Cleaning Your House Is Becoming a Big Beauty Business
By Liz Ritter, Executive Editor |
After a 20-year career as an educator and advisor in the cosmetics and fragrance industry, Eden McCracken started to wonder, “Why isn’t cleaning beautiful?”
That was the beginning of a business idea—or as she says, taking something so necessary and turning it into something with a big emphasis on beauty and style.
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Last year, she launched Heavenly Clean, a luxury cleaning company that harnesses the power of aromatherapy, staging and safety (nontoxic formulas are a big focus) via a team of hand-selected home stylists. It’s a mix the company thinks completely changes the process, the results and the entire protocol of typical housecleaning.
“I wanted to make cleaning beautiful, to take it from a chore to a pleasure,” she says. “So, I took the best elements that I knew from working within the worlds of beauty, fashion and hotels and created a luxury service for the home and business. I took the codes of couture—identifying the most essential elements, making them exquisite and highly stylized through using extreme quality and craftsmanship—and applied them to cleaning.”
“To me, it’s not cleaning; it’s styling an atmosphere.”
McCracken calls her approach a “curated” one and the company has several points of differentiation from the standard. For starters, the home-stylists don’t just clean, they slightly rearrange, similar to how the cleaning staff at a hotel does. “They are educated in the protocol of luxury hotels, and trained with incredible technique so they have the know-how to make your home sparkle.”
Then there’s the aromatherapy factor (the company can customize personal scents for each client), which McCracken says is a game-changer.
“Aromatherapeutic cleaning has an effect on your bio-mechanics. So that means your house or environment looks great, but the real magic is through the sensory intake, how it feels and smells, it has a positive effect your emotions, your mind and body.”
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As part of the process, McCracken gets to know her clients, then she makes suggestions to amplify or balance their home, taking their surroundings into account.
“When I ask my clients what they like they usually say something fresh. When I share that rich scents can smell clean too, it opens up a new conversation. I am surprised to notice my clients requesting the rose scent. It has a softness and warmth to it. I think they correlate that with the idea of a serene home,” she says. “I like to recommend a sensory balance. One of my clients wanted something fresh because he lived at the beach. At the beach you also have plants and trees. When I pointed that out, he was intrigued. He tried the lavender-pine, which is aromatic and wood, and it created a very nice compliment for his home to the surrounding water.”
“I think it is really exciting to align a mood with an atmosphere. It's interesting when you have different scents designated to different rooms, such as bright citrus or florals for kitchens, and more woodsy or spicy elements for the living rooms. You can change how you feel by walking into different rooms.”
“When it comes to smell, everything is personal. Simply put, scent is an association.”
Lindsey Boyd, cofounder of The Laundress, an eco-friendly line of detergent, fabric care and home-cleaning products, agrees that this idea of caring more about cleaning products is big right now, but it’s part of an overall shift in how we’re looking at pretty much everything as a whole.
“Our company looks at it like a holistic lifestyle. People care more about what they’re putting in their body, washing their face with and what’s in their home,” she says. “It’s definitely a ‘trend,’ but it’s not something that’s going away.”
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“I think that traditionally the eco-market in the cleaning space had a bad reputation in the sense that people knew it was better for them, but it wasn’t working or cleaning as well as the more toxic chemicals. But now it’s more, ‘Just because it’s eco, it has to still work.’ People are looking at ingredients and efficacy as well. Again, just like they would look at a face cream, your cleaning products and what you are caring for your linens with is an extension of beauty.”
Boyd also agrees that something as simple as cleaning can play a big part in your day-to-day life. “It’s not just replacing your old surface cleaner with a new one, but evaluating the experience in your home overall, product by product. You can have a better experience in how you’re cleaning your sweaters or how you’re cleaning your bathroom.”
What’s more, the idea of “cleaning” is now out in the open. “The laundry room is no longer in the basement, it’s in a room now. People don’t hide their cleaning products under the sink anymore because they’re an eyesore—it’s OK to have them next to your soap on the sink because they look great and smell great.”