We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Bowen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Stephanie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started my own business around 2014. At the time, I was 26 and needed a career/job that was flexible and would allow me to be available to my then only two children, as I was a recently divorced, single mom. I worked for another cleaning company and found myself really enjoying the trade, and the opportunity to serve the community. As I have grown and become wiser I learned the processes of registering, getting insurance, and accounting, and really over time fell into owning my business and building its reputation. Truly out of the need for something flexible, and understanding of a single-mothers lifestyle.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business. Where to begin. Honestly, I feel like I fell into my business. It was something when I started it, that provided flexibility and an income that supported me and my two children, during a season of being a single mom.

After a lifetime of some pretty traumatic events and upbringing, I found a career and trade were those I interacted with were always kind, (almost) always appreciative of my efforts, and just a lot of compassion I needed in my life. I had clients I would barter childcare for cleaning with, that helped while my children were not yet school age. I had, and still do have clients I truly care for, that I have watched major milestones occur within their lives and am invited to be a part of. Having lost everything I basically knew as a family at 17, this filled a void within me, that my inner child really needed to heal and move on from my past.

Overcoming challenges is never easy. From losing my adopted father at 17, losing my mother to addiction, and playing chance with alcohol myself for several years as a coping mechanism, I can say my unending hope and faith for a better tomorrow have been my motivation. My business has been my support system, which has kept me clear-headed, and goal-driven. Seeing its growth and the differences we not only make in homes but lives, keeps me reassured I am right where I need to be.

Was/Is it easy? Absolutely not! Especially the last couple of years! There is so much more that goes along with owning a business than I ever realized in the beginning. I started bringing on contractors in 2019 and had one of the best years my business has ever had. Then came 2020. I lost my entire crew of 5 alternate cleaners and was left trying to maintain a schedule built for 6, with just me. I lost a lot of clientele. I watched a lot of my fellow friends who also own cleaning companies just struggle for the last two years. I have honestly had a few moments over the last two years I was ready to throw in the towel. But, every time those dark thoughts seep back into my head, one way or another I am shown this is the capacity I am drawn to serve in.

There is a stigma around house cleaners that is quickly fading. Even with the recent Netflix hit, Maid, the main character is portrayed as having this kind of bottom-of-the-barrel job just barely getting by. That doesn’t have to be the case. A house cleaner can absolutely be an educated, hard-working individual who just sees the value in what they are providing the community. I want to aid in breaking that stigma. There is true value in having a skilled house cleaner, one who takes pride in their work, and your home. It does take a lot of skill to know what chemicals to use where and on what surfaces. What materials will scratch other materials or surfaces. And to learn systems and techniques to increase one’s efficiency.

I am extremely selective in the cleaners I bring on to represent my company. I want to help not just bring homes but lives from Dust to Diamonds, such as my own, with time, has been doing. I have big goals and big dreams about where I can take my business. Come August this year I will have my associate’s degree in business and will begin on my bachelor’s shortly after in September. My bachelor’s will also be in business with a focus on small business and entrepreneurship.

What do I want the world to know about my brand and story? It is possible to overcome abuse, trauma, mental health issues, and addiction. It is possible to be a single mother and provide for your family. There is kindness in this world, even in this very dark time. That the right house cleaner can be an invaluable asset to any family dynamic, and they are just as worthy of any offerings this life has to give, as the lawyer or doctor sitting next to them at a movie theater.

To never give up. That not only homes but lives can go from Dust to Diamonds with hard work, determination, and a positive mindset. It’s beautiful seeing the transformation, the reduction in stress, and the enabling of self-care, that hiring a professional house cleaner can bring to a person and their family. It’s beautiful being able to pay a living wage to my cleaners and see their lives flourish in a really hard economic time too. This life takes a village, and I love that my brand and company have sort of become its own little village to help support one another.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If a friend were coming to visit some places I would show them, are of course Garden of the Gods, and Pikes Peak. Next, would be the Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs. I love going here and playing games with my children. It is also neat to show them some of the older games, like the antique pinball machines. Plus there is always great people watching to be done in Manitou. Another site I would take them to see is the Painted Mines in Calhan. This is an absolutely beautiful spot, in the middle of nowhere, that just always reminds me of the beauty and power of our environment and God. For meals or food, one evening we would go to Fargo’s. I think this restaurant is unique to the area and has a fun atmosphere. The second would be Tucano’s, they have amazing food, I am especially fond of the salad bar, although I have not been since the pandemic and the salad bar was closed, if it’s open again, we are definitely headed to Tucano’s! I really enjoy cooking too though! So hopefully I would be able to cook some of my own favorite meals like green chili, white sauce chicken enchiladas, or manicotti!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout goes to my village. As a Junior in high school, I lost my father (adopted) to overdose and quickly lost my mother to addictions. Although still living, she just never has been the same. Without my village: my children, my fiancee, his parents, my maternal aunt, friends, clients, teachers, mentors, and some just acquaintances; I would not be where I am today. To all the wonderful content creators out there in this era such as Brene Brown, Glennon Doyle, Trent Shelton, and Andy Frisella – who have written and recorded impactful and empowering content on subjects such as accountability, vulnerability, shame, and small business, healthy habits, and several other topics. And lastly my biological parents, without them, I wouldn’t exist.

Website: https://www.dusttodiamondshousecleaningcos.com/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephanie-macleod-91b95947

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/d2dllc

Image Credits
Elise Odom and Kellie Johnson

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