About Me: Stacie Sutton
In the early 1990s I was newly married, hoping to start a family and, after six years, growing frustrated with my job in the insurance industry. I hated the bureaucracy and wanted to be my own boss. While I was in college, I had cleaned houses to make money. At that time, it was mostly wealthy people who hired housecleaners. But with two-career couples becoming common, I saw a market for a cleaning service that was affordable to middle-class clients, people like me.
I decided to quite commuting and start my own business in 1991. I didn’t even own a computer then. I bought a book called “Everything You Need to Know About Starting a Housecleaning Service” by May Johnson. I was off and running!
As I dreamed up my idea and formulated a plan, Johnson’s book, with its cartoon-like illustrations, was my business bible. It took about a year to get things going. I bought a computer, devised a budget and got licensed and insured. I created a logo—a lady wearing an apron and wielding a mop —and a slogan: “Your time is precious. Our time is affordable.”
The next few years were spent cleaning, hiring crew and developing systems. By the end of the 1990s, I had two babies and a growing business with two computers and an “office helper.” By 2005, I was a single parent, raising those two children and running the business alone.
At the same time, I’d also taken on a partnership role in the Olympic Ski School ( www.olyski.com ), which our family had been involved with for many years. As if that didn’t keep me busy enough, my kids were playing select sports, skiing, snowboarding and riding horses.
The business continued to grow and our office staff now includes a full-time operations manager, a scheduler/quality manager and a customer service/estimator. At times we could use many more hands to help. If we only had an Amazon-size budget!
After about 15 years of being successful but struggling with the challenges of being self-employed, I found the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International ( www.ARCSI.org ). This trade association is dedicated to helping bring professionalism to our industry. I’ve been very active in the organization, serving on committees and on the board. Our staff and crew have benefited from attending the conferences and conventions over the years. Learning, growing, networking and being involved through ARCSI has contributed to Clean and Simple evolving into one of the best cleaning services in our area.
To stay energized and focused, I believe in life balance. I’ve stayed involved with my kids but always carved out time for me. When I was about to turn 50, I signed up for an Ironman triathlon. This involves a 2.4 mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a full 26.2 mile marathon—140.6 total miles that must be completed in 17 hours or less! In my first Ironman Canada race in 2013, my time was 14:30. Since then I’ve done two more full Ironman Triathlons and several half Ironman events (70.3 total miles).
In 2015, after 12 years of being single, I met a very nice gentleman through an online dating service. Nine months later we were married and this year he completed his first Ironman Triathlon. It won’t be his last. We are officially an “Iron Couple. ” Heading into 2018, we plan to do a full 140.6 Ironman together.
At Clean and Simple Cleaning we are always “in training” for our next event. We are committed to excellence. We are always working to improve every aspect of our business-- to be a better employer for our staff and crew and to offer our clients the best customer service and cleaning skills in the industry.