Great ideas are born out of necessity… or desperation. Catherine Ashurst and Rebecca Foley (or as they prefer to be known, Cat and Bex) came up with the idea for a “morning after” cleaning service after one particularly painful morning in their Auckland, New Zealand flat. “Bex was hungover one morning, and it was her turn to clean the house….the rest is history,” said Cat as we chatted via Skype.
I spoke with Cat as she left her day job as a fire safety instructor where she maintains fire safety protocols for commercial buildings in Auckland. That flammable hazard training comes in handy, because word has spread like wildfire about the service. The two launched their business just over three months ago and business is booming. A few weeks ago the pair just hired their first helpers, but up until then they were fielding all emergency calls by themselves.
The Morning After Maids can be booked ahead of time if you’re a savvy party planner or can be booked with an “emergency call out” up until noon on the weekends. The crew arrives with breakfast in hand (usually McDonalds or something equally hangover-friendly), then gets to work setting the party pad back in order.
I asked Cat if they had a special hangover cure that they brought for suffering clients. “Puppies,” she said. “And the fact that no one has to lift a finger to deal with the gross-ness.” Cat’s and Bex’s dogs come along for each session to provide support for everyone.
While they’ve only been at this for a few months, they’ve already seen their share of insanity. “Last weekend’s party was all-out. We turned up with our helpers and the party goers had just cracked open another bottle of bubbles. It was a carnival-themed party, with a candy floss machine, bubble machines, popcorn machines, real life traffic lights set up, and a full bar. It was crazy, and it was all still going when we got there,” said Cat. This was a group of friends in their 40s who knew how to party and who were smart enough to book the Morning After Maids! Next time, perhaps they’ll adjust their cleaning start time to a bit later to accommodate the party.
The one tool that Cat can’t live without? She didn’t hesitate– a mop. “We go through so many replacement foam heads,” she laughed, saying that they needed to get a mop sponsor ASAP.
Like most cleaning service owners, one of the best things Cat likes about the job is the feeling of satisfaction and appreciation from customers. The Morning After Maids swoop in like superheroes and save the day, taking a messy, sticky house and returning it to normal.
Cleaning has always been in her blood. Cat mentioned in a previous interview that she would always clean the silverware before using it when she stayed in hotels, calling herself a “clean freak.”
With summer approaching (hello Southern Hemisphere!), they expect jobs to start coming in fast and furious, and the plan is to spread throughout New Zealand, eventually launching franchises in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Hopefully they make it to the U.S. soon… we’re in desperate need of this type of service!