Self-Maid

Self-Maid

It only took 35 years for Debbie Sardone, founder and president of Buckets & Bows Maid Service, to become an overnight success. She started her house cleaning business to help supplement her husband Steve’s income as a Plano Police Officer. Looking back, she never dreamed her cleaning job would grow into a cleaning empire with national prominence and global impact.

Eight years after starting her house cleaning business, Debbie was no longer cleaning herself but capitalizing instead on the explosive growth of Denton County. Business was booming, she had a staff of over 25 and was managing operations from a professional office building in Flower Mound.

“I used to carry a beeper in those days and people routinely asked me if I was a doctor,” Debbie recalls.

That would open the door for a conversation about how she was a “life-saver” and she did make house calls but it was for cleaning.

Early on, Debbie knew that if she was going to maintain the quality standards she’d set for Buckets & Bows Maid Service, she would need to have a proficient training program when onboarding new staff. Speed Cleaning became her training manual for the next 20 years and she’s used the Speed Cleaning method to train hundreds of employees on how to properly clean every room in a house in the most efficient way possible. She credits the method with enabling her to keep her rates competitive and her quality consistent.

“The most common complaint I hear from clients who switch over to our service from a competitor’s is that cleaners always start out doing well and then their work declines over time,” she shared.

Debbie was determined to not let that happen within her own company and the Speed Cleaning System has proven to be one of the secrets to her success.

Speed Cleaning also opened her eyes to their entire line of eco-friendly Speed Cleaning™ products. Debbie’s company began using these high-end green products in her customer’s homes because they were safe and better than anything she could find anywhere. In 2010, Debbie bought the entire Speed Cleaning™ product line. She and her husband opened a warehouse in Lewisville and hired a staff to process orders. They use a blender in Canton, Texas, to mix their unique formula and they ship orders all over the world. Debbie’s cleaning business was now global.

This was all happening shortly after Debbie launched her nonprofit, Cleaning For A Reason. The idea for her charity was the result of a phone call she received years earlier.

“I was in the Buckets & Bows office and I took a call from a woman inquiring about cleaning her home,” Debbie remembers vividly. “I gave her a price and the woman shared she was battling cancer and couldn’t afford it. The call ended but the regret over not thinking to offer the woman our services for free lingered.”

Debbie committed that would never happen again. She gathered her staff and declared a new policy: to never turn a woman battling cancer away who couldn’t afford their service. She shared what Cleaning for a Reason had been doing throughout much of Southern Denton County at a conference for maid service owners, and the response was incredible. She knew it was time to turn it into a national nonprofit. Since that time, Debbie and the team at Cleaning For A Reason have recruited over 1200 other maid services throughout the U.S. and Canada to help provide free housecleaning to over 26,000 women with cancer. After 10 years, they merged this past summer with ISSA, The World Wide Cleaning Association based in Chicago, IL. Debbie serves on the board of directors and believes they will go international and double, even triple the number of women they can serve each year.

Buckets & Bows Maid Service and Speed Cleaning recently moved to a larger shared facility in Lewisville where Debbie provides training and business consulting to cleaning business owners. She speaks nationally on maid service business operations and her maid service training courses and consulting programs are used by cleaning businesses all over the world.

Debbie Sardone’s path to success is not only paved with hard work, but with heart work as well.

“I’d rather be known as a go-giver than a go-getter. It changes your perspective as a business owner when you look for ways to give back to your community and it never stops rewarding you. I love what I do but giving back doing what I love to do is how I think about real success.”


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