Kristina Tarpova founded her successful Ottawa cleaning business, Euroshine, five years ago. She immigrated to Canada from Bulgaria after she married a man she met through an internet dating site, leaving behind a thriving career in Europe in the hospitality industry. She was especially motivated to start her own business so that she could help her son with his education, and he graduated from university last month with degrees in Humanities
and Political Science, now studying for his LSATs.
When Kristina first arrived in Canada, she did not speak English, which limited her employment opportunities, making it even more attractive to start her own company. Moving to a new country and not being able to speak the language is extremely stressful, and there were a couple of rough years while she got on her feet. “Everything was difficult at first, but now we’re growing very fast,” she said. “We are very busy, very popular in Ottawa.”
Her break came when one of her husband’s friends needed help with organizing and cleaning after she moved to a new apartment. Despite not being able to communicate well, Kristina did an amazing job, and they became her first client and most loyal supporters. The couple recommended Kristina to a handful of other clients, which had a domino effect when those new clients also referred her to another handful of clients.
At first she handled all the cleaning, but after three months, she tapped one of her classmates from the school where she was learning English to help her with cleaning. The company has now grown enough to allow Kristina to hire others for the cleaning while focusing on growing the business through marketing and providing in-home estimates to clients. “I’m always on the road!” When I asked her if she missed handling the day-to-day cleaning, she said “To be honest, yes, I miss that. But I’m not completely away from it because I clean my own house often.” Her husband and son also pitch in occasionally to help out with the website and various office tasks.
The worst part of managing the business at the beginning was figuring out who to hire. Now things go much more smoothly since Kristina usually finds new hires through recommendations from her current staff. “If someone is recommended to me by someone I know, that means they know exactly what I need and what quality of work I want from them.”
When she was first getting started, Kristin found help from the local chapter of a business networking group, BNI. She also found tremendous support from an organization that helps new immigrants, OCISO. “They helped me with so many things in the beginning, like to trust myself, to settle down, to be proud of what I’m doing and to understand that if you make people happy, you are doing the right thing.” Kristin now gives back to the organization that provided her with so much support by mentoring people who need help finding jobs and sorting out the complex documentation that baffle so many people who move to a new country.
Making people happy is the biggest benefit of the work that Euroshine does, giving Kristina a boost whenever her clients call to enthuse about the great job she did. “It makes me happy to see the happy faces on my clients after our cleanings.” The cleaning service is of such high quality that they’ve won multiple awards in the last few years, including the 2015 Top Choice Award for the Best Cleaning Company In Ottawa, the 2017 HomeStars award for Best Cleaning Company in Ottawa, as well as the 2017 Consumer Choice award.
For fun, Kristina puts on her dancing shoes and joins in with a Bulgarian dancing group that’s been kicking up their heels for seventeen years, the first Bulgarian dancing group in Canada. “We have more than 30 people who present our national dances in almost every festival in Ottawa. On September 10, Bulgarian Day, we will dance all day!” She also does a nightly yoga session and enjoys her garden with two dogs and a cat. To experience a top-rated cleaning company in Ottawa, check out Euroshine.
If you’re a cleaning service professional who would like to be featured in our magazine, please let us know!