Updated: Dec 8, 2020
I Have a Dream: How PopUP CleanUP is Creating a Squeaky-Clean Image for L.A. Businesses!
If you would have asked me just months before starting PopUP CleanUP if I would be in the cleaning business, I would have laughed and told you to keep dreaming. For 13 years, I built my career in and around the beauty and entertainment industry as a makeup artist, author, and speaker — things that have very little to do with cleaning and business management.
Obviously, you know how the story turns out: PopUP CleanUP has been thriving for two years strong and counting. But in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I’d like to share how I got here and prove that no dream is too great or small — and sometimes, our dreams find us.
From Beauty Expert to Beautification Manager
For two years leading up to the summer of 2016, I worked as a traveling salesperson selling high-end skincare and saving every penny I made with the idea of starting my own business.
What business? “I didn’t have a clue.” I thought I would start a beauty brand or create something within the entertainment industry, as did everyone else.
As fate would have it, in my travels to NYC I met a guy who convinced me that I would be wildly successful in the cleaning business. You could make a wild leap here: I’m in the business of helping people feel beautiful, so why couldn’t I help improve the “beauty” of businesses and municipalities?
Initially, there was some resistance to the idea, but I didn’t rule it out completely. After months of research, analysis, and conversations with friends and family, I was reminded that my late grandmother ran a successful cleaning business for over 30 years, which afforded her to raise her 13 children and buy real estate in Chicago. Nothing to scoff at there.
This reminder prompted me to take a leap of faith and invested my money into my first round of equipment, supplies, marketing materials, and training in the janitorial business. A month or so later, I had my first private commercial cleaning account that grew into three within a couple of months. And while I wasn’t in love with the work of cleaning, I had a trained eye for order and aesthetics, which my clients appreciate.
Turning Commodity Cleaning Services Into a Valuable Niche
Three months into the business, I was actively looking for ways in which to differentiate my cleaning service from all the rest. In a world wind of thoughtful conversations it dawned on me that every event that took me backstage as a makeup artist needed to be cleaned. I decided to leave office buildings and homes to someone else, and invested myself and my team into events that desperately needed a professional’s eye for detail.
In that moment of realization, PopUP CleanUP was born.
When I look back, I couldn’t imagine anyone better suited to grow and expand PopUP CleanUP, given my love of beauty and aesthetics. It’s funny how life can bring you full circle: rather than doing makeup backstage before an event, I’m now one of the first or last people on scene ready to leave a trail of sparkle and shine in my wake.
Without a doubt, PopUP CleanUP is the business I wasn’t looking for, but I’m happy it found me to steward it.