Five years ago, when the Donnelly family moved into their new home in Yardley, Liz Donnelly knew almost immediately that the closet in the master bedroom would need some TLC—if not a complete overhaul.
“It made me panicky,” she says. “I reached out to three closet companies to get estimates for the work, and Barry was the only one of the three who took the time to come out and look at the space. He was awesome from the very beginning. He was even willing to come back a second time to take more measurements, because the space has some weird angles, and that was even before I agreed to the sale. He understood everything we wanted, and he was honest about what would and wouldn’t work.”
By “Barry,” she means Barry Curewitz, the founder and owner of Closet POSSIBLE, a family-owned, Pennington-based firm that has become known as a go-to resource for homeowners who “want to make their lives less stressful and more organized,” as he says. Curewitz leads a team of skilled designers and installers devoted to creating custom closets and home-organization solutions. Whether it’s a walk-in closet or a mudroom, a pantry or a home office, Closet POSSIBLE utilizes the highest-quality products, custom designed and engineered to solve each client’s unique organizational challenges.
“I use a simple three-step process: imagine; talk; do,” he says. “First, I help them imagine what the space can do for them, and I usually suggest they spend some time looking at closets or other spaces on Pinterest before we meet so they can begin to imagine what their new closet might look like. Then we talk about it, with me asking them all kinds of questions so I can get a good understanding of their vision: how they want the space to be used; whether they’re left-handed or right-handed; their personal ergonomics. Then we do the installation. It’s that simple.”
Thanks to Closet POSSIBLE, Donnelly’s master closet is now optimally functional, organized, and personalized; she uses the walk-in closet as more of a dressing room than just a place to keep her clothes. Also, as a self-avowed “shoe person,” with more than 50 pairs in her collection, Donnelly says Closet POSSIBLE’s craftsmanship enables her to peruse her shoes more easily, thereby saving her time and simplifying her lifestyle.
“Now I have no anxiety when I walk into the closet,” she says, adding that she has since hired Closet POSSIBLE to customize organizational systems for other parts of the home. “I could sit in the closet and have a glass of wine and be perfectly happy.
‘Part of Something’
Prior to founding Closet POSSIBLE, Curewitz spent most of his professional career as a brand manager for some of America’s best-known consumer packaged goods. Then two pivotal events urged him to reconsider his career. The first: Sept. 11, 2001, which convinced him to transition into brand consulting so he could travel less. The second: the death of his father-in-la win 2012, and the resulting self-reflection that convinced him to work for himself, doing something he truly loved.
“In my prior life, if I wanted to develop a new product, it would take literally a year and a half from the initial steps to launch,” he says. “Here, from the time someone calls to the day we finish the project, we’re usually looking at no more than three months—eight weeks, typically. I’ve always loved the feeling I get from creating something, and now I get to have that feeling in eight weeks as opposed to a year and a half. “When I w as working for those Fortune 50 companies, I spent as much time traveling as I did in the office,” he continues. “I enjoyed the work, but I didn’t feel like I belonged to a community. Since I started this company four years ago, I’ve fallen in love with the organization industry. I get to support local nonprofits. I get to help people in my community. And a lot of my business comes from repeat clients, so I get to become a fixture in other people’s lives.”
Whether he’s shopping at a home-improvement store in the Princeton area, or patrolling the aisles of a supermarket in Monroe Township, or having dinner at a restaurant in Yardley, Curewitz often runs into clients, both past and present. These kinds of unexpected interactions make him feel as though he’s “part of something.”
Curewitz’s communal ties helped him become introduced to Kim Kleasen and her husband, Glenn Thomas, who live in Bell Mead, N.J. When Kleasen and Thomas sought to reorganize a number of spaces in their home, they chose Closet POSSIBLE, in part because of another Closet POSSIBLE client’s positive ex perience.
“We like to support local businesses, and we found Barry to be a really interesting guy— a superb marketer, very attuned to client dynamics,” says Kleasen. “He’s very direct and honest, in a nice way. He’s also very customer-focused; he really listened to what I was trying to accomplish. He’s not the only one; I found his installer, Sean, to be the most detail-oriented person I’ve ever seen.”
Kleasen loves scarves, and she considers them a vital part of her wardrobe. Prior to Closet POSSIBLE, she would keep them tucked away in drawers or hanging on old dry-cleaning hangers. Now, the scarves are centralized in a glass-fronted cupboard, so she can view and access them more easily. As a result, she can utilize all of her scarves—among other parts of her wardrobe—more effectively.
Last year, Kleasen and Thomas decided to embark on a larger project: reorganizing their home offices. In doing so, they got bids from two other companies because “offices are different than closets,” Kleasen says. Even so, she says Curewitz’s “superb customer focus” ultimately helped Closet POSSIBLE win the bid on the home-office reorg.
"He came up with a great design for Glenn’s office, and his creative thinking got me to understand how I could use my office space differently—taking the closet out and expanding the room with a built-in armoire,” she says. “Both from a functional standpoint for my husband’s office and from an aesthetic aspect for me, [Curewitz] has done a fantastic job. Once it’s complete, I think we’ll have more space than we actually need; we’re taking it as an opportunity to expand and be more efficient.”
Curewitz is intimately involved in every project. As a result, he says clients are assured of receiving an elegant, effective organization solution made only with the highest-quality materials, manufactured by a firm in northern New Jersey that’s known for its precision. What’s more, Curewitz says Closet POSSIBLE can deliver its solutions for a price that’s 15 to 30 percent less than those offered by a certain large competitor with a nationwide footprint.
“What we really do is help people minimize the time they spend in their closets, preparing for the day ahead, and helping them start the day with confidence,” he says. “We take great pride in our work, and our installers are trained to be respectful and meticulous. We’re in our fifth year as a company, and we now have clients who come back almost annually. I think that says a lot about the product, the service, and the creativity we’re able to offer.
1589 Reed Road
Photography by Jody Robinson
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life Magazine, September 2018.
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