“I’ve always wished that there was another one of me,” said Cora Patton, Santa Barbara’s Errand Girl, reflecting on what it’s like to have too much to do in too little time. “I know I’m not the only person [who feels] like that,” she pointed out, describing the impetus behind the creation of her business a little over a year ago. Patton realized that, though she couldn’t clone herself, she could do her best to become an extra helping hand for other people and so she became the Errand Girl. Ever since, she has been getting groceries, mailing packages, walking and grooming pets, returning things to the store, sending bills, wrapping gifts, taking cars for oil changes, picking up prescriptions from the pharmacy-the list goes on.
In her dynamic business, Patton says that there really hasn’t been “one particular thing” that most people ask her do, admitting that she’s covered everything from taking people to doctors’ appointments to restringing outdoor tree lights. Perhaps the weirdest errand request Patton has gotten was a late night call from someone asking her to pick up alcohol-something she did happily, preferring to get behind the wheel rather than having a drunk person make the trip to the liquor store.
When it comes to having Errand Girl on your side, “It’s like having a little angel in the background,” said Teya Walkker, who professed herself to be a “busy person” with a full-time job and her own business, on top of being a landlady and a graduate student. Walkker says that she calls on Patton to “fill in the gaps when I just can’t get to things,” and she also set up a loose schedule of weekly Errand Girl visits. Among other things, Patton has entirely reorganized Walkker’s in-home office. Before Patton got to it, Walkker admitted, the office was a chaotic mess with huge piles of boxes and papers everywhere. “[She] made it beautiful. When I came home, it was like Christmas,” enthused Walkker, who couldn’t have been happier with the results of the free rein she gave the Errand Girl. She added, “It’s an incredible relief when I get the bill,” explaining that the cost is also reasonable when it comes to hiring the Errand Girl.
While Patton’s business is still young, having only been started in July of last year, she says she’s had a couple of reassuring breakthrough moments. “It’s kind of cool when people call, ‘Hey, Errand Girl!’ down the street,” she admitted. When a friend called her during a dinner party to say someone, a complete stranger to Patton, had her magnet on their refrigerator, she knew she was doing the right things to get her message out there. Despite a Google hit from “some guy overseas [who] typed in ‘call girl’ and ‘Errand Girl’ popped up”-something Patton discovered during one of her routine checks of what people search for when her Web site comes up-life is good for Patton. So keep an eye out for the Errand Girl as she zips around town on her Vespa-perhaps with her dogs, Neesha and Oliver, in tow-and give a shout or a call to see what it’s like to have Santa Barbara’s modern fairy godmother on your side. Just remember, the magic words are “Hey, Errand Girl!”