Today we’d like to introduce you to Cintia Leone.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My life story started with a humble upbringing in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I discovered my entrepreneurial desire at age 12 counting a cash drawer full of cash after I sold homemade iced popsicles. I still remember that caramel and coconut were a hit and sold out in just a few hours after I hang a handwritten sign on the entrance of the house.
At that point, I was determined not to allow my circumstances dictate my future. I knew somehow I could change my future and learned that success was the result of hard work, creativity, and a positive attitude. In 1994, I worked at a gig that changed my life, as a backstage assistant worker at the famous Rock N’Rio concert. Fun fact about me: I waited for the Rolling Stones.
In 1995, I came to the USA to improve my English. I went to college but unfortunately didn’t graduate, due to financial hardship, in addition to learning difficulties (which it was diagnosed as ADHD when I turned 40 years old, but that’s another story).
Five years later, I brought my mother to live in Boston with me. I was fortunate to have my mom and many other family visiting from Brazil when for my wedding in 2002. I had my first child the following year and decided to take time away from working to raise my baby girl and be a stay-home-mom. I have the utmost respect for stay-home-moms, but it wasn’t too long until that routine feel boring to me. To fill in my time I started helping newcomers to learn English. A few months later, I had a business plan to start a language school. I started with a small group who I met twice a week to teach English. A few years later, I had a fantastic team of teachers, academic manager and operations running a six-classroom school in Boston. We applied for accreditation and received the federal approval to enroll international students on a student visa (F-1). In 2014, I accepted an offer I could not refuse, and excise my exit strategy, selling the school to a leader in the education industry.
After I fulfilled my contractual employment with the buyer, I took a sabbatical to practice personal growth, reading books by Dalai Lama, Louise Hay, Dan Harris and Eckhart Tolle. I began practicing meditation, and yoga and worked on my well-being, self-acceptance, compassion, and authenticity.
In 2016, I was open-hearted and ready for a new venture. My mother, who has been a house cleaner for about 15 years convinced me to help her start a residential cleaning business. She said that together, with her practical experience and my “go-getter” attitude and business background we could start a company that is sustainable and scalable.
I identified that across the board, the cleaning industry in Boston was dominated by franchises and big companies offering hit-and-ran services with a high price tag to cover high overhead associated with large business’ administration and cleaners who are earning slightly more than minimum wage. On the other side of the spectrum, I identified hundreds of solo-cleaners. Many of them don’t speak English, undercharge their services to get more clients, cut costs using low-quality cleaning products and expose their helpers to clean about six to seven homes a day using acutely toxic chemicals. They bring in helpers that have no prior cleaning experience or training, and in some cases, without any background check. Most of them don’t carry insurance or bond and they also experience a high turnover rate.
Of course, I also identified a very few small business delivering sustainable employment opportunity, responsible hiring practices and five-star service to customers, and that’s the company we aim to be.
Nevertheless, the news about starting a residential cleaning company stroke some people around me by surprise, and from time to time I sense stigma, but this doesn’t bother anymore. I feel that I have learned the tools to not allow what people say or think about me will change my success story, and the new one I’m about to start.
Has it been a smooth road?
In the beginning for me, as an immigrant, certainly, it was difficult. I figure out how to be self-sufficient from a young age. I had to overcome issues like, feeling homesick, having a hard time to make new friends in a new culture, and even went through financial hardship. But I was blessed to be connected to good people who made a difference in my life.
Since the last decade, I noticed a lot of change has been made to embrace newcomers to our society. I also see that younger generations are more acceptive to diversity.
In result, for House Bliss Cleaning, I am able to express my story and to find an audience that is supportive and value the service we provide.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are a family owned and operated an independent company that offers high-quality residential cleaning services in Boston and surrounding cities. We’ve decided to start House Bliss Cleaning after we identified the need for an innovated way to provide residential cleaning.
We’re not a franchise, but we also plan on operating a larger capacity than the solo-cleaner business model. We are committed to providing valuable, long-term service for our customers, and develop a strategic growth plan based on
– quality over quantity
– health awareness by using eco-friendly cleaning products
– streamline communication and processes
My mother has been a professional cleaner for over 15 years. She worked for independent cleaning companies long enough to know there is a need for improvement. She cleaned in average 150 homes per month. That sounds crazy right?! Imagine what happens to your body when you’re in contact with toxins cleaning products for that length of time. Soon enough your immune system will begin to weaken, and the consequences to your health are sometimes irreversible. We take pride in the work that we do, and we love to clean. When we take on a job, there is an instant gratification once we look at a room after a cleaning.
My mom’s expectation for House Bliss is for us to offer customers the best experience from the time we say “hello,” and also to treat our employees with much-deserved respect and educate them about serious health issues that chemicals may happen later in life.
The success of our model relay on offering services to a very limited clientele and a small geographical area in Boston. We have refined our customer base to a group we feel we can best serve. These are the individuals who value our Earth Friendly Cleaning Alternative. We bring in only high-quality cleaning equipment, like HEPA system vacuum and eco-friendly products. We also train our teams on how to be efficient but maintain attention to detail.
We schedule a limited number of cleanings a day, which allows time to do the job well and not cut corners. This way will allow us to maintain those customers permanently. We even have invested in an invested in an American-made hybrid vehicle to reduce our environmental footprint.
Finally, to streamline the process to book a cleaning, we offer a transparent flat-rate price model, where customers can get a quote and book a cleaning online in 60-second. For those who enjoy even a more seamless communication, we offer an App that allows customers to schedule appointments, receive notifications when our team arrive and leave their home, and even get a checklist detailing everything the cleaners did in their house.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Boston is a city of very busy people. Students, young professionals, working parents juggling family and work. We give people time back to do what they love. Our customers are people who cannot compromise living in a clean environment. They appreciate and value having their home cleaned professionally by us.
If someone is starting a cleaning business, I’d recommend them to learn to not undercut their hard-work and educate customers on the value they are bringing to the household.
We invite you to visit our website to find out the areas we service, our price and availability for new customers.
- Address: 6 Liberty Square, St 2260, Boston, MA 02109
- Website: http://www.houseblisscleaning.com/
- Phone: 617-780-6831
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/houseblisscleaning/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/houseblisscleaning
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/house-bliss-cleaning-boston
Ars Magna Studio, Boston