Meghan Peters is the Co-Owner of Lathered Cleaning Co. Lathered is an Airdrie based cleaning company that was started by Peters and friend/co-owner, Kristin Verbeek in 2013.
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!
What is your favourite hobby? Is summer-ing a hobby? They are so short the kids and I love to get out as much as possible. We love playing baseball and camping and usually combine the 2! I am actually more upset than the kids when school starts up again.
What is one thing that annoys you the most? Empty containers/boxes in the pantry. I’m pretty certain it’s residual karma from my childhood but it makes me deep breathe every time.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? I actually just ate a scorpion soaked in tequila in Mexico. That or my kids attempt at Mother’s Day breakfast in bed last year…
What do love most about what you do? The people! Our Lathered ladies, our clients and all the entrepreneurs that we get to meet. It’s incredible the energy you get from being surrounded by so many amazing people. They inspire me daily!
What is the one thing that should be taught in school that isn’t already? I think working in the customer service industry should be a pre-requisite. Whether it be retail, food, a help desk, anywhere that kids would have to deal with people. I think it helps us take a step back when in a frustrating and stressful situation. It helps you remember that we are all human.
What’s your favourite sound? The “Hi Mom!” I hear when the kids come through the door after school. That and lights actually being turned off around here… it’s just so rare.
How would your friends describe you? Loud. Talking, sneezing, laughing. You name it, it’s loud.
Do you have a favourite quote? “Keep the cadence” My Uncle told me that years ago. “Keep the cadence, keep the beat”. Whenever I feel discouraged I think of his advice and keep going. After he passed I named my daughter Kaydence so I would never forget.
What did you do growing up that got you into trouble? Hmmm… My Mom will read this so I’m going with constantly harassing my younger sister. We’re best friends now but she still flinches at the dinner table when I reach across to grab something.
What is one thing you wish you could be better at? Patience. I am better than I used to be but it’s still something I struggle with. Wish it would happen faster!!
One word to describe your business? Sincere.
Do you think women feel intimidated in business? I think everyone is intimidated on some level. We all have self doubt but I feel like there is a huge shift happening for a lot of women. There’s this badass, ‘she believed she could, so she did’ element and I love it!
How do you achieve work-life balance, does it exist? Yes… Well no…But yes. When I’m in work mode it’s hard not to feel guilty for not spending that family time and vice versa. I just try and remind myself that I do one so I can better the other. Time away can be like hitting a reset button and hard work allows me the opportunity to keep pressing it.
How did you get where you are today, and who/what helped you along the way? Kristin. My best friend and much younger business partner (Only by 1 month but she won’t stop pointing it out!). Her endless and wild ideas have taught me to take the leap, to not always look over the edge before you jump. I sometimes convince her to at least tie off first but more often than not her ideas turn into the most amazing realities. Lathered being one. My 2 kids who know that all my work is for us and have learned to cook and even do laundry to help out. Bonus! And I can’t forget a shout out to my Mom. My entire family has always been my biggest supporters.
If you could time travel back to day one of your startup, what would you tell yourself? I would probably give myself advice similar to what people tell you right before your first child… Get sleep whenever you can, make time for ‘me time’-even if it’s just 5 minutes a day, accept help, routines & consistency are vital but don’t panic if things don’t always go exactly as planned, your life will never be the same-but in the best way possible.
What would you tell woman entering into the same field? We’re here if you have any questions! When we first started Lathered we had a woman who also owns a cleaning company here in Airdrie. She was and still to this day is happy to offer advice to us. It’s incredible and I see that ‘lift each other up’ mentality all over this town. Makes us all that much stronger.
When budgeting and building your business, what is one thing you spend or spent money on that you believe is “worth the money”? We decided from day one that we would use chemical free products. For our staff, our clients, their kids/pets and the environment. They may cost more when it comes to it but it’s not something we would ever consider changing.
What habits help make you successful? I would like to say not procrastinating but I can’t. I’m getting better but it’s still a struggle. You could say I’m procrastinating not procrastinating. I do like to wake up early. I get up between 4 and 5am each morning and like to go to the gym. It clears my head and allows me to come home energized and ready for my day. Sometimes I can get more work done between 6am and 9am than I feel the rest of the day put together.
What was your ‘A-HA’ moment when you realized this was what you were meant to do? When Kristin told me. Haha, no I remember the first time her and I got away with our kids. We brought a lap top to work from at the lake and stayed for a whole week. It was the most surreal feeling and I knew at that moment that no matter what this is always be where I wanted to be. On tough days I always remember the moments like that. Our #mywhy moments.
And a shoe question, of course. What is your favourite pair of shoes, and why? Well my first choice is always barefoot but if I had to choose a shoe I guess it would be my baseball cleats. Makes me think of teamwork, friendships, summer, family, all of my favourite things!
Do you feel working with a business partner is a good idea or bad? That being said whether you have one or not. How does it work for or against you? That’s the easiest question you’ve asked. 100% yes to a partner. Well if they’re as great as mine. While Kristin and I can be very different in some ways it’s in the best ways. When one of us struggles with something the other is there for support or to take over. True ying and yang. We have cried both happy and sad tears over these last few years, but we’ve done it together. In our business there is no ‘leaving work at the office’. We always laugh when asked how many hours a week we work. While we have our time away from it we are essentially on call 24/7. It’s amazing what having someone who knows exactly what you are talking about when it comes to something you are so involved in is truly good for the soul.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the women of the world who are thinking of entering into business for themselves? Write down why you’re doing it. Is it to pay the bills? Is it to give back to your community? Is it to be able to take your laptop to the beach? Is it to buy a beach?! However big your dream may be, write it down. Then frame it, or put it somewhere you can see it. I put mine right by a picture of my kids so that I always remember the ‘who’ as well. Don’t ever forget why you started because there will be days you’ll wonder what the heck you were thinking, you’ll want to throw it all away. But keep that paper and all of the good day memories and know that that’s your ‘why’.