Maid in Jesmond: Student entrepreneurs offer cleaning service
An ant colony thriving on a mountain of unwashed dishes, a toilet that looks like it belongs in a film set of Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting and empty pizza boxes stacked one on top of the other like a pyramid befitting the pharaohs.
A bit of hyperbole perhaps, but this is the kind of sight which greets many students in Jesmond the morning after a house party.
However, the student entrepreneurs at Maid in Jesmond offer a solution to this post-hangover stress with their unique After Party Clean service. If your digs are in a generally shabby condition, you can also order a Keep Calm Clean service.
The company’s Emily King told JesmondLocal: “We are willing to clean a toilet which the person who lives there isn’t willing to, so they are just grateful that we are there to clean it.”
King, Vako Gamtkitsulashvili, Wei Wu, Bin Zhang and Owen Lui are all second year undergraduates studying Marketing and Management at Newcastle University. They started Maid in Jesmond, with help from the Young Enterprise Scheme, as part of their coursework this semester.
“All of our clients so far have been over the moon. They are so pleased. I think this shows that we don’t need to be professional cleaners,” King said.
Maid in Jesmond may seem like any of the run-of-the-mill cleaning services which fill up the Yellow Pages, but their USP is quite different from the rest: “Cleaning service for students, by students, at student prices.”
“When we were doing our market research, we found that for a lot of other cleaning companies you have to book for a minimum number of three or four hours in a week,” King told us.
“It is not the same with us. We think our prices are really good and we offer a discount on two consecutive bookings.”
Maid in Jesmond are looking to capitalize on this gap in the market, and they also offer to help flatmates avoid confrontations while sharing household chores.
“Students don’t necessarily need to have the extra money to pay for cleaning services, it just what they are willing to spend on. All of us can afford to go out three times a week, but nobody is willing to switch the heating on.
“So it is about finding that balance. We think that cleaning the flat is one of the main causes of argument within houses, and by offering this, we are offering a solution to the problem that people would be willing to pay for.”
Asked whether they will continue their project beyond this term, King said: “We are all hoping that it gets bigger and more popular, and hopefully we could employ a few people to help us out because we had some people asking us whether we offered jobs.
“I know that my friends struggle to find work and they need the extra money. So if we can offer jobs to students that would be a great learning curve for us and obviously help students to earn some extra cash.”
The Maid in Jesmond team say that their target market is students living in Jesmond, but they don’t intend to pass up work opportunities arising outside the area.
And the next time they party, they promise to be more careful because they know how much effort goes into cleaning a flat.