While your immediate response to the headline may have been “Yeah, the economy’s tough,” or “Hmmm… they must’ve been English, art history, or film studies majors,” Florida Gulf Coast University graduates Kylee Snyder and Michael Brinkman aren’t cleaning “country clubs, fitness centers, office buildings, restaurants and vacation rentals” because they had no other options. Rather, after winning a university business plan competition in 2007, they invested the $500 prize into a new venture: Green Leaf Cleaning.
Two years later, they’re not only still in business; they’re profitable.
In a brief interview with the Naples (Florida) Daily News, Snyder and Brinkman note that green cleaning isn’t just about jumping on a bandwagon: Snyder notes that their services can contribute to better indoor air quality (and fewer employee sick days), and can also contribute to LEED certification points. In the end, though, their most effective pitch involves cost savings: the two entrepreneurs have made sure to keep prices affordable while maintaining high green standards for their clients, and in their own operations.
While green cleaning itself won’t save the world, Snyder and Brinkman make an encouraging case for the viability of a green collar economy. If health and environmental benefits can go arm-in-arm with profitability, what’s not to like?
Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve covered a green cleaning start-up: check out St. Louis’ Herb’n Maid.