Christina Garten of Christina’s Complete Clean

How Christina’s Complete Clean Got Started.

So it started with Christina’s complete, uh, years ago I had, uh, had my son at a fairly young age, and I had one house that I cleaned every other Friday. And for 90 whopping dollars, I cleaned her 5,000 square foot house. And, uh, it was a steal then it would be. Yeah, uh, bargain today.

Uh, and I would take my son along and clean her 5,000 square foot house, and she’d pay me, feed me, launch and, um, take care of him actually, while I cleaned her house. And, uh, I’ll never forget. I showed up one day, and, you know, she just asked me how it’s going. I cleaned her house, and then I also waited tables and had an infant trying to jug a server, you know, juggle servers schedules.

Um, it doesn’t really work. And, um, yeah, so she asked me, how are things going? And I’m like, well, you know, not good. I’m trying to take care of an infant and, you know, trying to figure out life at 22. And, um, she said, do you want to do this? And I just looked at her naive, of course, and said, sure, do you have a friend or a neighbor?

Somebody you want to pass my number two? And she was like, no silly. I’ll put you on Angie’s list.

So she sat down at her computer and just said, what would your company name be? And I’m like, I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it. Um, Christina’s Complete Clean. Yeah, that sounds good. No joke, no joke. True story.

And um, so then Angie’s list called. We got it all set up and, um, A couple, you know, couple months later, a couple of weeks, you know, I started getting phone calls. I didn’t even have a cell phone at the time. Um, 2006. And, um, so when somebody called, I eventually got a caller ID, and I’d call him back and say, Hey, are you looking for a cleaning company?

And anyhow, fast forward to the modern-day. But, um, yeah, she put me on Angie’s List, and the calls started coming in. I never turned down an estimate. And then, as my schedule grew, I could do, you know, one and two houses a day. Then now, we’re hitting like the heart of the recession. 2008, my friends who had their degrees are like, Hey, I can’t get a job anywhere.

Can I do that cleaning thing with you? And, uh, just kind of started from there. I contracted out friends who would help grow the company and, um, just. Kept going from there. So that’s the story, just me a bucket of chemicals. And, and that’s how it started now. How many, how many years ago was that again?

That is now almost 15 years. That’s a lot of time, a lot of changes. A lot of which dive diving into the next several questions. I’m pumped because there’s a lot of. Uh, 15 years, there are many ups and downs, many learning curves, a lot of different areas, and focuses on business.

We are now 35 employees. We have a residential cleaning, and we just formed a commercial line as well.

Christina’s vision & how she gives back to her employees and community.

The vision would be, um, you know, I think a lot of cleaning companies get a really bad rap for all types of things, whether it’s, you know, stealing, not trustworthy, just not, you know, cutting corners, not doing a good job.

So essentially, you know, the issue or the problem that we saw was, uh, as a company. Um, but then the true vision and what would align better with my values and goals would be to really help. Upskill our people.

I was at a point in my life where I had four 25 credit score. I’ve been homeless twice. I literally started from the bottom, and there’s a lot of commonality and things that I see in my staff. That they need help, they need help, um, managing their finances, um, getting healthy, you know, and, and they don’t seem to have the resources or know-how so I would love, you know, a future vision would be to intertwine, you know, providing, um, and fulfilling a need in the community, which is, you know, a needed cleaning company.

And then also being able to help our people behind the scenes just become better people. That’s huge.

How Christina thinks about the challenges of 2020 and entrepreneurship.

It’s like playing chess where you don’t really know all the rules, and the players or the pieces keep changing all the time.

You have to see the bigger picture, and whatever challenge or struggle you’re dealing with today is on today’s plate. But then you have to be thinking. A few moves ahead. You have to be thinking through not just this one play, but if I make this move, then what does that mean for all these other pieces?

And not to mention, as I said, the rules are going to change constantly, and the people are going to change constantly. And so it’s like figuring out a puzzle. It’s never going to be completed. Yeah.