Savvy, Wise, and Organized

On Savvy, Wise, and Organized, Tonia Tomlin, professional organizer and founder of Sorted Out, and Nicole Arnold, interior designer and founder of Nicole Arnold Interiors, talk with community leaders, businesspeople, and nutrition experts to talk about their experience in a wide variety of industries.

A Savvy Show

It’s easy to pick out the things in life that matter most, but keeping those things organized can be a real problem. That’s where Tonia Tomlin, professional organizer and founder of Sorted Out, and Nicole Arnold, interior designer and founder of Nicole Arnold Interiors, come in. Between Tonia’s passion for organizing and Nicole’s eye for design, there’s no telling how much a little structure and a lot of spackle can do!

But “Savvy, Wise, and Organized” doesn’t stop at just organization. They also bring in community leaders, businesspeople, and nutrition experts to talk about their experience in a wide variety of industries. On episode 17 of the show, Tomlin and Arnold welcomed philanthropist, reality TV star, and businesswoman D’Andra Simmons to talk about her work in the nutrition and skin care industries. 

"I always talk to people about reality TV and really get real with what reality TV does to your life. Yes, it helps your business. Yes, it will help your platform. But it can also destroy you in a lot of ways, and you have to be careful."

Tomlin and Arnold began the show by thanking Simmons for joining the show, to which Simmons expressed her support for the podcast and for women in business. Simmons went on to explain the company she started, Hard Night Good Morning: 

“It’s a skincare line I developed in 2008. My mother had a company called Ultimate Living, [which] was a nutrition company [with] an arm of skincare. I was the one who developed skin care about 20 years ago. My mother is a survivor [of] breast cancer, and she believes that she healed her body with green foods. She went on a holistic approach to learning about why she became ill,  why she had cancer, but she really realized it was just her lifestyle. She was a sugar addict, coffee addict, [but] was never overweight. She ate every morning half of a pie, 12 chocolate chip cookies, or half of a cake and was a size four her whole life. 

She became the first woman ever to make a green food product, which is one of our bestsellers called Green Miracle. That led into the skincare I made her, a natural skincare line, and I made Hard Night Good Morning back in 2008. I have since taken over both companies and rebranded.”

Simmons then showed her elegant new packaging to the camera, a laminated matte box with rose gold. The rebranding is aimed to open more retail doors for Hard Night Good Morning in the future. She then went on to demystify some common buzz words in the skincare industry: 

“I was one of the speakers at CosmoProf, the biggest beauty show awards last year, and my one argument was I have as many natural ingredients as I can in my products. I also have great actives and botanicals. The problem is, for example, you can put pomegranate on your face all day long, but that’s not going to make you look younger. It has no active [ingredient] in it to make you look younger. Some of those actives actually change the way your skin looks, and they come already formulated from those companies. 

I’m not adding extra things that are bad for you, but every woman in the world who uses skincare will use it for a certain time, and if it doesn’t work, they will throw it in that drawer, like a $1,000 junk drawer. Do you want them to continue being a customer because they’re seeing changes in their skin, or do you want them to buy it that one time and throw that product in their drawer?

You also have to be worried about safety. A lot of people that are making these organic, natural products are making them in their garage. They’re making them someplace that is not a  certified lab. They don’t understand that you have to have a preservative in there. 

Say you put something on your skin that is all-natural, organic, and has nothing in there. What’s going to happen when you put it on your skin is you’ll get a staph infection, you have cellulitis us because you have an open wound. I use the preservatives that are allowed by Whole Foods. I use the actives and botanicals that work. 

And most of these claims that people make about different ingredients you’d have to literally sit your body in that ingredient from head to toe for a year or two to get cancer. The amount that is being used in these products, it’s not happening. We have 10 nutritional products that are our core foundation products, and they work. When these my products, they come back and use them again and again and again because they work.”

Tomlin jumped in to ask whether her skincare could work for twin daughters, who just turned 13. Simmons gave the following advice to teenagers: 

“We have a cleanser that’s great. Our AM cleanser, which can be used at night has jojoba beads, so it does have light exfoliations, acai, papaya, AHAs. Then you have the detox toner, which you spray on. It also has a bit of natural sun protection.  She can use the daytime moisturizer morning and night, and it’s not going to make her break out because it has some things in there for inflammation, redness, [and] sensitive skin. We have a detox mask, too, that you use one or twice a week, and it’ll pull all the impurities out. 

But there’s another component, which most teenagers will not adhere to, and that is nutritional. If they’re not going to eat well, you should probably make sure they’re getting some fish oils or flax oil somehow. There’s a great product I don’t make called DermaCare, and it has things in it like neem and different ayurvedic herbs in there, and it’s really great for the skin.”

After their discussion of adolescent skin care, Tomlin asked how “The Real Housewives of Dallas” has helped her business. Simmons offered this response: 

“I always talk to people about reality TV and really get real with what reality TV does to your life. Yes, it helps your business. Yes, it will help your platform. But it can also destroy you in a lot of ways, and you have to be careful. Last season, I did not have a good season, and I understand that. 

I always tell people, ‘don’t go on a reality show unless you have a brand to promote or want a platform’ because just to say ‘I want to be famous’ is not worth it. It’s too hard. It just becomes all about you and your issues and circumstances. 

My story has always been my business. It’s always been my struggle. I’ll never probably be out of that being the center focus. Most people go into it for being famous, and it’s just the wrong motive. The casualties of fame can affect your marriage, your relationships, friendships. Social media is the devil. Last year, people berated us for our religion, and it’s really sacred to us, and I felt that was completely inappropriate.”

Tomlin expressed her appreciation for Simmons:

“As you get to know somebody through the camera, you identify with them, but you focus on the positive things. I think for most people who are watching, we just truly want you to be successful in your business and just love that you support other women, and we can see that.”

Arnold asked what something about Simmons the audience might not know about her. Simmons responded: 

“I love jokes. I just enjoy life when I can. I think everyone should enjoy their life no matter what’s going on. I mean, I don’t take enough time for myself to sleep, but I’m always laughing, always having a great time. My husband and I have a wonderful marriage. My favorite thing to do in the world is cook. I like to eat.

So I have a cookbook coming out next year called “The Dallas Kitchen.” My mother is going to be joining forces on that with me, and it’s not necessarily a healthy one.”

Bring the interview to a close, Arnold asked a final question of where her favorite place to travel would be. Simmons immediately responded: 

“Africa, for sure. We’ve been about 15 times. We now overland, which means that we will camp. For example, in Batswana, you can’t leave your tent at night, but you see a lot more than you would a natural lodge or something like that. We went to Angola last time, Namibia, Zimbabwe on a different trip. I’ve been all over southern Africa and a lot of East Africa.” 

And with that, the 17th episode of “Savvy, Wise, and Organized” with Simmons came to a close. The episode shed a different light on Simmons than that portrayed in her reality TV show from which listeners gained insight on everything from business and reality TV to skincare and nutrition. Stay tuned to “Savvy, Wise, and Organized” for more intriguing interviews with guests like Simmons.

Episode 17

D’Andra Simmons

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Tonia Tomlin

Whether streamlining offices for busy professionals, helping families transform homes, coaching executives to increased productivity, or assisting individuals facing challenging disorganization, Tonia Tomlin has enhanced thousands of lives across the country.

A compassionate and passionate Professional Organizer for more than 14 years and founder of Sorted Out, Tonia makes your life easier by helping you create calm, uncluttered business and home environment, improve productivity, and save time and money. 

Tonia understands each individual faces unique challenges. She realizes how stressful and overwhelming keeping up with everything can feel in today’s always-on 24/7 world.

But help is on the way! Through Tonia’s personalized, supportive approach, she teams with you to develop the peaceful, serene business and home lifestyle you dream about.

Tonia assesses your specific situation, goals and needs to tailor immediate and long-lasting solutions. She gives you expert, nonjudgmental guidance and tips. Using her innovative proprietary systems, she provides caring, comprehensive service―from initial consultation to organizational maintenance to backsliding prevention―so you get the best, most effective structures for you.

Natural Organizer Extraordinaire

Tonia’s appreciation for the beauty of order blossomed while growing up in a structured household in Wyoming with daily routines. From the age of five, she showed a passion for organizing—even creating folders for her kindergarten papers and then carrying that tradition through high school!

She continued to hone her detail-oriented skills in a successful career in the mortgage industry as a Senior Loan Officer for Chase Manhattan in Michigan and Texas. Operating the Subprime Lending Group of Texas, Tonia managed a myriad of details working with more than 100 loan officers in the Houston and Dallas areas.

Tonia’s desire to use her organizational gifts and skills to help others increased. In 2004, she turned her passion into a reality and committed to her professional organizing career full time.

Even Tonia’s hobbies incorporate orderliness and organization. She loves to scrapbook and handcraft greeting cards. She enjoys exploring the world through travel and routinely exercising with yoga and Pilates.

Industry Leader

As founder and President of Sorted Out, Tonia leads an accomplished, dedicated team of professional organizers. Continuing the company standards of excellence, she personally selects and trains each team member.

A longtime member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), she serves on the National Marketing Committee. She previously served on the National Board of NAPO and as the 2005 Vice President for the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter.

Tonia is also active in the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) and holds the Social Media Chair position.

Through the ICD, she has completed Level 1 and 2 Certification in Chronic Disorganization and Level 1 and 2 Certification in ADHD/ADD.

She is an active member of the Collin County community, Prestonwood Networking Group and

Speaker and Author

A sought-after speaker, author and writer, Tonia has been singled out in local, regional and national media for her innovative work, stylish organization skills and detailed attention to her clients.

She has been featured on HGTV’s Mission Organization in 2005 and on Martha Stewart Fine Living Network Smart Tips segments 2008-2009.

Tonia’s Dallas/Fort Worth area television appearances include: Good Morning Texas (WFAA, ABC Channel 8) KTVT News (CBS, Channel 11) and Fox 4 News (KDFW). She has also been featured in numerous publications such as: Parents magazine and Texas Family magazine.

Tonia published her first book in 2008, Chaos 2 Calm, The Moms Of Multiples’ Guide To An Organized Family, which was inspired by her twin daughters.

Tonia and her husband Adam, twin girls Peyton and Sydney (13) and son Lucas (4) live in their happily tidy home in Lucas, Texas.

Nicole Arnold

Nicole Arnold, one of the nation’s most uniquely qualified and multi-skilled interior designers, provides a full range of extraordinary design services to luxury residential and prominent commercial clients throughout the metropolitan Dallas area.

As president of an award winning design firm, she’s earned widespread acclaim for her ability to “make space meaningful” for the customized, personalized residential interiors and the commercial facilities she designs in such prestigious Dallas communities as Preston Hollow, Southlake, Highland Park, Turtle Creek, Frisco and Prosper. She also consults and guides custom home builders and realtors so they can enable their clients to visualize their new space.

Clients and professional colleagues use phrases like “superb design skills,” “superior communication skills,” and “a joy to work with” to describe Nicole, who is the winner of numerous customer service as well as design awards.

She enjoys creating custom residential interiors for CEOs, Fortune 500 executives, business owners, real estate and investment specialists and other successful professionals. In addition, she works with commercial clients ranging from World Trade Center showrooms to professional service provider offices, creating dazzling interiors that improve their customer experience and convey their corporate image.

Nicole’s clients benefit from the project management, budgeting, communication, consulting and rapport skills she gained during her highly successful 16 year sales and marketing career with Levi Strauss & Co. Her corporate background enables her to “speak the language” of the executives she now serves. Her leadership expertise has proven invaluable in current industry leadership her roles such as serving as the former president of the Dallas-Ft. Worth chapter and now a national board member of the Interior Design Society, one of the country’s largest organizations of design professionals.

Nicole is passionate about her commitment “to invest in the next generation.” She gives presentations to interior design school students, and has taught reading and math to children in Africa, business skills to local high school students, and has led Sunday School classes.

Nicole Arnold Interiors, which has been recognized as a Dallas Top 10 Design Firm, is backed by a team of some of the region’s foremost contractors, painters, lighting specialists, upholsterers, drapery experts, and other professionals. The company also utilizes a nationwide network of vendors and suppliers to provides its clients with the best array of furnishing options.

Nicole co-founded the North Texas Design Group in 2013, an alliance of designers working directly with manufacturers to provide clients with competitive pricing and a wide assortment of exclusive furnishings. Additionally, she holds a dual major Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing and Professional Sales from Kennesaw State University. She is an IDS Professional and ASID Associate.

She is currently a member of the Interior Design Society’s National Board of Directors.

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