Life is not about what you can accumulate, in my opinion, but rather how many people you can help succeed in having a rewarding life! ~ Veronica De Anda, owner of Naked Clean
Please tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi San Diego Bargain Mama community. I am Veronica De Anda. I founded Naked Clean in 2007, inspired by a major revelation; one of my family members who suffered from serious intermittent throat problems for many years discovered that bleach and ammonia used to clean his shower was at the root of the problem! The dangers of highly toxic chemicals pose a real risk to our health and I wanted to take great steps towards making a better house cleaning company.
What did you do before founding Naked Clean?
As a Mexican immigrant, I moved to the US at 18 years-old. I shared with my parents and five siblings that I wanted to follow my dream and make a better life for myself in the USA. After moving here I learned English and starting working as a bank teller part-time and did so for eight years, (without any formal higher-education) meanwhile raising two kids. Eventually I was recruited by a national mortgage company to run their consumer loan activity, and was quickly promoted to supervise backend operations.
But the desire to be my own boss was too compelling, so I started a mortgage company and operated it successfully for another seven years, until it became fairly obvious there was likely going to be a financial crisis in the mortgage industry, so I sold the business and looked elsewhere for another opportunity, which turned out was right around the corner. After learning that toxic cleaners were potentially damaging to our health, I started looking for a maid service which did not use toxic chemicals, but couldn’t find one, so I decided to open Naked Clean.
How does your background help you in your entrepreneurial efforts?
I have always been a mover and shaker. I believe that if you want something badly enough you will find a way to make it happen. My goal was to upgrade the typical maid service to meet the needs of today’s client. One of the many lessons I have learned over the years is how to create an environment for the people I work with. I consider the office staff and the maids to be “my customers” and I am accountable to them by making sure they have an enjoyable atmosphere in which to do their job. If the people you work with are happy, your customers will receive better results and naturally be happy, as well. It gives me great joy to help honest, hard-working people earn a good living.
What sets your business aside from other similar businesses?
In business you learn to solve problems and continually improve. I would like to think that we are changing the definition of cleaning, based on the new science of probiotics, which eliminate bad bacteria and dust mites and mildew, naturally and safely. Probiotic cleaning is a revolutionary example of how green cleaning has advanced over the years. Probiotics have been tested in hospitals and universities in the United States and Europe including FDA approved laboratories. In addition tousing green cleaning methods, most of the maids use commercial HEPA-filtered vacuums commonly found in hospitals and healthcare facilities to help make our customers’ homes cleaner and safer.
Which areas in San Diego do you service and do you have any future plans?
We service almost all areas of San Diego metro, including North County. We do plan on expanding by offering franchise opportunities throughout the USA once we have laid the proper groundwork for success. We are particularly interested in helping people who do not often get the chance to own their own business, so we will look within the company first in order to offer branch opportunities to the people we work with.
What brings you the most joy in your work?
By far, providing good stable jobs for the people we work with is at the top of the list. Life is not about what you can accumulate, in my opinion, but rather how many people you can help succeed in having a rewarding life! We have weekly and regular planned get-togethers with the maids and our staff because we enjoy each other’s company. It’s all about the journey!
What are you most proud of?
I am very proud of myself to have followed my dreams and continue to reap the benefits of my hard work. I feel fulfilled knowing that my family, staff and maids have an opportunity to enjoy life in this greatest country on Earth. If it weren’t for the United States providing me the chance to fulfill my dreams, I would likely be in less-than-desirable conditions, as my family whom I grew up with was very poor. But now, with two of my kids already in college (my oldest is graduating from UC Berkeley in 2013!), I couldn’t be a prouder mom and business owner! Naked Clean is also excited to partner up with “Cleaning for a Reason”, a nonprofit organization that offers free professional house cleanings to improve the lives of women undergoing cancer treatment.
What is one of your favorite things to do in San Diego?
I’m a pretty simple person and just enjoy being with my family, most of all. Living in San Diego is like being on vacation every day, so what’s there to complain about? On weekends, we like to sail both small and large sailboats. This year (2012) our Christmas party for Naked Clean will be on a sailboat seeing San Diego’s beautiful city from water. We’re hoping for a concert at Humphrey’s so we can have live music in the background!
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Disclaimer: Naked Clean is San Diego Bargain Mama’s client.