We continue our series on Women In Business where we highlight a wide variety of businesses that are owned and operated by women all around the country. Our goal is to learn from, inspire, motivate and celebrate this strong, unique, and diverse group of women.
Our spotlight today is on Ingid Sandy, owner of Sandy Cleaning. Here’s what she told us.
What is your company?
When was your company founded?
2015 part time, and full time in 2017
What inspired you to form your own company?
In order to take care of my kids, I need a job that will allow me to have time with my kids and take care of them, but at the same time be able to provide for them. I started working 1 – 2 days a week and when I got organized, I started working full time while the kids were at school.
What is the best part of your job?
My clients are family, to be part of the house and to be able to help and connect with their needs and make them happy.
What is the hardest part of your job?
The hard part is when it’s time to let them my clients go – I work with a lot of military families and it’s hard when they say goodbye. Also, when I work, the clients aren’t home, but their lovely pets are and I love them like I love mine, so it’s hard to let them go too.
Have you found that being a minority business owner has helped your business?
Being a woman and owning your own business is a challenge now. Which makes me very proud. It helps a lot to have confidence and commitment in myself and in the work that I do.
What are some obstacles that you’ve encountered being a minority business owner?
Being the owner and only worker has a lot of disadvantages when a crisis comes. We do not receive help like companies with more employees or when an emergency happens – whether it is a family or illness – we stop making profits.
What is one piece of advice that someone gave you early on that you found to be invaluable.
Be persistent and give effort to your work. If something does not work or does not go as desired, ask for an opportunity to impove. And never give up!
What is one piece of advice that would you give to someone that is thinking of starting their own business?
I would give same advice as above. It has helped me a lot, that persistence and perseverance leads you to success.
What is one mistake that you made early on that you would re-do if given the chance?
Not to be overly trusting, not listening to bad advice, and to always follow my own intuitions.
What is one future goal that you have for the business?
I have a main goal, which is to see my business grow, provide work. I’d like to not only have more work, but to be more involved with the community and at the same time help. I would like to return the genorosity that I’ve experienced.
Who has inspired you the most in your business?
My grandmother is my inspiration, being a single mom and having to work and take care of 6 children. She started her own business from the rubble, and worked for more than 40 years and she’s been able to leaven an inheritance in life for them to provide for their lives. I always help others and their community. She is my inspiration and motivation when the days are difficult.
How has the pandemic affected your business?
The pandemic has affected a lot, among the competition that is too much. Many of my clients lost their jobs or were relocated and other due to fear of the virus have stopped needing my services. I lost many customers so there is a decrease in income and accumlation of debt.
On days that are particularly hard with the business, what keeps you going?
I am the main and only source of income for my family and this is the reason why I try to give my best and continue even slowly with my business and work.
If you were not a house cleaner, what would you be?
It’s crazy because it really has nothing to do with what I do. I was studying computer programming and wanted to work for large companies doing online ads and making programs for companies. I also wanted to build a community center in my country where I am from (Mexico) to help many adolescents, who wanted to study but could not.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
I see Sandy Cleaning with more employees, involved with the community and personally spending more time with my children and supporting their education.
What would you like people to know about your business?
It was created with hope, faith, determination, persistence and a lot of perseverance. I need to work, because there was a lot of need in my home. Sandy Cleaning was created with love, and each service we do we do so that our clients are satisfied, happy and above all give a good service. I do not work with clients…I help families which is more important when giving a service.
What is something that everyone told you/warned you/shared with you about owning your own business that is not true?
That is you do not know how to do your job or do not charge the right thing, or work in the same way as them, your business will go badly.
Were people supportive of you when you went out on your own?
Yes. I literally walked and knocked on doors. There were 5 people who trusted me and gave me the opportunity to demonstrate my work. Their recommendations and references helped and continue to do so in my business.
What do you say to the naysayers if you’ve ever encountered any as related to your business?
It has happened a couple of times. I do not say much with words, I really do not speak much (something that I have to change) but what I do not say, I say it with facts to show that your disapgreement is wrong.
How would your clients describe you?
Reliable, generous, hard worker, enterprising woman. And some have said that they admire me a lot as a mother and a worker.
What has been your most favorite project to date?
Over the years, I have been able to help many families, but my best projects have been two elderly people who needed extreme help in their homes. They have been projects that have made me feel super proud and happy when I see the reactions of happiness.
What is one random fact about you that you would like people to know?
I do not give up, whenever I propose something I achieve it. And if my goal is to make you feel happy and leave a good service, I am sure I will.
You can find Ingrid and Sandy Cleaning here: