dry sense of humor that my husband constantly worries will offend people because they will take it the wrong way.
NM:: We are literally laughing out loud over your list of little known facts!
NM:: Other than the Container Store, where do you like to shop for organizational solutions?
LR:: I will continue the kid-centric theme and say: Land of Nod! I love the touch of color and whimsy that their bins and baskets add to my home. I recently fell in love with their felt bins. Lulu can drag them around our apartment and I don’t have to worry about her ruining our wood floors.
NM:: Speaking of kids dragging things around on wood floors…what is your most OCD tendency?
LR:: I cannot leave a mess…never…EVER. I always pick up before leaving home or starting something else. My husband thinks I’m insane because we have a 3 year old who can rip through our apartment like a tornado. During play dates at our home, I will quietly pick up the toys the kids are no longer playing with. I can't help myself. It’s a compulsion. Running through my head is: if I don’t have the time now, when will I have it? I actually think that’s why my apartment is so NEAT. Pro tip: pick up as you go along!
NM:: What makes you most excited about NEAT San Francisco?
LR:: I’m excited about the possibilities. Molly and Ashley have done a killer job of establishing the brand here, and there is so much that can be done to further it. Also the amazing team we’ve put together here! Over the past few months, we’ve worked hard to put together a sold team of organizing ninjas. I cannot wait to see how we grow together.
NM:: Anything you would like to tell our San Francisco followers in particular?
LR:: I love this city and the organization challenges that it poses! Like working on walk-in closets converted into nurseries or creating office storage in a kitchen nook or a total reorg of a Victorian after a major renovation. You never know what the inside of a home will look like because there are so many unique buildings in our city. It makes our job fun and fresh every time!
NM:: We are so excited for you Lisa and we absolutely LOVE that you have already employed the youngest NEAT girl (see pic of Lulu below)
We couldn't be happier to have Lisa on the NEAT team and are excited for her take SF by storm!
the NEAT girls