Leaving a career in the technology sector, Crist began Odds & Ends earlier this year. A mobile and versatile service-providing company, Odds & Ends specializes in the areas of senior and pet care for working professionals.
“I’ve spent the last 28 years of my life in the technology profession as a project manager for systems in the supply chain and manufacturing areas,” Crist said. “I spent a lot of time away from home, on the road away from family. Especially in the last few years, I realized that’s just not really where my heart is. That, combined with my mother, who lives in town, she’s getting older, needs a little more care. I wanted to be closer to her and closer to my family. So I thought, maybe there are other folks like me traveling, out of town, that can’t care for their pets or family and could use a helping hand.
“It’s about not being there when you’d like to be and when you get that call from your mom saying, ‘Hey, can you help me, this isn’t working.’ Or, ‘I don’t feel well. I need to go to the doctor,’ and I’m over in South Carolina and I can’t get to her as quickly as I like. It’s definitely stressful and there’s some guilt there.”
Feeling the need to help out at home, Crist began helping her mom with everyday needs and coupled those services with her own love for animals to create Odds & Ends.
“Odds & Ends sort of has two sides to the business. One side is the senior-services side, it’s sort of concierge-type services, transportation to and from medical appointments or other appointments — a hair salon for example — work around the house, yard work, cutting grass, light housekeeping, help with computers, running errands, grocery shopping, cooking meals — whatever they need,” Crist said. “If you have some sort of special need, just talk to me, I’d certainly like to discuss that. The other side of the business is pet care, dog walking, kitty sitting, litter box cleanup, and all the things that goes along with that, feeding and care.”
As her first customer, Crist’s mother, Marta Kudriczy, is proud of what her daughter is doing and has confidence in her ability to help others. Kudriczy is Hungarian and was forced from her home as the Russian army advanced through Eastern Europe. She knows her family has suffered because of the communist party and is proud of what her daughters have accomplished despite adversity.
“She will do very well,” Kudriczy said. “She went through an awful lot, just the family she’s from. I was 16 when I lost everything in Hungary and we had to run for our lives when communist Russia took it over and we were in Austria in a displaced-persons camp for five years until we were allowed to come to this country. Now, Linda was born here, although my oldest daughter was born in Austria, but nothing was ever easy and she always helped. She started working when she was 16 because I needed help.
“All my kids worked, but she was always a good kid and is a sweet lady. ... She helps me a lot, takes me to the doctor — whatever I need.”
Kudriczy overcame her refugee status and retired after a career in international banking with a company which would later become part of J.P. Morgan Chase. Likewise, she sees her daughter succeeding in the pursuit of her dreams and is hopeful for her future.
Crist too is excited for future growth, but her attention for now is focused on Bartow County and the surrounding counties.
“I quit my full-time job, working part time for now as I transition,” Crist said. “It’s a complete change. It’s very exciting. It’s a little scary, but most of it is exciting. It feels so right. I feel very strongly about doing this. I have no doubts and no regrets about doing this.
“I really want to get to know people, get involved with the community and give back. ... It’s a very personal business. I’m not in it to make a million bucks, I’m just in it to help out and be closer to the people I care about.”
Odds & Ends is licensed and insured and Crist has undergone a background check for prospective clients to inspect. For more information, visit www.seniorsandpets.com or call 770-655-3612.