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On the Go (Archive)

Etiquette for Everybody inspires masters of good manners

Western suburbs, IL

Kathy Strickland (left) and Patt Karubus go over some of the proper ways to sit, eat and behave at a dinner table with Benjamin English and Maya Fasules of Glen Ellyn as part of the Etiquette For Everybody program Aug. 20 at the Center For History in Wheaton. Staff photo by Erica Benson   |    snapshots.mysuburbanlife.com/1519416
Kathy Strickland (left) and Patt Karubus go over some of the proper ways to sit, eat and behave at a dinner table with Benjamin English and Maya Fasules of Glen Ellyn as part of the Etiquette For Everybody program Aug. 20 at the Center For History in Wheaton. Staff photo by Erica Benson | snapshots.mysuburbanlife.com/1519416

Balancing a book on your head may not be the standard for teaching proper etiquette anymore, but there is still a lot that goes into developing social graces. Etiquette for Everybody programs offer a more contemporary etiquette. Classes range from writing a proper thank-you note to making a good first impression. As part of the original business plan, Get-it done Gurus co-founders Patt Karubus of Glen Ellyn and Kathy Strickland of Lisle focused on working with children. But as time went on, Karubus and her partner realized that it wasn’t just kids that needed etiquette assistance.

How did you and Kathy first decide to start the Get-it-done Gurus?
We met probably 13 or 14 years ago because we worked at the same place. After Kathy left, we stayed in touch and became good friends. We were both at the same place at the same time – we both had decided that we wanted to do something different and create our own company. I had discovered through traveling that people, no matter what country they are in, are over-worked and trying to handle too many things. That’s when we decided we were going to create a personal concierge service.

So how did Etiquette for Everybody emerge from Get-it-done Gurus?
I guess I spent a lot of time in qualitative marketing research, and a lot of that was focused on research with children. The subject matter was sensitive, and it took a certain kind of person and technique to talk to them. I just realized that working with children was a passion of mine. I didn’t want to be a full-time teacher, but I thought it would be lovely to take that passion and make an impact on their life and their future to create a foundation for children to grow. As part of our personal services we were offering etiquette classes, but we decided we were going to separate our etiquette classes from the Get-it-done Gurus.

What have you learned in this business?
I don’t mean to suggest we’re experts – we still learn a lot, but we’ve also studied a lot to know more than most people. We try to complement the efforts that the parents are doing. We’re with the kids for maybe two hours and then we’re out of the picture. The parent are the ones that are more influential in creating well-mannered children. We’re just here to help the parents in any way that we can.

Do you have one quick piece of advice about manners?
One of the things that we teach kids is that we were given two ears and one mouth for a reason – we should all spend more time listening than talking.

— Allison Horne

Etiquette for Everybody website
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