Finn Pegler, who graduated from ESTEEM in 2014, recently launched a startup in the South Bend area. Pegler, working remotely in London, opened DeluxeMaid (www.deluxemaid.com), a home cleaning service.
“My thought process behind starting this business was as simple as: 1) Is there a market for the service 2) Can I create a better service than 99% of the providers in that market? and 3) Can I make this service a luxury that people can feel good about by incorporating the triple bottom line feel-good-factor?” he says. “For maid services, creating a better product meant increasing peace of mind and convenience for the consumer.
“To do this I created a quick and easy booking process and only work with the best cleaners, who are thoroughly vetted and background checked. Also important is treating the cleaners well and offering excellent compensation as well as the ability to take pride and ownership in the work. Empowering cleaners by tracking customer reviews and rewarding them for a job well done reduces turnover, which is a major problem in this industry”
DeluxeMaid has partnered with Pet Refuge, a no-kill animal shelter in South Bend, making a donation to feed a shelter dog or cat for every house cleaned. “The affiliation with a strong non-profit brand integral to the community fabric has been important in DeluxeMaid’s growth,” Pegler says. “I’m passionate about the practice of social entrepreneurship and enjoy giving back to the community; so it is great to see such a positive ripple effect that keeps growing.”
Pegler says the secret to DeluxeMaid’s success is his year spent at Notre Dame studying in the ESTEEM program. “Before coming to Notre Dame, I used to strive for big ideas and over-engineer my ventures,” he says. “I used to have dreams of creating an app that locates all cleaners in an area and scrapes good reviews off Yelp in order to create an Uber-like service for maids. No one needs that. They need simple online booking and a quality, reliable service. You have to start first with what the customer wants, not with what clever engineering tricks you can think of. ESTEEM quickly helped me to realize that.”