19 Jan Samantha Lloyd-Gordon
What led you to LA and how long have you been here?
Uniquely, I moved out to LA to be an actress! But I quickly realized my passion and talent lay in organization and managing people. That’s when I decided to become a professional Executive and Personal Assistant which evolved into House/Estate Management.
I know you’re involved with the Association of Celebrity Personal Assistants, can you tell us about that?
The organization has been around for over 20 years. The members are the gatekeepers to the Hollywood elite, VIPs, and captains of industry. The assistants do everything from making sure there are only blue M&M’s in a bowl to coordinate with the office colors (yes, I did this), to reading lines with Oscar winning actors, and everything in between. It has been an honor to get to know these hardworking assistants. I have served on the Board of Directors for the past six years and it’s been challenging but always worthwhile, and the relationships I have developed along the way as a PA/EM have been very rewarding.
Was that a factor in Quintessentially People asking you to head up their LA office?
Yes, that was a factor. Quintessentially People, who have worked exclusively out of London and New York, were looking for someone to head up their new staffing and recruiting office in Los Angeles, someone who really knew the culture of L.A. and the families and individuals who require top-notch domestic assistance. My background was a great fit. One of my specialities and passions was hiring staff in the homes I supported – from nannies and doulas to housekeepers and chefs to second assistants and butlers. I am really honored that they asked me to be a part of the QP family – it’s a respected, reputable and successful company.
What is Quintessentially People?
The clients at QP range from numerous Royal families, politicians and international businessmen, through to high profile names in music, fashion, film and television – and we also look after a huge number of well-known businesses too, helping them to find candidates for their senior members of staff and international offices. Quintessentially People is a modern agency with a modern vibe and a modern focus – we are very careful about the candidates we choose to represent and equally careful to ensure we work with clients who will treat our candidates with respect. Some of the positions we staff are: Personal and Executive Assistants, Nannies, Chefs, Housekeepers, Butlers, Chief of Staff, Chauffeurs, Tutors, Yacht Crews and other ad-hoc positions.
How does it differ from the other agencies?
Unlike other agencies, I have the hands-on experience of working as an Estate/House Manager and Personal Assistant in these homes so I absolutely understand the needs of the client. Quintessentially People has an extensive network of contacts which can help our candidates to be successful. We don’t abandon our candidates once they’ve been placed, we maintain contact and check-in with the client and the candidate to ensure their success. We want to work with these families for a long time – not just staff one member of the household. We’re creating a life-long relationship.
And if someone wants to use your services?
My office is located in West Hollywood so I am very local. Some clients prefer to meet me face to face (which I am happy to do) and some prefer to discuss their needs at length through email, Skype or calling me at the office. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by calling me at: 323-406-8564. I don’t keep “normal” hours which is a holdover from my EM/PA days – I am always available for my clients so they can reach me evenings and weekends.
Do you have any funny stories as a celeb assistant?
In order to entertain a 3 year old because his nanny was sick, I made up fun, silly songs singing them in my best Broadway voice (not so good really). The more he giggled, the sillier my lyrics and singing became. I even created a dance number. Right when I was in the middle of performing my version of Hakkuna Mattata from The Lion King, my employer, a Tony Award winning Broadway singer, walked in. I, of course, being totally embarrassed, stopped immediately, but my employer insisted that I finish. At the end of my number I did receive a standing ovation. From the 3 year old.
What do you love about LA?
I love being able to go to the beach and hike in the mountains later that afternoon, seeing shows at the Geffen Playhouse, exploring the neighborhoods with my vintage Polaroid camera, and enjoying LA’s eclectic restaurant scene. There’s so much about Los Angeles that I have grown to love from originally being a New Yorker. Angelenos are culturally diverse and hard working, and I am happy to count myself as one of them.