How did we get here?
So, I haven't always had a love for cleaning but I have always had a love for making other people happy. That love is our foundation. What matters most to me is not how your home looks but that YOU are happy and less stressed.
I have always been one to really empathize what other people are feeling. I take on their worries as if they were my own. I might not always show it, but to this day, I always feel it. It can be the biggest blessing or the biggest curse.
For the longest time, I wanted to become a Therapist, thanks to my psychology teacher in high school. He told me that I had the heart to do it and that the world could use more great therapist to make them more accessible to everyone. I seriously considered it and actually took some college courses at UWW and Carroll College (now Carroll University) while I was a junior and senior at Waukesha North High School. It was such a great opportunity to get my feet wet and learn some really helpful life tools that truly helped me make my decision on what to do after high school.
I decided that it wasn't the right route for me personally because I wouldn't be able to separate myself from the work but knew I still wanted to feel like I was helping people in some way. I ended on landing on the decision to try a cosmetology apprenticeship after a random talk with a stranger at Ulta. I mean, hair stylist are basically therapists who get to do your hair, right? I had always been more of a "girly girl" and loved all things in the beauty industry so it seemed like the perfect fit... and it was!
After just a short time in the industry, I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis, an auto-immune disorder which causes my body to attack itself, causing both psoriasis (skin disorder) and arthritis in my joints. I knew my beauty career would come to an end before I would choose it to. My goal was to become a cosmetology instructor before my body told me I couldn't. I could not be happier when I reached that goal at 22 years old, after just 4 years in the industry. Making me the youngest instructor that the Aveda Institute of Beauty and Wellness had ever hired! I had always gravitated toward natural brands but my deep rooted love for ALL things natural began here. Having reached my career goal in cosmetology at just 22, I was at peace with moving on. I decided to do so after 3 years of working for Aveda.
"Our mission at Aveda is to care for the world we live in. From the products we make, to the ways in which we give back to society. At Aveda, we strive to set an example for environmental leadership and responsibility not just in the world of beauty, but around the world." Yes, I still remember it word for word, by heart because it always resonated with me so much that I'd tear up while I was saying it. Even just typing it now, got me all teary-eyed. Yes, I'm a big baby. Not really, well maybe, but I am just a super passionate person.
Their mission has not left my heart, nor will it ever. We could just swap out the word Aveda for The Nitpicky Cleaner and it would all still be accurate and I'd be happy to be flying that flag. Their mission has inspired me so much that I cannot come up with a better stated mission for The Nitpicky Cleaner, so we don't have an official one yet! I want our mission to be perfect, just like theirs, which is why I've been so stuck on exactly what to say.
I have to say myself that I've become a lot like Horst Rechelbacher, the founder of Aveda. I hope to become a high standard in the industry and someone to look up to for paving the way in natural cleaners + housekeeping, like he did with all natural hair care + services. Just like myself, he didn't like the products he saw in the market, filled with harmful + toxic chemicals. So Horst made his own using only the best all natural ingredients focusing on aroma therapy. Aveda slowly caught on and has since become a household name. That is my vision for my cleaning products + services, to become the standard everyone knows and is trying to match.
So, you're probably wondering how I started cleaning or where that love began and how I tied the Aveda mission to the housekeeping industry. I promise, I'm getting to that now.
My love for cleaning was definitely not there growing up. As much as I'd love to say that I've always loved cleaning + organizing, that couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, growing up, I was a slob. My room was such a mess that my middle + high school friends literally did not know the color of my carpet for the longest time. I swear to Pete that's the truth. My closet was so disorganized that I would just spend all my money on new clothes because I could never find what I was looking for. I know the logic there was strong, hey? I honestly only remember cleaning (as in actually dusting + vacuuming) my room a handful of times.
My dad + brother were always the clean and tidy ones. My dad had Marine's standards instilled in him and somehow passed it onto my brother but not me. Well, not until I was 18 and moved out of the house. That is when the switch flipped! All of a sudden, I had my own things and my own place to take care of. There was no one there (cough, cough... mom) to clean up after me anymore, so it was time to figure out how to act like an adult.
I became a little too OCD though. At a gathering we were throwing in my new place, one of my best friends went to use the throw blanket on the back of the couch and I snapped. I can explain! I had it there as decoration, you see, not to use and I had it folded and placed just so. Which probably took me a lot longer to make perfect than I'd like to admit and I didn't want to have to go through the process of perfecting it again, especially in front of other people. I can see now, just how unreasonable and downright rude I was.
I am still a bit on the OCD side but I have it managed pretty well. Running a cleaning company helps. I get to make things perfect, without my kids there to ruin it 5 seconds later. (Cleaning is so much easier and more satisfying when you don't have a tornado behind you!) My amazing employees deal with my crazy nitpicky ways very well and for that, I'm extremely lucky! It's not easy to find someone who can deal with how obsessed I get with the smallest of details.
This attention to detail is what makes me who I am, it's what The Nitpicky Cleaner is. Those small touches add up to the big picture. Even if you don't notice that I scrubbed all the crevices of the light switch or that spaghetti splatter off the wall, eventually all those little things add up and you notice that they aren't done or that the room just doesn't feel clean, no matter what you do. I think I learned this detailed approach partially from my own OCD and perfectionism but my old boss refined these skills.
I started cleaning professionally when my mom's friend needed some help after overbooking herself with clients. My mom asked me to help because she immediately thought of how much I love to clean and how picky I am. Her friend is the same way! She has very high standards and always goes out of her way to do whatever her clients need. Oh and she only used Norwex, no crappy chemicals that pollute our environment. I loved that! I figured the extra money here and there wouldn't hurt, so I gave it a shot! It was only going to be part time while I was still nannying..
I loved it!! So very much! I cannot begin to describe how satisfying it is to clean a house from start to finish without interruptions. The first time I met one of our clients, I saw the look of relief on her face and watched the stress + tension leave her body as soon as she saw us. In that moment, I knew I wanted to make something big out of this. I knew that this was my true calling and my careers as a hair stylist, cosmetology instructor and nanny were merely just to prepare me for what I will be doing here at TNC. I've always had a career where I was helping make someone's life more beautiful, in one way or another but this was the one I could really take off with. The one where I get to help people reduce stress while making their homes look pretty. Where I get to become a spark of joy in their day.
This is the one career where I felt like I was helping without taking other people's stress upon myself. It is also the only one that has been a good match for my arthritis. The constant moving around is the best thing I can do for my joints, so they don't get stiff. Even if we have back to back cleans with no organizing or design clients to break it up, I have moments where I can kneel or sit plus I can go at my own pace if I need to. I also get a guaranteed break while I'm driving. No more standing in one spot for hours on end or running after 4 toddlers at the same time while holding a baby.
I have a passion for taking chemical cleaners off the shelf and a vision to believe in. Which is why I have created the Nitpicky line of all natural handmade cleaning products. I want to know exactly what I am bringing into my clients homes to ensure it is both safe and effective. I am excited to be releasing the news that after many requests, I will be selling our line of products to any of our clients and eventually the general public. This is the next big step in getting The Nitpicky Cleaner's mission out there. I couldn't do this without the support of my family, my employees and our amazing clients. Thank you all!
This business has been the biggest blessing in my life other than my family. I hope my business has blessed others and continues to do so. After all, my clients are my why. I want to make their homes safe + BEAUTIFUL and their lives less stressed! The more clients I reach, the more we are making toxic chemical cleaners take the back seat. I thank everyone who supports me in this mission. Please continue to be active on our social media posts, even if it's a like or a one word comment to show your support; it helps to get our name out there and helps more people see the posts. I've probably said it 100 times but I'm going to keep saying it because it's true, your support means the world to me!! Thank you for not only supporting my business but supporting my dreams, vision and mission!
You'll want to stay tuned because we will be having a contest to help us launch our new website! Spoiler alert: it's going to be a BIG one!