Clean Living LTD is now 14 years old. My predecessors (Steve and Vanessa Wassell) set the business up, and built up a database of clients, regular clients, businesses that they had worked for and a whole host of other premises and customers. They bought a truck-mounted machine; this was fashioned from a ride-on mower engine, pumps and heat converters. It was brilliant and the best thing for miles around. They wanted to have a good ecological ethos, and found a scientist in Birmingham that would create for them a fantastic mineral based cleaning system. It has no smell, no stickiness, cleans amazingly and is organic and ecological. They won local accolade at the Salisbury and South Wilts Chamber of Commerce, winning finalist awards in several categories. In a few short years, wherever they went they were well-known. Walking in the streets of Amesbury and Salisbury was fun for them in that they were always stopped by people that knew them, wanting a chat. In 2008 they decided to sell up and move abroad, just at the time that I was leaving the Army. Lucky me, I was looking for a local small business for sale and I guessed that carpet and upholstery cleaning would suit me… little did I realise what hard work it would be!
In April of 2008, I left the Army after 22 years and became a carpet and upholstery cleaner. It was very tough at first, especially with the recession hitting so hard. I survived it though, I needed to. It has been a rocky road, but along the way I have learnt all the skills I need to market the business properly, look after the customers properly, provide an absolutely top-class service, pick up new customers and to maintain the reputation of the business. I’m still going very strong, the business has been re-branded, there is a new website and the phone is ringing more than ever (all for the right reasons I might add). I’ve got something like 5-6000 customers, and I work hard; often 7 days per week in order to get everything done. I don’t mind this, I’m used to it after all that time serving. I’ve enjoyed winning awards from the Chamber of Commerce and at the Salisbury and South Wilts Business Excellence Awards. In 2010, at the Salisbury and South Wilts Business Excellence Awards I won the ‘Commitment to the Community’ Award; something I am very proud of.
It’s nice to ‘be there’ for the people and it’s also nice to be thanked. The machine and van that I inherited from my predecessors gave up the ghost after being severely flogged for a number of years. Clean Living now uses a £30,000 diesel powered carpet cleaning monster, fashioned from a car engine and absolutely second to none. Anywhere. Full stop. The van carries 80 gallons of softened water, and enough tubing/hoses to carry out works 30 metres away from the van mounted machine, or to service even the largest of properties. No job too large!! Recent good news is the addition of a PA to the business in the form of the wonderful Sara. Sara keeps me on the straight and narrow, pushes me forward and is helping to grow and improve the business in many ways.