|Dirt Divas, LLC
|Words of Wisdom|
"Be flexible. Companies that find a way to adapt to changing market conditions prevail."
Alexandra "Sasha" Mitchell
"My PNC banker anticipates my needs and recommends solutions that save me time, money and frustration. The branch team goes out of their way, too, providing outstanding service every time I visit. PNC truly helps my business thrive."
When a mother of three young children suddenly loses her husband, she doesn't have much time to think about what to do next. She needs to move forward, supporting her children not only emotionally but also financially. For Sasha Mitchell, that meant falling back on the business she knew best: housecleaning.
"When I became a widow in 1998, I tried to keep my late husband's historic restoration business going but due to a variety of reasons, lost it after a year-and-a-half," says Sasha. "I decided to clean houses - something I had done on and off throughout the years to supplement my husband's income - until I figured out what to do next. To my surprise, my business really took off. Within two years I was so busy, I needed to start hiring."
The New Jersey construction market was booming, and Sasha found her niche in new-construction cleanup. Her business, which she dubbed "Dirt Divas," grew steadily until the mid-2000s, when construction slowed almost to a halt. As she watched competitive cleaning businesses close, Sasha thought fast about how she could leverage this market shift.
"I couldn't afford to go out of business; I needed to keep moving forward," she explains. "I decided to try moving back into residential cleaning and adding some commercial accounts. It worked. My willingness to adapt kept my business alive while others perished."
A Spotless Reputation
Today, Dirt Divas employs 12 professionals for its 50 percent residential/50 percent commercial business. From small offices and marinas to residences and summer rental homes along the coast, Sasha's team covers accounts within a 50-mile radius of the company's home base. Some Dirt Divas customers have been loyal for a decade or more due to the relationships Sasha and her staff have established and nurtured.
"I have always put myself into my customers' shoes," says Sasha. "If I were having my house cleaned, I would want to know the person coming in every week or month. I would want to feel confident and secure in having that person around my family and our belongings. I would also expect an exceptional level of service. That's why we hold such high standards: Our work stands head and shoulders above competitive cleaners."
Sasha attributes her success to her love of physical work and her dedication to her customers and employees. She is so passionate about Dirt Divas that, during the busy season, it's not unusual for her to put in 80-hour workweeks - cleaning, fulfilling customers' last-minute requests and checking in with her crews around the clock. She's not quite as enamored by the financial side of doing business. That's where PNC helps.
"I prefer being out on calls to sitting down with my balance sheet, but it's all part of running the business successfully," says Sasha. "I surround myself with trusted advisors, including my bookkeeper and my banking team at PNC. My PNC banker has come to know my business so well that she anticipates my needs and recommends solutions that save me time, money and frustration. The branch team goes out of their way, too, providing outstanding service every time I visit. PNC truly helps my business thrive."