Kristin Verbeek is the CEO/Co-Owner of Lathered Cleaning Co. Lathered is an Airdrie based cleaning company that was started by Verbeek and friend/co-owner, Meghan Peters.
Kristin and Meghan both started out as working mom’s with little ones that had too much to do and not a lot of time to do it. Late for school plays and chipping their teeth trying to get the plastic wrapper off of their bake sale goods; they knew there had to be a better way. Kristin and Meghan sympathized with other working mothers and knew that they could help without breaking the bank and so, Lathered began!
Within a short week of using grocery store cleaners they had pinterest open and furniture upside down trying to find cleaning products that could kill bacteria and not kill their skin and lungs…and they found it! Lathered now has 9 kits all armed with the best all purpose cleaner money can’t buy with the essence of essential oils wherever they go!
Starting off with a ton of travel and a little elbow grease Lathered’s clientele grew! They are now 26 people strong, range from Carstairs all the way to Okotoks with branches in Regina, SK and St. Albert, AB!
If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be? Maybe a comedy. Not that anything really funny has happened but I spend a whole lot of my life smiling.
What is one thing that annoys you the most? Gum, hands down. Gum.
What is the one thing that should be taught in school that isn’t already? Taxes… There is so much more we could all do if we just understood what was happening there.
What’s your favourite sound? My kids playing on another floor. I can never quite figure out what they are up to but they always sound happy.
How would your friends describe you? Easy going. At least to my face…
What’s your favourite song right now? Pretty girls. My ten year old plays DJ and we listen to it consistently and sing as loud as possible.
What was your first job? I served ice cream at the Dairy Mart.
Do you have a favourite quote? Give me three hours to cut down a tree and I’ll spend the first two sharpening my axe.
What was the first thing you bought with your own money? A five disc CD player. It was larger than life.
One word to describe your business? Honest.
How did you get where you are today, and who/what helped you along the way? My husband, I thank so many gods for him. Meghan, my wonderful business partner with mad cleaning skills. My sister, our first client and the pusher of entrepreneurial love. And of course, my loving father-his first words always seem to be “what do you need?”
Other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success? To decide what was important to us and stick to it. I think sometimes once money starts coming in it is so possible for things like integrity and fair dealing to start going out. We recognized that early and vowed to never have it affect us. Do whats hard now so it can be easy later.
If you could time travel back to day one of your startup, what would you tell yourself? Get systems in place. Sit down and write down step by step everything you do and make a system for it. Even the stupid little things because as you grow they become stupid big things.
What would you tell woman entering into the same field? Come up with a plan. Don’t undersell yourself. What you are doing is so important and helps so many people live a normal, happy, healthy life.
When budgeting and building your business, what is one thing you spend or spent money on that you believe is “worth the money”? Our scheduling system! Hands down. Also using healthy, non toxic chemicals. I can’t imagine cleaning with any thing else now.
What is one thing you find to be true that most people would disagree with? Don’t give insincere compliments. People can see right through them. Be grateful and let people know you appreciate them instead.
What habits help make you successful? I consciously have a habit of not being negative out loud. I never talk about people or circumstances without discussing how it could be possible to make it better. And I never vent. NEVER. It’s ugly.
And a shoe question, of course. What is your favourite pair of shoes, and why? I have the sexiest black heels sitting in my closet. They come out once a year but when they do, I’m on top of the world. Besides that I’m a bare foot kinda girl.
Do you feel working with a business partner is a good idea or bad? I would never, ever, ever start another business without Meghan. No one will ever work as hard as you except another owner. I would love all of my staff to be owners one day.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the women of the world who are thinking of entering into business for themselves? Just do it. Take the first step and jump in like it’s your only option. Always look for the bigger picture over the dollar amount. Just watching dollar figures tends to be what holds a lot of people back.
“We have been so blessed with such supportive staff, clients, friends and family along the way and truly couldn’t do it without each other. The last three years have been a bit of a blur and I wouldn’t change it for the world!”