Since Laura Smith opened All Star Cleaning Services in 2006, she has won many awards, including earning a spot on the 2020 Denver Post Top Workplaces for her mentorship to the young people she employs and the benefits the company offers them. All Star serves communities in Fort Collins, Loveland and Windsor, Colorado. Their green cleaning products and practices caught CO YOGA + Life’s attention, so we chatted with Smith to learn more about her view on sustainability.
What was the inspiration behind starting All Star Cleaning Services?
I was actually a stay at home mom at the time, attending college full-time online. Someone suggested perhaps my husband should start a cleaning service since he was so unhappy in his retail position. He immediately rejected the idea, but I was intrigued. All Star was born about a week later!
We love that you use green, all-natural cleaning products. Why did you make that decision and what has the response been?
I initially made the decision for myself based on my own values. If I was going to be cleaning 40 hours a week, I did not want that level of chemical exposure for the sake of my own health and wellness, and I believed the extra elbow grease was worth it for the benefit to the environment as well. It has had excellent reception from our client base though! Many people hire us specifically for our natural products.
What is the workplace environment like for your employees?
I have always had a lot of respect for the fact that this is not going to be a forever job for most people — it is very physical, tough work. So, we do our best to be the best employer we can be while they are with us, while providing transferrable job skill building opportunities. We provide full benefits, company cars and more paid time off than is typical for an hourly job (got to give those bodies time to rest!). We also encourage growth from within. My general manger started as a cleaner, as did many of my management and office staff.
Tell us about your community outreach in Fort Collins. Why is community involvement important to you?
I have lived in Fort Collins my entire life, and I love to give back to the community that has been so good to me. I have received a lot of community support in my younger years, as a foster kid and eventually a homeless youth. Now that the community has blessed me so greatly with success in my business, I feel it is my duty to pay it forward. We do free cleanings for cancer patients, donate to just about every non-profit fundraiser in town, clean for non-profits for free, and recently over the summer we gave away 30,000 dollars in free cleanings to healthcare workers during COVID-19 through our Hometown Heroes initiative.