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UCLA

Gofer It

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By Judy Lin

Published Jul 1, 2008 8:05 AM


You're working long hours, making a name for yourself in entertainment ... or medicine ... or business. You're working so hard that you wonder how you're ever going to find the time to buy groceries, pick up dry cleaning, or walk the poodle.

art

Illustration by Trisha Krauss

You call Gofer Girls, that's how. The L.A. company is the brainstorm of Lisa Ristorucci '03, who accurately ascertained there was a burgeoning business in performing errands for overwhelmed Angelenos. Three years into it, the English major-turned-entrepreneur manages a staff of five who run all over town delivering flowers, sending packages, buying gifts, returning unwanted purchases — and, yes, walking dogs, picking up dry cleaning, buying groceries and delivering them directly to clients' cupboards and refrigerators.

"When people are working 10 to 12 hours a day, there needs to be an offset," says Ristorucci, whose clients include attorneys, doctors, talent agents, TV producers, event planners and more. "Somebody needs to maintain your personal life."

One of Gofer Girls' more unusual assignments was from a celebrity busy on a job in New York who needed a dress in her L.A. closet altered for her appearance at the Golden Globes. A Gofer Girl who happened to be her exact dress size was dispatched to the tailor, and the fit was perfect on the big night.

Another client, about to have her first baby, sent the Gofer Girls on a shopping spree to furnish a baby room, from cute baby furniture to diaper wipes.

Ristorucci honed her multi-tasking skills during her years at UCLA, when she took full-time class work while simultaneously holding multiple part-time jobs — car valet, waitress, medical office manager, you name it.

It taught the young gofer-getter discipline and the virtue of hard work. Good thing, too, she says, because "every client needs something different." Sometimes, in fact, she says she feels like "that statue with many arms" — that would be the Indian deity Vishnu. "It's a huge challenge."

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