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Santa Fe Region Client ProfileGreen Choice Cleaning, LLC

Olivia Najera

For 17 years Olivia worked in the cleaning and restoration business. She worked long hours as a single parent and saw the effects of people using toxic chemicals without protective gear, plus unprotected exposure to dangerous chemicals worried her. Co-workers would become sick; often because they were unaware and not forewarned about the impact – both physically and environmentally. She decided it was time for a change and started thinking about how she could make a difference in our traditional methods of cleaning. This is how Green Choice Cleaning LLC was born.

Green Choice Cleaning is committed to maintaining a high standard of cleanliness in every home and facility. They offer both commercial and residential cleaning services. They also offer restoration services.

Their services are ideal for chemically sensitive individuals or people who are going through any type of medical treatment and are more susceptible to the adverse effects of the use of fragrances, harsh chemicals and regular cleaning products. Child and senior care centers, medical and dental offices, allergic individuals, anyone with respiratory disorders or those that are immune compromised, are examples of those who benefit from Green Choice Cleaning.  Providing more jobs for people in our community is also a fantastic plus.

The first challenge for Olivia was lack of information about owning a business. The second, was not having any capital to begin with and the third was leaving her current employer, but, she had bigger plans! With no extra income and minimal information or supplies it was difficult. Her children were grown and shared her vision, but they also had obligations.

It was difficult, but with much perseverance, patience and a positive attitude she soon realized that she needed a plan or someone to work with. Her job skills were solid, but her entrepreneurial skills needed help. Olivia walked into the Santa Fe Business Incubator and asked for help. She was introduced to WESST, were they could speak Spanish since Olivia’s English was minimal. At night and days off she would meet with WESST or attend one of the many workshops available: Creating a Business Plan, Marketing, QuickBooks and Building a Website. She prepared for one year until the business planning was finished.  

“WESST-SFE has been a great help, from the beginning they listened to my idea and worked with me. WESST was like a map, showing and helping me create my personal direction. I followed all the advice of my mentor Roseanna Perea, plus Bette was very eager to help us succeed. Without WESST, everything would have been much more difficult. Roseanna’s patience, dedication and professionalism impacted my life in a very positive way. I will always be grateful to Bette, Roseanna and WESST for so much support!  Being able to have a conversation in both Spanish and English was most important.”

“Entrepreneurship has changed my life. I hope to change the traditional mindset for other cleaning businesses to look into making changes toward green cleaning; an extra plus is that my daughter is now working full-time with me.”