As a young adult, Lisa Reep knew she wanted to be a lawyer. But after a one-night stand with law school in Santa Barbara, she knew it wasn’t right for her. “I had told everyone I wanted to be a lawyer, so I was embarrassed,” she says. “But it just didn’t feel right.”
As fate would have it, Lisa did establish a career in law, but not as a lawyer. It began with an internship as an “own recognizance” investigator, making recommendations to courts about whether suspects should remain free while awaiting trial. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara with degrees in Social Science and Spanish, in 1984 she moved to San Francisco, where she landed a job at the American Arbitration Association. That experience eventually led to her long-time role as Executive Director for the Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA).
She enjoyed her work at CCCBA, and not only because of the powerful advocacy and education the organization provides for more than 5,000 people each year. It so happens that on her second day on the job, she met her husband Scott Reep. “Once we decided to be together, we went in with both feet,” she says. They settled in Benicia, married, and soon had their daughter Alex.
Lisa retired when Alex was accepted into a Rotary Youth Exchange program in Warsaw. “We knew it would be the last year Alex lived at home with us. I wanted to focus on my daughter.” It was exactly 20 years to the day after she took the CCCBA job in 1994.
Soon after retiring, a business idea bubbled up for her. Following this inspiration, she took classes at the National Association of Professional Organizers, and after many baby steps, Closet Concierge was born. This new venture combines her compassion for people going through transitions, and her love of fashion and style.
The goal of Closet Concierge is to “take the stress out of getting dressed.” Lisa helps clients purge and organize their closets and wardrobes so they can find what they really want to wear, and in a way, discover themselves.
“I work with people going through change,” she says. “People who have gone through divorce, lost a lot of weight, a career change, retired. They are ripe for this sort of service.” But it goes beyond their closets. Her clients say the process has helped change their lives.
A Colorado girl at heart, Lisa was born in Durango, and lived in Boulder until she was nine. Her mother still lives in Beaver. When her parents split up, she spent time in Malibu with her father, who taught Cultural Anthropology at UCLA. She traveled to Africa and New Zealand with him, and says New Zealand became a second home.
Still passionate about traveling, Lisa and Scott also care deeply about public education, and are big fans of NPR, bocce ball, skiing—and are both highly involved with Rotary. When Scott served as President of the Rotary Club of Benicia, Lisa was an active First Lady. “I consider myself an honorary Rotarian.”
With all her adventures, there’s still no place like home. “I adore Benicia. We are like a wheel with spokes going to all kinds of wonderful places in the Bay Area. We call it Mayberry-by-the-Sea.”