Maleia Everidge

Master Multitasker

To keep her home, two businesses, and three kids going in the right direction, Maleia Everidge has discovered and refined the art of multitasking. At any given moment, this recently divorced single mother of three has numerous responsibilities to deal with, yet all concerns get their fair share of expert coverage. "Someone once told me you can give out, but you can't give up," Maleia said speaking of being exhausted, yet steadily moving forward.

Maleia has turned what used to be her part-time pursuit into a full-blown business venture, one enterprise with two distinct parts. After placing business cards in select clothing and shoe shops in Beaufort, Maleia opened her closet auditing, wardrobe styling and personal shopping business called Closet Couture. Word of mouth took over. Maleia recognizes that people have their own style but said, "From time to time everyone needs some external guidance in order to reach their full potential." It's kind of like The Learning Channel's hit television show What Not to Wear, but in your home minus Stacy, Clinton and the video crew.

Given that prevailing principles for beautification are exactly the same, Maleia added design for home interiors and events to her list of services. Changing the vibe of a room or an entire home might involve throwing a little paint on the walls or taking the dining room mirror and hanging it over the fireplace. Edit the nick knacks and voila, a newly transformed space that has the potential to renew one's state of mind. These days people are getting rid of heavy colors such as burgundy and hunter green and switching to neutral shades. "Add a few natural elements, some of which can be found on the beach, and the look gets a name," Maleia pointed out. "It's called coastal chic."

Maleia's specialty is putting things together that normally wouldn't go together. Her style has been compared to Anthropologie, the high-end retailer of women's clothes and home decor designed to appeal to affluent professional women. "I guide clients into reshaping their world by rethinking and reusing what they already have," Maleia said. "Shorten a sundress and it becomes a cute top. Use an oversized scarf as a belt, tie it in a bow and your outfit becomes an original."

In company with lean economic times, Maleia's business, which emphasizes recycling and re-purposing, has done well. However, some clothes should be purchased new. Maleia's closet staples include one crisp white shirt, black tops in short, long and bell sleeves, at least one denim coat, white denim being a good choice, one brown and one black handbag, a set of new turtlenecks (black, white, grey and one colored), one great raincoat and two pairs of hoop earrings, gold and silver. After the essentials have been acquired, Maleia makes sure her clients understand that a pair of new, preferably name brand shoes and a slick belt properly completes any outfit. Additionally, this closet auditor frequently scours vintage shops and thrift stores to find unique items to spruce up both home interiors and closets.

Because her children are priority number one, Maleia maintains a flexible work schedule in order to stay on top of the children's numerous activities and appointments. She also makes sure she has one "girls weekend away" each year. She and her gal pals escape to Brevard, North Carolina where they watch chick flicks in their jammies, drink a little wine and have some belly laughs as they take time to delve into the deep end of meaningful conversations that have been put off because of hectic lives.

Work around your children's schedule, retreat every once in a while with some close friends, and look good while doing it. That's the Maleia Everidge secret formula for sensible chic.

Up Close:

Hometown: Beaufort, 14 years
Family: Kids, Zach (16), Addie (15), Emma (12), Lucy, the Labrador
Guilty Pleasure: Going to the gym
Words to Live By: To thine own self be true.
Never Leaves Home Without: Her GPS (and she still gets lost)