123organize and a Loan from Pursuit: The Right Move for Growth


When Marla Alt launched 123organize to provide home-organizing services, she didn’t imagine what it could become.

“For the first five years, I approached it as a boutique business, almost a hobby!” she admits. She hadn’t envisioned that nearly two decades later, she’d be the owner of a thriving, full-service moving-and-organization company with a discerning clientele built largely through referrals and recommendations.

Here’s how a New York City Small Business Opportunity Fund loan from Pursuit is helping Marla further evolve and grow her business.

A one-off project snowballs into a full-fledged business

“I’ve always loved organizing – it’s one of those things that I’d do for fun – and the moving service grew organically from our organizing services,” Marla says. Her first project, in 2005, was helping a friend reorganize her home. Today, Marla’s certified in her field and 123organize has helped bring a sense of calm to more than 1,000 homes. It’s also the company of choice for one-stop moving, staging, and home-organization services throughout the Metro NYC/Tri-State area.

Marla explains, “We work with a lot of professionals, including young families, who don’t have the time to do all the work that goes into moving. And we work with many seniors who are downsizing, often for the last time, and that’s a move that’s very hard to do alone. We want to be the go-to team that’s known for alleviating all the stress and worry for our clients.”

As with the service she provides to 123organize’s clients, Marla has worked hard to foster a supportive, compassionate, and fun work environment for her highly-valued team. Her staff has grown to 10 year-round employees and she brings on another 5-10 contractors during the busy season, which is typically May through October.

Staying open to new connections leads to invaluable opportunities

Marla always looks for opportunities to learn as she nurtures her team and builds her business. One fateful encounter came when, as an event volunteer, she met another volunteer who would become one of Marla’s strongest advocates and mentors. She also introduced Marla to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, of which Marla is now a graduate.

“I’m so grateful for her friendship and mentoring,” Marla says. “She’s had an incredible impact on me and my business and because of her, I had the opportunity to participate in the Goldman Sachs program and I learned so much.”

Among the most important lessons?

“When I was young, our family believed that you saved for what you needed. That stuck with me as I grew 123organize and I bootstrapped for years,” Marla admits. “During the Goldman Sachs program, I learned that it’s okay to take on business debt to grow your company, as long as it’s the right financing for your needs and goals. That was a revelation.”

Another game-changing move: The NYC Small Business Opportunity Fund and Pursuit

Marla learned about the NYC Small Business Opportunity Loan Fund through a cohort member in the Goldman Sachs program. Realizing that her business was eligible and that, based on the criteria, she had a good chance of securing a loan, Marla applied that night – the first time that she applied for a loan for 123organize.

Marla also learned about Pursuit and Assistant Vice President and Senior Business Development Officer Keri Pratico from her cohort friend. “They recommended Pursuit and gave me Keri’s contact information, and I reached out the next day. Although I ultimately had the opportunity to choose from several lenders, I wanted to go with Pursuit because I’d heard great things. And I’m so glad I did. Working with Keri was lovely and the loan process was so fast, straightforward, and easy! Within about 1-2 weeks, we had the funds in the bank.”

Marla continues, saying, “It’s about a year since we received the loan and we’ve achieved so many goals. We have a business administrator on staff and integrated customer-relationship-management software. We created a marketing video. And we received Women’s Business Enterprise National Council certification. These were huge goals that I put off for so long because of the costs. Once we had the loan, though, we could finally move forward. It all comes down to having funds available – otherwise, as I learned, I was holding my business back.”

Pursuit: The right lender with the right loans for your business

“Key lessons I learned about business loans are that they’re absolutely necessary for growth, and that there are all types of loans available,” Marla explains. “You have to find the right one to suit your business. You’ll know you’ve found it when it doesn’t feel overwhelming anymore.”

Just as Marla and her team aim to take the stress out of moving and organizing, Pursuit aims to take the stress out of the small business financing process. Every day, our experienced team helps small businesses get the financing they need to create the businesses of their dreams. We offer more than 15 loan options, including SBA loans, and a business line of credit. Explore our offerings, then contact us to learn more about how we can help you, too.

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