While the company is named Jimmy’s Cleaning, it’s really Karla that runs the show. Karla Aviles and her husband Jaime formed the company in St. Charles, MO after Karla had spent several years cleaning on her own. “My husband, Jaime, does remodeling and painting, and when he’s done I’ll do the cleaning. We were at the bank opening our business account and I didn’t know what to call the business. My husband said ‘Just put my name,’ so we called it Jimmy’s Cleaning,” she said.
Karla has been cleaning homes and businesses for over ten years, and still has a part-time job at Dave & Buster’s, where she started as a cook and then took over the job of cleaning after they fired the janitorial business that previously serviced them.
“I’ve been at Dave & Buster’s for 17 years! Once they fired their cleaning company, it was my opportunity to start cleaning for them, which was much better hours than in the kitchen. Now I have a 6 AM start, so I don’t have to do evenings or cook anymore. I was tired, I had cooked for over 9 years and got all kinds of burns!” She took the expertise acquired during her years of cleaning the restaurant and branched out to do residential cleaning as well.
We love showcasing family-run businesses and Jimmy’s Cleaning is no exception. Karla is helped by her sister and cousin to clean homes during the day. The women are available for Karla to rely on because they have part time jobs at night, cleaning large commercial accounts like Wal-mart. This family is serious about perfecting its cleaning skills!
Hard-working, productive immigrant from Mexico
Karla grew up in Mexico City, but when her parents divorced, her mom moved to the States to live with Karla’s uncle and to work and send money back to Mexico. “Before she left, she talked to me about it, and then three years later I came along to help her earn money to support my other siblings. Basically, I came to work!” said Karla.
Finding love in a nightclub… and from a client’s dog
She met her husband, Jaime, at a nightclub, where he asked for her phone number. Later, he called to ask her to go with him to see a famous DJ play at the club where they met. They’ve been married for sixteen years and have four children. Jaime is known as “Jimmy” to the locals, which is where the name of the cleaning business came from.
With her fourth child, Karla was hospitalized for a high-risk pregnancy for four weeks before the birth of Karim (named for Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema—her husband is a fútbol super-fan). While she was on maternity leave, her sister and cousin took over one client’s home whose furry friend, Chances, desperately missed Karla. “When I was cleaning, Chances was always right beside me. After I started cleaning again after having Karim, I went to that client’s house, and the dog looked like she was just waiting for me to be there again. She started rubbing my leg and it was just such a precious moment. It made me cry. I can’t explain it, it’s like a baby who knows that you left but came back.” The client had been texting Karla while she was away to let her know that Chances missed her. Unfortunately, the dog had to be put to sleep a few weeks ago due to liver cancer.
Keep clients happy
While she doesn’t rule out the idea that green cleaning products might be good for people with allergies, Karla uses whatever products are on hand. If her clients ask her to use a specific eco-friendly product, she’s happy to oblige.
Karla makes sure that clients know exactly when to expect her. “I don’t just go there and clean their house and forget about them. I have the keys to their house or garage code. I like to give them time to plan their day, so I let them know what time we’ll be there.”
She prefers to go above and beyond on every cleaning visit that is booked with her business. “If a client wants us to move a couch to clean under it, we will do it— anything to keep them happy,” she said. “When we’re done, I walk around the house two or three times to make sure we didn’t miss anything.”
Best thing about running your own business? Flexibility
With a household of four kids and a husband, Karla has her hands full. She’s also juggling the part-time Dave & Buster’s cleaning gig, along with cleaning several houses a week. But she loves the flexibility of making her own schedule. “I’m able to get home and cook for my kids, see them when they come home from school,” she said.
Karla is successfully managing her cleaning business, but has one eye to the future when she can branch out into other areas. “My other goal is to open a Mexican restaurant, probably within two or three years,” she said. I guess it’s hard to take the cook out of the kitchen, after all!
If you need help keeping your home tidy, book a fantastic cleaning service with Jimmy’s Cleaning in the St. Charles, MO area.