I spoke with Holly Moore, owner of Maids and Moore Cleaning Services, the day after her company had geared up for its biggest annual challenge— cleaning 700 apartments in 10 days to help get the building ready for a new crop of students entering the University of Texas. “We have to hire 50 temporary employees to get through it,” she said.
Holly Moore, owner of Maids and MooreHolly had been a school teacher for a few years but her entrepreneurial spirit came calling and she launched Maids and Moore Cleaning Services in June 2008. Her life had been an interesting series of twists and turns leading up to that point—after getting an economics degree from Texas A&M, she’d been accepted to law school but decided at the last minute not to go. She got married and went into teaching and absolutely loved the kids and coaching volleyball, basketball, and track. “I might have stayed on if it hadn’t been for the pay and grading papers,” she laughed.
She was frequently frustrated by the home situation that some of her students faced. “There was nothing I could do. Actually, it’s not much of a change—now I’m teaching adults! And I’m helping those parents by creating jobs. Several of my students have come to work for me and I’ve hired their parents, too.” This is one of her favorite parts about running her own company, providing paychecks to families. “I love creating jobs and helping others out.”
She’d had early exposure to the fascinating world of running a small business—her father owned his own business and Holly did the firm’s accounting all through high school and college. “The hardest part about starting your own business is struggling with the growth and not wanting to put a whole lot of capital into it. It’s hard to balance hiring and customers. It’s hard work day after day at the beginning, just grinding it out. The first two years are really the hardest, all about not giving up. After that, it’s been awesome.”
The growth has enabled Maids and Moore to expand to three locations—Austin, northern Houston, and Belton, Texas. Holly hired her sister, Summer, to help manage the business (“she was a huge part in helping us get this big”), and has other talented staff such as Roxy, Katelyn, and Caralisa managing these locations. Keeping in the tradition of family-operated businesses, Holly’s brother-in-law helps out in sales, along with Rebecca Rodriguez. Besides her cousin Katelyn, Holly has employed her niece for part-time work. There are also two sets of sisters who work in the Austin office. And Holly’s own kids, a 10-year-old and a 5-year-old, sometimes come in to help clean up the office.
It’s in our nature, it’s one thing we can do. We work with real people every day and we make it like a family here. Anytime we can help a family, anywhere, we do.
Besides employing family, Holly is a big believer in giving back to the community and has been participating in Cleaning for a Reason for several years. They also run a charity operation through their Facebook page where people can submit their stories about difficulties they’re encountering and the team will choose a family to help. “It’s in our nature, it’s one thing we can do. We work with real people every day and we make it like a family here. Anytime we can help a family, anywhere, we do.”
One of the biggest surprises was discovering all the pet peeves her customers had. “I had no idea what kind of crazy people there were in the world. People who complained that the remote was not placed back exactly in the direction they wanted it or that we switched the position of the pillows on their bed.” Luckily, these types of customers are few and far between. “Most of our customers are awesome people who really appreciate what we do.”
Those Texas readers looking for a high-quality cleaning service in Austin, Houston, or Belton should check out Maids and Moore to experience some of their incredible service.
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