NEW YORK — Hosting an impromptu cocktail party? Need those Jimmy Choos fixed before the end of the day? Or, perhaps, you want to whisk your beloved away for a last-minute exotic weekend rendezvous? When desperate times call for desperate measures, you might need the services of Open Doors New York.
In their classically appointed Upper East Side office, all fresh flowers and mahogany, Open Doors co-founders Jennifer Potter and Christina Lari discuss their blossoming business. Sensing a need for a “lifestyle management” company, the pair launched Open Doors in February to help New Yorkers simplify their lives. The company now takes care of everything from errands to gift buying, party planning and travel booking. Combining Lari’s fashion background with Potter’s financial one, the girlhood friends from Long Island have found a formula for luring chic and upscale customers. “There is an obvious shortage of personal services that function efficiently and effectively,” Lari says. “Open Doors New York fills that gap.”
This story first appeared in the August 11, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Because their mothers and their mothers’ friends inspired Open Doors (and because membership ranges from $125 to $250 monthly), the founders assumed their company would appeal to an older clientele. But the younger set has caught on, as well, and Open Doors now services a wide demographic that includes men and women of all ages. Each membership package is custom-fit to the client. If one enjoys, say, French culture, Open Doors can provide updates about corresponding gallery openings or cultural events. “We only recommend the crème de la crème,” insists Lari.
No matter how involved Potter and Lari become in their clientele’s lives (they have keys to several clients’ apartments), Open Doors’ services remain confidential. “I suppose we’d have to say ‘no, thank you’ to requests for anything criminal, but we haven’t come across that yet. We’re here to please our clients,” says Lari. “If they want to take a weekend getaway with whoever they want, we’ll set it up for them. And if someone’s having a certain kind of surgery, we would certainly keep that private, too.”
Open Doors is intent on satisfying the most complicated requests. “Even if you’re a control freak, it’s such a burden lifted,” says Potter. “Letting go is an amazing feeling.”