ecomaids of Portland
EcoMaids® has been in the Portland area for three-and-a-half years, meeting needs that had not been precisely understood up to that point, and contributing robustly to our local economy.
It’s a great story, all the more impressive because, even in retrospect, it’s a stretch to understand the connections that made it possible.
Lindsay Dellasega, owner of EcoMaids, never dreamed she’d be where she is today. She didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur; nor an environmental activist; nor a trailblazing woman in the business world; nor even somebody who re-thinks housework. But she did recognize a good idea when she saw one. Now she employs 22 people and serves 300 clients, with more joining up every day, and she believes her new career is a perfect fit.
The name “EcoMaids” spells out the obvious: they clean homes and businesses with non-toxic, earth-friendly products. It’s a revolutionary idea in a field that doesn’t usually see revolution.
“People do housework the way their moms did housework,” Lindsay reflects, “frequently with the same products, and the same attitudes.”
So on one hand, we believe that cleanliness is a key to health, and on the other hand, we believe in locking cleaning products away from children and pets.
“We don’t often ask the question, ‘Is my home supposed to be a toxic warehouse?’”
Away from supermarket shelves and marketing hype, there are true choices, Lindsay stresses, and the effort and cost of finding them are reasonable, when balanced against long-term health.
The second half of the business name, obviously, is “Maids,” which can get complicated. While everyone likes the idea of respite from housework, the issues of trust, privacy, security, and control are very real.
Lindsay knows that territory inside and out: she and her husband have always had careers – while raising children who are now school-age – and eventually the couple realized they couldn’t do it without help. Her eyes roll skyward as she describes time taken from her job, on the phone with her cleaning service, clarifying and renegotiating the work she was paying for.
She was managing operations for a construction company at the time, and she had no idea that she was in training for her next career.
That job ended in a corporate re-adjustment. Lindsay went to Marylhurst University to earn a Masters in Business Administration, not certain what would happen next. Then she noticed that, on the east coast, a company was selling franchises for something called EcoMaids –and Lindsay went from needing a cleaning service to owning one.
A franchise provides some structure, some training, and some branding. In the case of EcoMaids, the franchise also supplies world-class, green-seal-certified cleaning products. It’s up the owners to find the clients. Lindsay started at trade shows and baby fairs, marketing to new parents who were interested in non-toxic cleaning. It didn’t hurt that she had a ground-level understanding of the service she was selling.
EcoMaids lives up to the potential Lindsay first recognized in the franchise – it is a service she can offer with pride. Clients are enthusiastic about green-cleaning, and these days, the client base grows by referral. Lindsay takes enormous pride in her employees, who are bonded, insured, and trained in green-cleaning, who work in teams, and personally sign off on every part of every job they do. Employees tend to be proud of the EcoMaids professionalism, happy they’re not putting themselves at risk with toxic chemicals, and grateful for the safety of the team structure, the steady workflow, and the regular paychecks – none of which are guaranteed to folks who freelance in this business. It’s a good deal for everybody.
Point by point (yes, each job has a checklist) Lindsay is proud of the service that EcoMaids provides, but she believes their ultimate product is peace of mind.
“We’re not just taking a chore off of our clients’ hands,” she remarks. The whole job addresses concerns of safety, trust, reliability … and the fact that, when you finally get home from work, your environment will be clean and healthy.
And for people who think a cleaning service is financially out of reach?
“Look the cost of inaction,” Lindsay advises. Not paying a maid doesn’t mean you’re getting your housework for free! The trade-off (or trade up) to household help may be more manageable than you think, and the benefits will most likely make it worthwhile.
EcoMaids has a website at www.ecomaids.com/portland, and their phone number is 503-908-9050. They want to earn your trust, and they’ll gladly answer your questions.