When Mariah Robertson was expecting her first child in 2014, she saw that her job at the time was not very compatible with being a new mom. Her work hours were not very flexible, she couldn’t easily bring her baby to work with her and, if she did, there would be nowhere to nurse but the bathroom.
“I didn’t have a viable option for income with a baby,” she said.
Robertson considered her options and decided to start her own business, Real Green Clean, which offers non-toxic cleaning services to residential and commercial locations. Robertson said the main cleaner her business uses is Thieves All-Purpose Cleaner, made by Lehi-based Young Living. The cleaning product is made from clove, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, rosemary and lemon oil.
“It smells wonderful,” Robertson said.
At first, Robertson was an independent housekeeper, but she was getting more work requests than she could keep up with after a year on the job. She hired a team, which Robertson said allows for her business to take on bigger cleaning jobs that require a crew, rather than an individual.
With a team, Robertson said her company can provide more consistency for clients as well: if one team member is sick or goes on vacation, another can fill in. The company is also insured and bonded.
Right now, Robertson said she has four employees and she is a strong believer in compensating them fairly. Real Green Clean offers an average of around $20 per hour, plus a 401(k) with a partial employer match.
Robertson said she wants Real Green Clean to be a model of what a business should look like in Grand County: a dependable way for her workers to make an honest living year-round.
“We’re for-profit but we’re also for healthy lifestyles,” she said.
Along those same pro-worker lines, Robertson said Real Green Clean has stopped cleaning short-term rentals. Though short-term rentals were “a largish portion of revenue,” Robertson said they felt the prevalence of such rentals are contributing to Moab’s high housing costs for residents.
Robertson emphasized that Real Green Clean still does long-term rentals.
While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has affected Real Green Clean, Robertson said she has been awarded several modest grants that have helped offset that impact. One was a $500 grant from Womens’ Business Center of Utah, a competition among women business owners for the best business pitch. The other was a $1,000 Business Expansion and Retention grant she got through Grand County.
Robertson said she is trying to keep stress low and take things day by day, though she acknowledged the high level of uncertainty about the future in light of the pandemic.
“We don’t know where anything is gonna go these days,” she said, but added that she felt the business was “on an even keel.”
And, Robertson added, “We’re always looking for folks to add to our team. There’s always work to be done.”
When Robertson is not working, she said, she and her family like to enjoy the outside, especially exploring the mountains. Her partner, Getty, is also operations manager for Real Green Clean. They now have two little boys, Leif and Rorik.
For more information on cleaning services and job opportunities with Real Green Clean, Real Green Clean may be reached at 435-260-0757 or by email at email@example.com. Real Green Clean is on Facebook and also at www.realgreenclean.net.