We were interviewed recently by Westfair Business Journal! Click here to view the article or just read below!
In 1996, Robin Murphy was married with a child in day care and seven years into a career at Mastercard in Purchase, where she was director of franchise management. Everything was bustling along, except that she couldn't find a cleaning service.
So she did what born entrepreneurs always do: She met herown needs, quitting her job to become a Maid Brigade franchisee.
“People thought I was crazy,” said Murphy, a formerWestchester County and Rowayton resident who lives in Brooklyn with husbandGary and their younger daughter. “When I started, I didn’t know the first thingabout it.”
But she knew she had a perspective on cleaning that many maynot have: “Housecleaning is health care. Housecleaning kills disease.”
With her husband as director of operations, Murphy has grownher Maid Brigade franchise into one of the biggest cleaning services inWestchester while also serving Putnam, Rockland and southern Fairfieldcounties. (She also owns a Maid Brigade in Manchester, Connecticut.)
But that was not enough for a woman who speaks of cleaningwith an ardor that suggests a revolutionary, the words pouring out of her in atorrent.
“I’m on a mission to change the mindset and people’sthinking of housecleaning,” she added, beginning with the word “maid,” whichhas a pejorative connotation, as in the retort, “I’m not your maid.”
At the same time, Murphy – who serves as regional ambassadorfor ISSA Residential, the housecleaning arm of the international cleaningassociation – wants to help take a $90-billion-a-year industry that she sees asstuck in the past despite all the advancements in the world and bring it intothe 21st century: “I get out of bed, and I want to build the best job for theemployees and the best company for the customers.”
Enter ChirpChirp, the cleaning service Murphy launched Sept.1 on the North White Plains premises of her Maid Brigade franchise. Both havethe same staff – about 10 office workers and some 30 “cleaning pros,” as shecalls them. Both use green products.
“Maid Brigade and ChirpChirp are sisters,” Murphy said. Butthey are sisters with different approaches. Maid Brigade is pay as you go. Thecheerily named ChirpChirp – which most definitely eliminates the word “maid” --is a subscription service with different weekly, biweekly and monthly packages.
The basic Clean package will get you a cleaned kitchen andbathrooms, with all the other rooms dusted and vacuumed. The Clean + addschanging bed linens and making the beds; mopping all the floors; dusting trim,blinds and fans; vacuuming the upholstery; and taking out the trash. ChirpChirpClean adds onto that cleaning out all the kitchen appliances; handwashingwhatever’s in the sink; laundering the bed linens; and taking out therecycling. Prices can range from several hundred dollars a month to several thousanddollars depending on the package chosen, the square footage of the house andwhether you want two cleaning pros or three to get the job done more quickly.There are also plans for clients requiring smaller or larger-sized teams.(Regardless of how many cleaning pros you have, they will be there “howeverlong it takes to clean,” Murphy said.)
ChirpChirp makes use of the latest in cleaning technology,including Chirptastic, a cleaning solution made of salt and water that iselectrically charged in an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registeredgenerator – Murphy said her husband demonstrates its safety to staffers byspraying it in his mouth – and a cordless vacuum that she called “the Tesla ofvacuum cleaners,” quiet enough for sleeping babies and at-home workers.ChirpChirp is also testing a robotic window cleaner.
“We’re always looking for innovations to make the jobbetter,” she said, not just for the clients but for the employees. The NorthWhite Plains office includes a fully equipped kitchen and a beverage bar. EveryFriday night, the office staff serves dinner to the cleaning pros. They gothrough a training program and have access to certified dream manager VivianaHolguin, ChirpChirp’s people experience leader, who helps employees achievetheir personal and professional goals.
Given Murphy’s holistic approach to cleaning, it is nosurprise that Maid Brigade's corporate office has bestowed on her many awards,including the 2023 Workplace Innovation and Culture Award, The Franchisee ofthe Year Award and the Community Pillar Award in recognition of the hundreds ofgallons of disinfectant the company distributed at no charge during thepandemic to first responders and others in need.
Advertising on local cable, ChirpChirp is booked throughOct. 1 when it will begin taking new Westchester customers. Murphy said shewants to grow the business slowly. But with her passion for cleaning, she addedthat it’s only a matter of time before the service comes ChirpChirp-ing intoFairfield, Putnam, Rockland and beyond.
For more, visit chirpchirp.com
For more, visit chirpchirp.com.