Over the Edge - Women's Center Event
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Women of Lansing: Amy Mercier Stephenson

“I’ve been really inspired and I feel like a really empowered person, and it allows me to cut through the crap. I think personally being younger and being influenced by different factors and not feeling as empowered, I was unduly influenced by things that were not always in my best interest. So, I think feeling empowered has inspired me to be more genuine and also to be vulnerable and just open myself up to different situations. That I’m still the intact, strong person I am and I try to put myself out there whether it’s through helping somebody else or just, or talking and listening to someone else of a different situation and learn from that”

…A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting with Amy Mercier Stephenson. In addition to her role as the business-owner of Address Your Mess, Amy is the Director of Marketing at Willingham & Cote, PC law firm and Co-Executive director of Helping Women Period. She is an entrepreneur, non-profit director, mom, exerciser, and wonder woman! The above quote is her thoughts and feelings on what it means to her to be the empowered woman she is. Amy is a genuinely honest person who is such a service provider in more ways than just her business; she connects with people all around her in order to inspire them to live their best lives in a grounded way.

We chatted over coffee and focused a lot of the conversation on Address Your Mess which is Amy’s professional organizing company. She loves her job and makes it very personal: “I work with individual clients. I want them to just have greater joy in their space  and not cause all their clutter to cause them undue anxiety, so I meet with them to talk about what causes them stress about their space, what is the barriers to clean out their stuff, their items.”

Amy makes sure all of what will be donated is intentionally placed to a specific organization that could utilize it: “I try to really match them up to the people who need it. One client had a ton of linen and bedding and Haven House always needs [bedding]for people setting up their new homes. Part of why people choose me to pay me to do this is they know the stuff is going to a good location.”

Amy is specific about the placement of her donations which benefits her clients and the users of the organizations she gives to. To be able to let someone into one’s own home is very vulnerable, as Amy says, and it is easy to be embarrassed in those situations, but Amy is an expert at making her clients comfortable, as noted by her saying, “I go in truly with no judgment. I don’t think you’re a bad person or a dirty person or an unfit person, it’s just this has gotten out of your control and you need some help.” Her empathy is rooted in her knowledge and experience of anxiety and stress, which has helped her connect with the people she helps and even more so, empowers. “I just know they’re empowered by just feeling more comfortable in their space and less weighted down in all those objects and what those objects represent.”

As a woman overall, Amy has great personal insight on identifying at a woman. Her passion when speaking about womanhood is reflected through her words:

“What [being] a woman means to me is constantly being aware of the needs and suffering of humanity.” Amy is so very real about noticing the variables: positive, negative, and in between, in life and how being a woman heightens awareness of life events. She emphasizes that womanhood involves, “balancing the needs of humanity with how you can serve [people] without yourself self-destructing, and finding that balance.” Womanhood is not simply a matter of being, it is actively balancing other’s lives along with your own.

She spoke about being sensitive to other women’s and people’s experiences, especially in her journey through motherhood: “Working mothers inspire me just as a category because men have the luxury, quite often, of really compartmentalizing their world, even the most supportive spouse, where women are still juggling it all, all the time, and they have to compartmentalize their brain and their energy and their focus on everything all the time.” Womanhood, for Amy, has involved balancing motherhood, running the multiple jobs/activities she has, and taking care of herself, tasks which Amy uses to both empathize and connect with other women:“I think culturally and social-economically, men have it much easier, and for some of that I think women put that on themselves and some of that is very much culturally imposed, but being in tune to the world and humanity and what they need, what the suffering is that’s going on here, and how can you serve that and how can you also serve yourself by taking care of your vessel.”

Amy is a multi-faceted person and uses each of her skills to give back goodness to the world and to other people. She is real about her experiences and uses those experiences to lessen anxiety in other people’s lives which she carries into her own as well.

Check out Amy’s business at https://www.facebook.com/AddressYourMessMI/