“What did one toilet say to the other toilet?”
“You look so flushed!”
This is just one of the jokes behind the scenes at Student Maid. Student Maid began in Gainesville with a small crew and three vacuum cleaners. Today, the company has more than 75 employees during the year and plans to expand to other college towns.
Kristen Hadeed, founder of Student Maid, said she believes its popularity is due to the fact that they are not just a cleaning company; they are a company that serves people. Hadeed, a motivational speaker, travels around the country to talk to college students about leadership, a quality that she had to learn through trial and error.
Hadeed said that she once thought to lead was to be a boss, and to be a boss was a privilege. After 45 of her 60 employees quit on a single day, Hadeed got her wake up call. This experience helped her learn that there is opportunity in every failure, and this event helped change everything. The culture of Student Maid is now open and collaborative with 10 core values, which include "take your moral fiber," “jump through flaming hoops,” “unleash the creative dragon,” “raise the roof” and “be classy, not sassy.”
The new culture has helped Student Maid obtain committed employees. Employees stay with the company for an average of two and a half years. In May 2013, Student Maid expanded into Pensacola and expects to expand to a third Florida college town in the next year. Hadeed also has hopes to franchise in the future to former employees. Student Maid now offers concierge services including walking dogs, watching pets, running errands, housesitting and holiday decorating.