Small Business Spotlight: Dust and Mop

Patricia Buckelew, a Dust and Mop cleaning technician, polishes a glass tabletop with a microfiber cleaning cloth.

Jamie Reader had always wanted to own her own business, and in 2009, even though the economy was still recovering from the Great Recession, the time was right.

She launched Dust and Mop with one employee and the notion that many clients would prefer to use a locally owned, non-franchise cleaning service. The Apex-based business is built on consistency, reliability, professional service and trust, Reader says.

“I really wanted something of my own, and I knew I wanted to provide a service that would be of value in my community,” she said.

“I love that our service makes people so happy, and sometimes it is just that little thing they need after a hard, stressful day; to come home to a clean home!”

Now with three locations and 19 employees, the successful company also gives back to the community, with free house cleanings for cancer patients and health care workers. Reader describes that program and how she and her team, as essential workers, have continued to serve clients.

Patricia Buckelew arrives at a client’s home. For recurring services, the company sends the same cleaner every time, building trust and consistency.

What makes Dust and Mop unique?

Dust and Mop provides our customers with one cleaner per home which allows for less disruption in service. As the owner and founder, I collaborate with peers across the United States to ensure that Dust and Mop operates using the best standards in the house cleaning industry.

Jamie Reader, owner of Dust and Mop house cleaning services, says customer service and professionally trained employees are key to the business.

Has your vision for the business changed since you opened?

My vision was always to own and operate my house cleaning business to the highest level and standards. House cleaning is an industry that has typically had a reputation for being unprofessional, because it has a very low barrier to entry. However, it is important for anyone considering house cleaning services to get to know who they are hiring and understand how they operate their company. Clients are trusting us to clean one of their most treasured and personal possessions — their home.

How has the pandemic affected your business?

We had a rough few weeks, where business was down almost 50%. However, the cleaning industry was deemed essential, and we were so glad that we were able to continue to help our customers keep their homes clean!

Our entire team underwent additional training to understand more about hard surface cleaning, how to use personal protection equipment, and we changed some of our processes to have higher level safety standards for our employees and customers. We can safely and effectively clean homes!

Describe your partnership with Cleaning for a Reason.

In 2010, I became a partner of Cleaning for a Reason, which provides free cleanings for women who are undergoing treatment for cancer. Dust and Mop is a local partner, and we provide those cleanings to our community for free.

Debbie Sardone, the founder of Cleaning for a Reason, was my personal mentor and coach when I started my business. Debbie went on to start a group called Cleaning Business Fundamentals (CBF), the best of the best in the house cleaning industry. Debbie is still my coach, and I am now a Pro CBF coach and help other house cleaning entrepreneurs run successful businesses.

(919) 600-4497

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