Women & Business July 2016: May Lebo and Lavender Wachira
Lebo and Wachira are co-owners of MAYLAV Elite Cleaning.
May Lebo and Lavender Wachira
MAYLAV Elite Cleaning
Originally from Kenya, May Lebo and Lavender Wachira met at Point Park University while pursuing their M.B.A. Both concentrated their degree on international business, and their friendship grew as they took courses together.
A few years after graduating, Lebo and Wachira found themselves between jobs. Both had been interested in self-employment and discussed the possibility of starting their own business. Together, they decided to open MayLav Elite Cleaning in 2013.
The company offers a range of services including cleanings during and after parties, in residential and commercial spaces and after renovations.
And as the name suggests, MayLav is no ordinary cleaning company.
“Our business model is built on delivering high-quality professional cleans through personal relationships,” says Wachira. “When we first engage our clients, we learn about their cleaning preferences through a scheduled walk-through. Then, we execute the clean based on the customized scope of work.”
“Our clients often rave about our attention to detail and quality of care that their property receives,” she adds. “At MayLav, we treat our clients’ properties as our own and train our employees to do the same.”
As co-owners, Lebo and Wachira “wear many hats and interchange as needed.”
“We handle our accounting, financial projections, marketing, sales, and we even supervise cleans,” says Lebo. “The size of the company affords us the opportunity to learn each aspect.”
The business partners plan to build their client base in each of the services MayLav offers and eventually hope to develop employee-training programs and their own cleaning product line. They also recently launched a ‘stuff a purse’ campaign, in which they invite clients and community members to fill bags with everyday essentials that they then donate to women in need.
Lebo and Wachira encourage other women who dream of opening their own business to go for it, saying, “there is no better time than now.”
“It is a growth process. Expect mistakes, but with that also expect that you and your business will grow from them,” says Lebo. “It requires patience, but it pays off! And as cliché as it sounds, take one day at a time.”