Raised with maids, this Jamaican immigrant is running a successful cleaning business of her own

Blossom Cleans owner Dacia Jarrett and son Jourdaine
Blossom Cleans owner Dacia Jarrett and son Jourdaine

Dacia Jarrett is two minutes from home when we connect via phone. The owner of Blossom Cleans in New York City had a tough day, one of her worst. “Anything that could go wrong did go wrong,” she said. However, she quickly bounces back and I can almost see her smiling through the phone as she greets her ten-year-old son, Jourdaine.

Originally from Jamaica, Dacia moved to the U.S. four years ago to take advantage of the opportunity to start her own business and to provide a better life for her son. After moving to New York, she agreed with Frank Sinatra’s saying that if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

She worked in human resources (HR) for several companies before moving to New York but could not find the right job once she got to the city. Instead, she started working for a friend of a friend who ran a cleaning business, and then started getting gigs on Handy. “It’s funny,” she said. “I’m not from a cleaning background… I had maids around when I was growing up.”

Evha Smith, cofounder

After a couple of months on the Handy platform, she realized she would do a lot better on her own, so she launched Blossom Cleans, named after her grandmother, whom Dacia grew up watching give back to the community. “She was a very kind-hearted Christian woman, a social worker,” Dacia said. Keeping in line with our commitment to featuring family-run businesses, Dacia cofounded Blossom Cleans with her sister, Evha.

Her clients are thrilled with her cleaning company. Dacia aims to give a level of service that her clients have never experienced anywhere else and to set her standards above most other cleaning companies. She also maintains a personal touch and connection with her clients. “It’s their home. They don’t want a stranger coming into their personal space,” she said.

Most of the satisfaction that Dacia gets from her company is in doing a job well and having her customers come home to a clean house smelling of Blossom Clean’s trademark lavender scent. “There’s a real joy that people have in coming home to a clean home. It’s very relaxing.” Getting that smile from clients is super rewarding, and she knows that she’s providing a valuable service that makes people happy.

Dacia is looking to expand her client base and to hire two full-time employees within the next month. The difficulty is in finding people she can rely on to provide the same high-quality cleaning service that she does. “If they’re not meticulous enough, I have to let them go so that I can preserve my brand,” she said. Dacia is wise enough to know that she cannot do it all on her own and that she cannot grow her business without letting go a bit. She’s hired an assistant to handle administrative work for ten hours a week so that Dacia can focus on other areas of the business. Her future plans include an expansion beyond New York, to Boston or Florida.

As any smart businesswoman knows, bartering for services is a great way to exchange goods with other small business owners. One of Dacia’s clients provided her web site design and maintenance in exchange for cleaning services from Blossom Cleans. This is a great idea for cash-strapped businesses—simply reach out to local businesses to trade your service for theirs.

Just like other cleaning companies in Manhattan, Blossom Cleans relies on the subway as the fastest and easiest way to get to clients’ homes. “I have a bag that I bring all my stuff in and I make sure to ask if they have a vacuum. If they don’t, then I have a tote bag that I pull with my vacuum that’s not too heavy. It’s a bit tedious, but it’s New York. There’s no place to park.”

For cleaning best practices, Dacia is a firm believer in the power of bleach in the bathroom. “Organic cleaner doesn’t get the job done like bleach in the bathroom,” she said. Her other secret to cleaning is paying attention to areas that most people ignore, such as certain corners of the room. “If I see it, then you’ll be able to see it. I’m meticulous.” She also has perfected the art of making the bed to mimic hotel beds. “I used to go to summer camp for six or seven years where we were taught to make beds. We had a competition to see who had the best-made bed.”

Advising anyone out there who is looking to start a cleaning business, Dacia recommends checking your commitment. “Make sure it’s something that you really want to do. It’s not an easy job and it’s not always a pleasant job. You have to love what you’re doing,” she said. Another recommendation is to check competitors’ prices in your area to make sure you are in line with those.

As a single mom running her own business, she doesn’t have a lot of time to goof off. “My idea of fun is reading a book, watching a movie, or spending time with my son,” she said. To book a high-quality cleaning service in New York City, you can connect to Blossom Cleans here.

If you’re a cleaning service professional who would like to be featured in our magazine, please let us know!

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