MATTHEWS – Floyd and Isaiah Mason were frustrated after applying for jobs and getting no responses.
The Butler High School brothers just wanted extra cash for their pockets and money to put back for college. Floyd, a senior, needs the cash to help pay for voice and piano lessons so he can audition for admission to Appalachian State University’s music department. Isaiah, a sophomore, is just trying to get a head start on his savings account.
But after numerous attempts at job applications, both were left empty-handed. That’s why they took matters into their own hands, founding Teens 2 Clean Office & Janitorial, a Matthews-based business that offers cleaning services to businesses and offices in the greater Charlotte area.
“We started thinking about how we could make money on our own, from lemonade stands to car washes,” Floyd said. But then the boys had the idea to turn a weekly chore into cash. They’ve been cleaning their mom’s office, Life Skills Consulting and Counseling Group, since she opened it six years ago. “We thought ‘We are pretty good at that. Might as well turn it into a job and make some money on it.’”
So the boys got to work. And with help of their mom, Latonya Summers, they started researching what it would take to turn cleaning into a business. They found a checklist of suggested office cleaning requirements, came up with a business name, designed a website and set out to get clients.
They started promoting their business on Facebook and throughout school. Now, less than a month later, they already have three clients and are excited to see the business continue to grow. Currently, they are fine-tuning their marketing strategy, creating flyers and working on business cards to pass out to potential clients.
The boys are both involved with sports and extracurricular clubs at school, so finding time to balance school, work and play is going to be tough. But they are willing to put in the extra time on Saturdays and Sundays to make sure businesses have a clean start to the week on Mondays.
“It can be stressful, but I think it will be worth it. Every teenager wants a little money in their pocket,” Isaiah said. “If you put the time in it, and dedication in it, you can get it done.”
Latonya Summers’s husband, Nathan Summers, is the founder of Bridge Builders Academy, a nonprofit dedicated to training teenagers to be more employable through mentorships, education and practical experience in the workforce. The boys, who are familiar with the nonprofit, know the statistics of teenage unemployment and hope to one day grow their business to employ other teenagers.
“Unemployment rates for teens is 20 percent,” Latonya Summers said. “If they can get enough clients, their hope is to help other people get jobs.”
Currently, the boys’ cleaning rates are based on the size of the business and the needed services. They offer dusting, vacuuming, cleaning windows, cleaning bathrooms, taking out the trash and more, Floyd said. But no matter what cleaning services are needed, the boys are willing to negotiate on prices – especially as they work to get their business off the ground.
“I’m definitely proud of them,” Latonya Summers said. “Neither want to be burdens, and they don’t ask me for much. They typically try to figure things out themselves – that’s a strength, but I’ll still be there to give them
Find more information on Floyd and Isaiah’s business at their website, www.teens2clean.webs.com.