Some of the world’s largest companies were started during economic recessions. Proctor and Gamble, General Motors, Disney, Tollhouse and Allstate just to name a few.
Tami Jo Esplin of Got Dirt Housecleaning started her company during a personal economic struggle. She was a single mother that had lost her job. An economic downturn was just starting and jobs were hard to come by. She got a job working for a house cleaner, but this lady wouldn’t pay her on time. After being late on one paycheck and then missing another paycheck entirely, Tami Jo quit and took an opportunity to start cleaning on her own for one client, her landlord. Intimidated at the thought of owning her own business, she just started working for the apartment complex where she lived to help cover her rent.
She struggled to even buy food for her small family of two children. For the first time in her life, she needed assistance. She received food stamps for three months, and though she still qualified based on her income after the initial three months, she decided she would make it on her own and turned down the state assistance from then on.
Her landlord had her clean out apartments in her complex that had been vacated in preparation for the next renter. The owner told her that she was saving him considerable money because of the quality of her work he was able to pay less to turn around each apartment. The owner was so impressed with her work that he encouraged her to get a business license and start taking on other clients.
She worked very hard by herself for 11.5 years. Working primarily by word of mouth with a reputation for doing the job right, her business grew quickly. She had a waiting list for years where she couldn’t fit another job in and people would wait until she had an opening.
Then she started to have some health problems. She was diagnosed with cancer and had 15 surgeries over a two year span. She had to start hiring and learning to train people to clean properly and make sure the quality of her company’s work remained in check, even though she was often stuck in bed for months at a time.
She has a passion for cleaning because she really likes helping people. She started to realize how important her service was when she had some elderly clients that would not have been able to stay in their homes without the cleaning service. It always felt so good to her to be able to help out. She also saw the freedom a cleaning service gave to people. Single parents, busy professionals and even just overwhelmed moms all love the service she provides.
Coming from humble beginnings, she keeps her prices low. Even though she has had people tell her to raise her prices, she chooses not to because she wants to help more people. She also has a soft spot for single moms. Most of her 11 employees are single moms. She knows what they are dealing with and how challenging life can be as a single parent.
We have loved having GotDirt Cleaning at our house. They do a great job and it sure relieves some stress to have the house cleaned regularly. My wife still says today that when I first hired Tami Jo’s company it was the best gift she has ever received.
Tami Jo married her husband Roger eight years ago. He works as an operations manager for Le Bus. The two of them enjoy family time with their four children and three grandchildren. They love camping, fishing and floating down the river. We have become friends with Tami Jo and wish her continued success in her growing company.
Got Dirt is now hiring for two open positions.