As a child, I remember asking my mother what she wanted for her birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas, or whatever cause for gift-giving arose. She would always reply with the same request, “A clean house.”
As a teenager, I remember rolling my eyes as I heard the familiar response wondering why my mother felt this idea of a clean house brought happiness.
Then I became a mother.
As our family grew, so did the chaos and with it, an untidy home. There didn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to check everything off my to-do list, let alone deep clean, raise the kids, finish the laundry, make dinner, work, and enjoy life. In my 30s, my birthday was on the horizon and my husband asked me “what would you like for a gift?” and I found the voice of my mother coming from my lips with a simple request - “A clean house.”
Remarkably, my husband listened to my wish and hired a cleaning company to swoop in and get to all the nooks and crannies I never could quite manage.
This splurge seemed so extravagant, yet as I sat in my home for the next few days with the entire house as neat as a pin - and gloriously at the same time - I felt an absolute wash of peace and contentment flow over me.
Life seemed a lot more manageable with this one task off my plate and I vowed that one day I would be able to have this amenity in my life more than just once a year.
Earlier in the year, an all-call on Facebook for a referral yielded several results and a friend messaging me to tell me about a woman named Rachel Claypool, the owner of a St. Charles-based company called Clean Inc., who not only took pride in her work, her staff was responsible, thorough, kind, loved animals, and they worked their butts off.
“Plus, she uses non-toxic handmade cleaning products that actually work,” my friend assured me.
So, I hired Rachel and found not only were the rave reviews about her business true, she was different from the other companies I had been gifted a cleaning from in the past. The entire team had a happy vibe about them.
I was relieved to come home at the end of a long day and actually relax knowing I could spend time with my family guilt-free instead of laboring over the fact that something had to be cleaned.
An added bonus was the peace of mind I had knowing toxic chemicals weren’t used on the surfaces which always inevitably stirred up allergies from other companies.
In my mission to share amazing women in our community, I interviewed Rachel to get the story behind her business and just exactly why her staff exuded an energy that left my house not only clean as a whistle but downright happier!
Sitting down with Rachel, I learned she had been bitten with the cleaning and organizing bug at a young age.
“I remember when I was 8 or 9, my chore was to help clean the bathrooms. I’d shut myself in there for hours at a time, pretending to show people how to clean & which product to use,” Rachel laughed out loud at the memory. “My mom loves to tell the story of how she lost track of me in the grocery store one time when I was five, and she found me organizing the cheeses in the refrigerated section!”
“So, yes, I have been a cleaning nerd since a very young age.”
With career beginnings starting in Education, Rachel taught at a private school for three years before the pull of starting her own business began to surface.
“I loved my students, but it just wasn’t for me,” explained Rachel.
After she quit teaching, Rachel decided to put her natural talent to work and use it to help others. She wasn’t sure what she was looking for when she quit teaching at 26, but the enthusiastic entrepreneur knew she wanted her company to be different from others in the marketplace.
“I wanted to create a company that paid its employees well and treated them like the rockstars they are. It was more about building a company for people who may not have the means or ability to go to college, but they were still hard workers willing to put in the time and effort and be paid well for their work.”
Rachel knows the balancing act of working through college and she was determined to help other women, just like herself, make a decent living for the hard work they do each day.
But finding the right team for the job took a while.
“It takes a special person who actually loves cleaning and wants to form a connection with the clients,” explained Rachel. “Also, someone who wants to see the business grow and helps in any way they can, instead of trying to build their own company behind your back... Yes, that’s happened to me twice!”