By Lauren Clarke-Bennett
Aleksandra “Aleksa” Kisielewicz may be petite in stature but she is a powerhouse in her determination to build a business that takes care of her clients’ staffing needs. From bartenders to domestic help to party planning, the Hamptons Employment Agency has serviced thousands of homes from Montauk to Manhattan and continues to receive rave reviews due to her dedication. “By listening to clients carefully, meeting their specific needs and working hard, one can build a successful business,” Aleksa asserts.
Originally from Lezajsk, Poland, a small town in the southeast part of the country, Aleksa and her two brothers were mostly raised by her mother. “When I was seven-years-old, my father moved to the U.S. in order to support our family.” For several years she didn’t see her father and relied on her mother for advice. “My mother instilled in us many values that still guide me today,” Aleksa recalls. “She taught me that no matter what, my brothers and I should always help each other and also help other people in our community.” Her mother also taught her the importance of honesty, treating everyone with respect and doing your best at any job you have.
Her parents lived an exemplary life of entrepreneurism. At different points they worked in their own businesses. “They are very resourceful people and always dedicated to their endeavors, often putting in 12 to 14-hour days without time off,” recalls Aleksa.
While she was achieving her bachelors degree from the the School of Management and Banking at the university in Cracow, Aleksa worked in recruitment for Avon and Zepter where she received her first taste of managing people. After graduating, she moved to the U.S. to be closer to her father and try her hand at the “American Dream.” Brazen with little command of the English language and some support stateside, she set out to make her mark.
Aleksa first worked in the Hamptons as a nanny during her summer college breaks and went on to manage houses. “I used some of my earnings from those positions to pay for English courses at Suffolk Community College,” said Aleksa. There, she earned the school’s certificate of achievement for the ESL (English as a Second Language) program. This full tuition scholarship award, is given to the one person at Suffolk’s three campuses who excels most at learning English. Later on, Aleksa earned a certificate in hotel and resort management at Suffolk.
Subsequently she went on to work as an assistant manager at GalleryB, an art gallery in Sag Harbor, where she helped run both the sales and administration aspects of the business. One of her primary responsibilities was hiring professional staff for openings and other art events. “I learned that networking is an important aspect for a business an by meeting numerous people at a wide range of functions,” she said. “I developed not only personal relationships with certain individuals but a business one as well. I came to know many people in the Hamptons, and they frequently asked me if I knew a good nanny or a good housekeeper.” At the same time she had come to know a wide range of people working in domestic positions. So, she started connecting employers with employees. “I was eager and happy to help whenever I could but friends said that I should make a fee for matching up people.” The rest they say is history and Hamptons Employment Agency, Inc. was created.
Aleksa opened her office in Southampton three seasons ago, and with great focus & determination it has grown in leaps and bounds. It is moving into a much larger space in the same building at 149 Hampton Road. Just recently she opened a second office in Manhattan at 590 Madison Ave.
This new office will allow me to better serve my existing clients in the city and to be more effective in meeting the domestic staffing needs of prospective clients in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and other nearby areas,” said Aleksa.
The agency’s top goal is to provide people with first-rate domestic professionals who meet each employer’s unique needs and preferences. They discreetly serve a wide range of individuals and families, including some of the Hamptons’ most well-known residents, celebrities, CEOs and government officials.
Due to the agency’s professionalism and client-focus, it was proudly voted the 2012 Best Domestic Agency – Platinum #1 by the readers of Dan’s Papers. “For the future, I envision Hamptons Employment Agency being the premier domestic staffing firm not only in The Hamptons and New York City, but also in other select markets,” she affirms.
Aleksa also intends to continue helping the community. “Giving back is important to me,” she states. “Immediately following super storm Sandy’s devastation of Long Island, the agency held a collection drive to gather clothes, food, household supplies, toys and other goods for those affected by the storm.” With community support, they collected items that completely filled a 22-foot box truck. More recently Aleksa became a member of the community minded Southampton Rotary Club where she helped setup and run its Firecracker 8K Run to benefit its scholarship fund.
On a personal note, Aleksa has recently gotten engaged and plans to raise a family on LI in their newly purchased area home. For the long term, she envisions the business as a leading firm in not only the greater New York City area, but also in areas such as West Palm Beach, San Francisco and Los Angeles. She is enormously excited about her future and remains dedicated to building her “American Dream.”