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FANCY HANDS BLOG

International Incidents.

One of the most popular questions that we’re asked is, 
Can you work for me even though I don’t live in the US? 
You bet your Fancy Hands we can. 

Our assistants are all based in America, but we work for clients worldwide, as long as we can get the job done in English. 
Recently, for one of our Australian customers, an assistant got three quotes for a car repair, then scheduled an appointment to have the work done.  
In Germany, a Fancy Hands assistant ordered and shipped a toy that one of our clients wanted for her daughter. 
For a Canadian client, an assistant got estimates for a family portrait session and then booked an appointment with the selected photographer. 
An assistant compiled a list of sightseeing suggestions for an Austrian customer who was hosting out-of-town visitors that weekend. 
A client living in Hong Kong asked for research on climate change. 
A New Zealand couple asked their Fancy Hands assistant to find party venues for them. 
 
And in the UK, a customer asked us to find her a doctor close to her ‘flat’. 
Oh, right…Madonna’s not British anymore…they sent her back to the states, and she stopped using that fake accent. 
Ah well. Cheerio!

The Request Hall of Fame

Your Fancy Hands assistants are an amazing group of people. Based all over the United States, they’re a wide variety of moms, dads, students, artists, and geeks.
(We're big geek fans here at FH!)
We asked some of our assistants to share the most memorable request they’ve ever completed for a Fancy Hands customer and, together, we took a trip down memory lane.
We had a customer who lost a dog.  We worked on a number of requests related to finding him, and guess what…we did! - Allen L. 
I found destinations in Europe for an awesome bachelor party that involved guests from all over the world. - Caroline R. 
Someone asked me to calculate the circumference of the earth in centimeters. – Reuben P. 
I researched a vasectomy for an interested client…there was a video involved…I’ve never forgotten that one! - Mandie S.
I looked for carpet cleaners in New York. It brought me back to the time when I lived there. –Evangelina R.
I once answered a request to call a gentleman's mother (who was a volunteer summer school teacher) and encourage her to continue because her contribution was invaluable. In looking for quotes to use, I found nothing that conveyed his description of her service, so I chose to write her a poem just for her. He later sent me a thank you telling me that she called him crying because she loved it so much, and she wanted to know who the author was. I emailed him a copy to which he replied, “your kindness had no measure today. Thank you for all you did.” I will always remember that task. - Tina C. 
We have a designer client who asks us to pull images with different themes for his mood boards. I love that.   - Lena S. 
I was asked to call a girl's mother at work and deliver a 'singing telegram.' I created an original, pretty wacky rendition of the “Happy Birthday” song and sang my heart out. It was fun! - Tasha S.
I negotiated a press pass for a client to go to the Running of the Bulls in Spain.  - Shauna L. 

Outsource Your Research!

Your Fancy Hands assistant can save you precious time answering your random questions. 
Rather than diving into a Google search, you can: 
*shoot us an email request
*leave a task on the dashboard of our website, or 
*leave us a voice mail via phone
Before you know it, you’ll find answers in your inbox! 
Here are some questions that our clients asked us about this week: 
What are the three highest rated mattress stores in my area? What are their hours? I would like to go to all three and try a wide variety of brands and types. 
I need to buy some Koi fish to stock my pond in my backyard. Where can I buy them, and how much are 50? 
What’s the difference between Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos? We like blackjack and the spa. How do these two properties compare in guest satisfaction and price? 
I’m going scuba diving in Thailand during the Thanksgiving holiday. What are the best diving schools there? I need to see the reviews on safety, and we may need a refresher course beforehand. How much is the refresher, and how much are fun dives? 
Where can I buy coconut water in Cape Town, South Africa?
Can you find X Box controllers cheaper than the prices on Amazon? 
How many calories are in the typical Indian dish Chicken Tikka Masala?
We’re happy to have helped with your new bed purchase, your pretty pond fish, your casino vacation, your scuba trip, your coconut drinking, your video-gaming, your spicy eating, and so much more…

Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

Planning travel can be so time consuming. 
One visit to Google can send you 
down 
the 
rabbit 
hole 
of 
search, 
and the next thing you know, four hours have passed, you still haven’t booked your flight, but for some reason, you bought a wine rack that you didn’t need. 
 
Fancy Hands can cut through these distractions. 
Tell us what you need and you’ll get a concise report with the answers to all of your questions. 
Well. We can’t tell you why you bought that wine rack. 
Here are some travel requests that we’ve helped our clients with lately. 

TASK: FIND HOTEL.
"I’m going to be in Seattle next month. Can you send me five interesting hotels with good reviews and their rates? No chains, open to a bed and breakfast. I’m looking for an independently run business with personality."
TASK: RESEARCH BUS TOURS
"My parents are coming to visit me in NYC and they want to ride on one of those touristy double decker buses. Are there different companies, and is one clearly better than the others? What’s the schedule? How long is the tour and where can they hop on? Can I buy tickets in advance online somewhere, and if so, can you send me the link?"
 
TASK: ROUTE AIR TRAVEL. 
"I need to go to a wedding in Greensboro, NC and I don’t think there’s an airport there. What are the best options on [this date] to fly from Phoenix? I’d rather not take a lot of connecting flights, so if there’s a possibility of flying direct and then renting a car to drive there, that would be fine. Where would I get the rental car, how much would it be, and how long does it take to drive from the airport to Greensboro?"
This request came in via our voice mail. You can walk & talk to us – no need to email if you aren’t free to type. Once you have an account, you leave us a message anytime and our assistants will begin working on your task right away.
TASK: FIND RENTAL CAR AND PROVIDE DIRECTIONS.
"I want to rent a Zip Car and drive to Cold Spring, NY from my home in the West Village this weekend. Can you tell me where I can pick up a Zip Car and how much it is? What’s the best route to go to Cold Spring? How long will it take me to get there? And what are some good restaurants in that area?"
TASK: FIND AIRBNB ROOMS AND PRICES.
"I’m planning a trip to San Francisco and I want to stay in an AirBnB property. Can you put together a report of 10 good options for me in the area during [this date] and let me know what the cost for each property is?"
TASK: FIND LOWEST PRICE AIRFARE.
"I want to fly home for the holidays. Can you find me the best price on a coach ticket from Los Angeles to Orlando and send me the link so that I can book it?"
However you travel, Fancy Hands will help get you there. 

Best October Ever.

October is here, bringing two of my favorite things; fall weather and Halloween. 
If you’re finding it hard to find the time to sneak away for a drive through the leaves, and if the word “Halloween” is making you feel stressed instead of excited, we can save you from a last-minute meltdown.
You know the one – running down the aisles of the grocery store on October 30, desperately searching for one last bag of candy, calling every costume store asking them what superhero costumes they have left in your size. 
Fancy Hands can prevent all of your last minute frustration. 
If you have kids, the assistants at Fancy Hands can track down hard-to-find costumes for you. Or if the kids haven’t yet decided on a character, our staff can research some great costume suggestions. 
My personal favorite is Baby Lobster. 
If you don’t have kids, no worries – Dog Lobster is also an option. 
And, of course: 
Feel like going all out and decorating the house with a light show? 
If your inner Clark Griswold is dying to staple some lights up, let our assistants know what color and style bulbs you’re looking for, and we can track down as many strands as you need, at the best price. 
And when it comes to Halloween parties, we can help you source whatever you may need, and find the best prices. 
 
Have a happy Halloween month, and don’t overdo it! 
 

Owning A Pet Doesn't Have To Be A Pain!

Pets. We love them.

 

According to a national survey, Americans have 78.2 million dogs for pets, and 86.4 million cats.

That’s a whole buncha cute.


Our animals provide us with a lot of love and laughter, but they’re also a lot of work. And it’s not always easy to fit your pet-related tasks into your busy day.

Don’t let your chores sneak up on you!

Fancy Hands is the answer. Fancy Hands is always the answer!

Check out what our assistants have tackled for our pet-owning customers.

 

TASK #1: 

Find me 3 reputable dog walkers in my area with good reviews and send me their rates for walking once a day, on the weekdays. Also, do they accept last-minute requests if I get hung up at work? And can I get a discount for using them a lot?

TASK #2: 

Send me 5 great options for pet-friendly hotels in the city that I’m traveling to.

 

TASK #3: 

Find the best price on this brand of 50lb bag of dog food and have it delivered to my house next Saturday.

  

TASK #4: 

Can you research a few good veterinarians close to my neighborhood? I prefer one that’s open 24 hours in case of emergencies.

TASK #5: 

Where are the best dog runs in the city? Are there any fun events for dogs in the city coming up? My buddy needs to make some friends.

TASK #6: 

I need a cat sitter for a week over the holiday break. Can you find a few in my area that have low prices and good reviews?

TASK #7: 

Can you book a car to pick me and my two dogs up to go to the airport next Monday? The car service should be aware that they’re two well-trained dogs weighing 120 lbs each. They can ride on a seat with a towel or in the back of an SUV.

 

TASK #8: 

Find a great groomer in my area that has good feedback and make an appointment for my dog Sir Barksalot on Sunday afternoon.

TASK #9: 

My dog chewed through his leash - and my shoes. Sigh. Can you find me a leash that is chew-proof?

TASK #10: 

Can you order me the lowest priced, best-rated automatic cat feeder and have it shipped to my office?

 

 

We can. We did. And we wish you and your furry friends well.

 

 

 Assistants for Everyone. Do what you love. We’ll do the rest. 

Wedding Planning Made Easy!

 
He popped the question. Awesome! Congratulations! Now comes the WORK. 
Getting engaged is a blessing…and a curse. Planning a wedding is like having a second job - except you write paychecks, you don’t cash them.  

The question we’re often asked here at Fancy Hands is, “how can I use your services?”
Savvy brides-to-be have it all figured out. 
Here are 10 wedding-prep tasks that our assistants have tackled lately. 
TASK #1: 
Find me the best price for 150 of these wedding favors that I want to put into my guest’s bags, and make sure they have that many in stock before reporting back to me! 
TASK #2: 
Schedule hair and makeup appointments for myself, my family, and my bridal party. 
TASK #3: 
Find the best price for event insurance for the wedding day. You never know what might happen! 
TASK #4:
Find food truck options for a late night treat at the reception. How much will it cost to feed about 100 people at midnight? Would like pizza, taco, and dessert options.
TASK #5: 
I want to throw a nail party for my bridesmaids. Please research the best nail salons in my area and price out how much it would cost to throw a private party for 10 people – manis and pedis for all. I would want to bring food and champagne, but if any of them offer these things, please get the pricing on that as well. 
TASK #6: 
Find stores in my area that carry guest books. My budget is under $100. I want to go in person and view them before buying. 
TASK #7: 
Find several options and the lowest prices for the type of tux that my groom wants, and make sure they have all sizes for the groomsmen, too. 
TASK #8: 
Gold Jordan almonds. I love them. Please find them in bulk at the lowest prices. 
TASK #9: 
I want an artist to paint on mirrors for the reception. Please find several people who can do this locally, who have good reviews from previous customers, and let me know what their price quotes are. 
TASK #10: 
Research the best dance studios in my area and book three dance lessons for my fiancée and me. We’re gonna need to impress while we get down! 
We’re always happy to help our customers as they plan their happy day. We’d like to think that we’ve prevented more than a few cases of Bridezilla-ism.
We have yet to taste-test wedding cakes for our clients, but we remain hopeful. 
 

Making The Big Move.

Meet Nick Mercer. He’s living the dream. 
Well…okay, he’s not living the dream just yet. But he’s working towards it. 
Last month, Nick strapped his worldly possessions to the back of his motorcycle 
and drove five hours from his hometown of Syracuse to NYC.
Nick is a developer here at Fancy Hands. He began his first day twelve hours after he moved to the city. He was a couch surfer by night and a coder by day. 
 
After his first week, he came into the office with a sad face and said, “People are sick of me crashing at their place. I gotta find an apartment.”
How lucky he is to work at Fancy Hands! We put our assistants on the case, and here’s what they did: 
TASK #1: FIND AVAILABLE APARTMENTS IN BROOKLYN. 
We gave the assistants Nick’s budget and a few neighborhoods that he was interested in. They sent back a list of 25 available apartments,  links to pictures for each one, and the contact information of the leasing companies. 
TASK#2: MAKE APPOINTMENTS TO VIEW APARTMENTS. 
Nick reviewed his choices, picked 8 that he liked the looks of, and the Fancy Hands assistants set appointments for him to check them out. Once the appointments were set, the assistants entered them into Nick’s Google calendar along with all of the pertinent information. Easy breezy.
TASK #3: FIND A MATTRESS STORE WITH LOW PRICES.
Nick signed his lease. Yay! Next, he needed a bed, because, although his box maze was a lot of fun, it wasn’t very soft. 
The assistants sent Nick a list of 5 of the most reputable, affordable mattress companies that would deliver a queen-sized mattress to him on a weekend. Boom.
TASK #4: ORDER MATTRESS AND SET UP DELIVERY FOR SATURDAY.
(NOT TOO EARLY. NICK LIKES TO SLEEP IN.) 
Once Nick decided which mattress he wanted, he gave that information to an assistant and they took care of the rest. 
TASK #5: ORDER GROCERIES TO BE DELIVERED AROUND THE SAME TIME AS THE MATTRESS. 
Nick needed toilet paper, paper towels, cereal, milk, a broom, a sponge, shampoo, conditioner, soap, potato chips, and of course, beer. A Fancy Hands assistant placed the order for him and scheduled a Saturday delivery. 
TASK #6: RESEARCH ROUTES TO WORK FROM NEW APARTMENT. 
Sometimes, Nick will power into work on his bike like a modern James Dean. 
But he also needs to know how to take a bus and a subway to Fancy Hands HQ. The assistants sent him step-by-step instructions for all three modes of transport. 
TASK #7: RESEARCH RESTAURANTS IN THE NEW ‘HOOD, SUPA-CHEAP & MEDIUM-PRICED.
The assistants sent Nick a list of ten local dives and ten local date spots. 
Which leads us to…
TASK #8: FIND AND BOOK A CHEAP HOUSEKEEPER TO CLEAN THE APARTMENT ONCE A MONTH. 
Because every girlfriend likes nice restaurants, and roach-free apartments. 
Nick is now happily settled in his new home, thanks to the assistants at Fancy Hands, and we’re glad to have him on our team. 
I did try to convince him that the locals say “Bapple” – short for Big Apple, hoping that he’d start saying that a lot, like “Yeah, I’m just chillin’ in the Bapple, what’s up with you?” but he didn’t take the bait. 
Already skeptical of what people tell him…he’ll do well in New York. 

My New Assistants Rock, and They Can Be Yours, Too.

Am I busy? Duh. These days, we all are.

Don’t let that cute smile on my face fool ya, I’m stressed out.

Almost every night, just before I fall asleep, a nagging thought leaps through my brain. You forgot to make that important appointment. Again.  Something has always fallen through the cracks.

Enter: Fancy Hands. Not only a solution for the problem, but my new employer, as well.


 

I’m the Director of Communications, which means that I’m in charge of these here words. 

You can read about how I joined Fancy Hands right here. The media made the transition sound scandalous, but it really wasn't. Ted didn't even get to hang out with Tyra. And that's a shame, because he has a fabulous runway walk. 

The best thing about my new job is that I get to try Fancy Hands out as a customer. Hot damn!

Fancy Hands is an assistant service, and Ted is the founder. Here he is with his favorite friend, Rasta Banana, at The Feast of San Genarro in Little Italy. Hi, Ted! 

Ted was so busy writing a book, working a day job, and being a dad that his to-do list became an impossible mountain of tasks. So he built a software program and hired a team of assistants to handle it.

(Most people would have just turned to drinking. Lucky for us, Ted is more ambitious than that.)

And now here I am, one year later, joining the company and happily turning my to-do list over to his team.

I signed up for an account with my personal email address so I wouldn’t get any special treatment, and started assigning jobs to the assistants.

TASK #1: CONFIRM A CREDIT.

My apartment building had to be exterminated a few weeks ago, which meant that my grumpy cat took a trip to the kennel.

I had emailed the receipt to my building management for a rental credit but hadn’t heard back.

My Fancy Hands assistant called and spoke with the management company and confirmed that a credit was being processed to my account.

As an added bonus, my landlord probably thinks that my standing in the world has somehow risen, since I suddenly have an assistant handling these types of things for me.

TASK #2: TELL THE NY SUPREME COURT THAT THEY’RE WRONG.

I served on a grand jury for a month in July. That’s right, every day, from 1-5pm, for a month, people. I have paid my dues as a citizen, and was told at the conclusion of my service that I’m excused from serving on a jury for the next eight years. 

Imagine my less-than-overjoyed reaction when I received a notice in the mail last week that I am DELINQUENT FOR SERVICE.

Um…say what?

My Fancy Hands assistant held patiently on the phone and cleared this matter up with the court system. Thank God.

These are the types of mind-numbing calls that can throw your whole day off. It made me feel so light and happy to know that I didn’t have to deal with this. I skipped down the street. I sang show tunes. I hugged strangers.

TASK #3: GET AN AVERAGE NUMBER OF A LIST.

As I settled in during my first week at Fancy Hands, I wanted to learn more about our customers. I had a list of our clients’ birthdates in front of me, but…

I have a photography degree. That means I can take pretty pictures, but I don’t know how to get an average from thousands of birthdates.

I started Googling things like

How can I get an average age from a list of birthdates since I’m dumb?

and I even made a foolish attempt at entering an equation of sum averages into an Excel sheet,

and then I thought – wait, I don’t have to be good at math, I have a Fancy Hands assistant!

In your face, Mrs. Williams (my 9th grade algebra teacher who insisted that I “would never make it without math in the real world”)!

I shot the birthdates over to my Fancy Hands assistant and received a reply in lightning fast time.

The average age of our customers is 33. Good to know!

TASK #4: SCHEDULE A TOUR WITH MY FRIEND & BOOK IT WITH THE COMPANY.

A while ago, I bought two tickets for a walking food tour of Greenwich Village. I don’t really know what that is, but it sounds fun. The tickets have been sitting on my counter for months, in “gotta-schedule-that-soon” purgatory.

I knew this was a perfect task for my Fancy Hands assistant. I scanned the tickets over to her and gave her my friend’s contact information. She gathered available dates from the tour company, confirmed what would work with my friend, and booked the tour.

Four tasks in my first week - all completed to my great satisfaction by a Fancy Hands assistant.

Using Fancy Hands saved me time, frustration, and it made me feel good.  

Simplify your life today with 

and let me know how it goes over on Twitter!

Make life suck less. We can help you!

Who's going to win? 
While these guys fight for control, there’s no debate at Fancy Hands: our customers are winning. 
Also: Romney & Obama with their hair switched? Good stuff. 
Here are some things that our Fancy Hands assistants have done for our clients this week. 

Is the government this effective? Hmm. 
 
TASK #1: Find an iPhone 5, in stock and near me. 
The maps may be all wonky on the new model, but that doesn’t stop people from wanting them. 
TASK #2: Call the cable company and change my plan to add Showtime. Dexter is back on! 
If the cable company won’t allow your assistant to make changes without speaking directly to the account holder, the assistant will call you and patch you in for a brief verification. Boom. All the serial killers you want. 
TASK #3: Research the ten best venues in my area for a private party of 50 people that are either cheap or free if we pay the bar bill. 
Models not included. 
 
TASK #4: Find three plumbers in my area that have good reviews, let me know how soon they could come over and what their prices are. My kid flushed a toy down the toilet.
 
Because he thought it was a toy-let.
TASK #5: 
I moved. Please change all of my magazine subscription addresses to my new address. 
Can’t miss a single O. I get it. 
TASK #6: Can you research the best route to drive upstate this weekend, factoring in the construction work? 
Sure! Take us with you? 
TASK #7: Please send my wife flowers – nice ones – she likes white hydrangeas. Card should read: "I love you more and  more each day. Have a great afternoon. See you tonight."
Amazing. Makes us feel warm and fuzzy. Well done, sir!
 

Small

3

Requests a month
$6/request
-20%

Medium

5

Requests a month
$6/request
-20%

Large

15

Requests a month
$5/request
-12%

XL

30

Requests a month
$5/request
-4%

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