MEET Maya-Marie Taitt, the woman behind “Better Spaces by Maya-Marie”. She has the hashtags “edit, refine, and resolve” to describe how she de-clutters homes and offices into more functional spaces.
With Better Spaces only two years old, Taitt spoke to the Express Business earlier this month about the concept and goals for her company, as well as what inspired her to become an entrepreneur.
“‘Better Spaces by Maya-Marie’ is essentially a solution-based organising service that aims to understand how people use their space in order to create organisational systems that are tailored to their routines and daily lives,” she explained.
“We are geared toward a cluttered culture in the Caribbean, and our goal is to change that. We do not have a physical location because we are a service-based company, and our office changes every day. That’s the most enjoyable aspect of our job: we get to go into homes and offices all over Trinidad and make small changes one space at a time.
“I consider myself to be a creative and outgoing person. I have always thought outside the box,” Taitt said, “but I never wanted to own or start my own business because I thought it required another level of grit and dedication that I admired in others who possessed it.”
The downtime during the pandemic, however, not only changed Taitt’s mind, but also provided her with the opportunity to explore her creativity.
“During the pandemic, I was finishing up my Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing at UWI after returning from an international exchange at McGill University in Montreal, Canada,” she explained.
During her time at home, she developed an interest in organising, spending hours de-cluttering and rearranging her cupboards and closets.
“That quickly became therapeutic for me. It gave me a lot of clarity to be able to create order in a chaotic space and easily find everything I needed. I felt re-energised in my space, and from there, I realised that this was something that could benefit others and provide them with the same peace of mind that it did for me.”
That’s how Better Spaces came to be.
“We provide a variety of services centred on space organisation. We specialise in home organisation, incorporating our “edit, refine, resolve” process into rooms throughout the house such as the kitchen and pantry, bedrooms, closets, storage rooms, and home offices.
“For digital organisation projects, where we sort through and de-clutter digital and computer files, we use the same ‘edit, refine, and resolve’ process,” Taitt explained.
She said no two days are the same as her company provides a personalised service, working closely with clients to understand their routines and preferences, as this helps to create a space that works for them, she said.
Taitt not only registered her company, but she also became a member of the US Embassy’s Academy of Women Entrepreneurs Program (AWE). She credits her sister with motivating her to sign up earlier this year.
“The AWE Program truly exists to empower women and provide them with the tools they need to start or grow their businesses. The business world in Trinidad and Tobago is heavily male-dominated, particularly in my field, where I regularly deal with male contractors and service providers.
“As a result, having a space created by women, specifically dedicated to understanding the issues women face in business,” she said, “is extremely important to the local landscape and to creating future potential business leaders in our country.”
Since Taitt opened Better Spaces, she has completed an eight-month digital organisation initiative for a local accounting firm, a four-bedroom house move-in, and is currently managing a kitchen, laundry, and powder room transformation.
What does she consider to be the most significant obstacles she had to overcome to launch her business?
“It’s a challenge getting people to see and understand the necessity for a professional home and office organising business in Trinidad and to buy into a novel concept that’s virtually new to us and also very different culturally,” she said. “For many people, it’s not something they realise they need until they need it, and then they realise it’s not just a space transformation but a lifestyle shift.
“Being an entrepreneur is difficult on the mental side. Wearing multiple hats and juggling multiple responsibilities is a lot of responsibility. Not to mention making personal sacrifices for the benefit of your business’s growth,” Taitt added.
While many people would classify Taitt as an interior designer, she does not.
“I am a professional organiser. I am a person who organises your personal belongings so that your space is more functional and visually appealing,” she said.
While the job requirements are similar to those of interior designers, she says they have a broader scope than what she does.
She said interior designers do everything from conceptualising a space to selecting interior fittings and finishes. Her services are more customised to the client’s daily routine.
“So, in terms of home organisation, I de-clutter spaces and use a labelled container system to better organise a space. For new home relocation projects, I unpack and organise all of the rooms, as well as coordinate all of the logistics involved in setting up a new home, so that when a client arrives, they have the convenience of a move-in-ready home.
“This involves sorting through e-clutter, whether it’s digital files on the computer or in the cloud, to create a more ordered system for file management and location,” she explained.
While Taitt’s life has not turned out exactly as she expected, she is taking advantage of the opportunities that come her way.
“I believe my background in marketing has served me well because it has given me an understanding of how to brand and position my business,” she said.
Taitt says that as we approach the new year, she wants to expand her social media footprint and help people in Trinidad and Tobago understand her brand and services.
At 24, Taitt also told the Business Express what one of her dream projects would be.
“I’d love to organise Patrice Roberts’ closest. She has so much fun and expression when it comes to fashion,” she said. “I’m sure her closet is extensive, so being able to organise and display some of her most memorable performance and accessory pieces would be such a fun project,” she said.
“Over the next three years, I’d like to grow the business by expanding my team and gradually take on larger projects. I’d like to collaborate with other related industries in Trinidad and Tobago, such as real estate and interior design, more closely. I believe there could be a true symbiotic relationship between our services. Within the next five years, I hope to be the go-to local home and office organising company,” said Taitt.