Made in Oklahoma: The Riley Group

California native Valerie Riley moved from Dallas here three years ago to start an errand-running firm.
by Paula Burkes Published: November 7, 2012
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Most of the people Valerie Riley tells about her concierge service, or errand-running business, assume all of her clients live in Nichols Hills.

But her customers reach from Edmond to Norman, and include residents in Gatewood and other housing additions where homes may average 2,500 square feet or smaller.

What her 30-plus clients do have in common is a busy life, said Riley, principal of The Riley Group. Most own businesses — from home decor stores to accounting firms — and most have kids, she said.

“My goal was to make our service affordable for anybody,” Riley said. “Who doesn't need a little extra free time that a concierge can provide?”

A San Francisco native who holds a liberal arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley, Riley, 35, began her career working in investor relations for a technology company, but following the dot.com bust, moved to Dallas where she worked several years as an executive assistant-slash-personal assistant.

She relocated here in 2009, after reading in Forbes that Oklahoma City was the best city in which to start a business.

“I'd traveled here to visit friends, and already was considering the move,” Riley said. “I knew I liked the feel of the people and community, and took the Forbes article as a sign.”

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by Paula Burkes
Reporter
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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About the company

Website: therileygroup.info

Established: March 2010

Key employees: Founder and principal Valerie Riley

Number of employees: Five, including one part-time worker; all are college graduates

Service: Concierge assistance, from organizing closets and home offices to grocery shopping, pet watching, kids' birthday parties and more

Rates: $35 an hour; $25 an hour for clients who prepay monthly retainers

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