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Mother-daughter duo teams up to clean up

Maid Brigade franchise moving into Columbia County
by: Arwen Ungar FIBER WISE — Joy Bredehoft, of Maid Brigade, displays micro-fiber-infused cleaning cloths that aid durability and absorbability. The Maid Brigade franchise was founded in 1979 in Toronto, Canada, and is currently headquartered in Atlanta, Ga.

Armed with non-toxic cleaners, vaporizers and vacuums, a mother and daughter team are expanding their Maid Brigade franchise into lower Columbia County.

Joy Bredehoft and her mother, Deborah Fenning, joined in 2009 to offer cleaning services to Columbia County because both aspired to own their own businesses. Initially, they focused on Longview, Wash., and Astoria, but are now focused to the south, Bredehoft said.

Fenning said that desire coupled with the allure of working with a health-oriented, green company encouraged her to buy the franchise.

'There wasn't a reason not to,' Fenning said. 'I think we were both just ready to start something new at the same time.'

Fenning decided to keep her current contract position as project manager at Intel Corp. and hired her daughter to run the company.

'She has the necessary skills, the verbal ability and she was so enthusiastic about [the company],' Fenning said. 'She's a teacher by education and that comes in handy for teaching the workers the methods. She's very good at training.'

The company provides cleaning services that use non-toxic cleaners and vaporizers to clean homes and is 'green certified' by Green Seal, a nonprofit organization that provides third-party certifications to prove a company meets certain environmental standards. The organization uses various standards provided by independent organizations such as the American National Standards Institute and the Consumers Union.

'It's actually a very gratifying business,' Fenning said. 'You get a chance to help people in a different way.'

Bredehoft said maids initially take three to four hours to clean a house to get it up to baseline standards. After that, regular visits will take a shorter amount of time.

Although Bredehoft declined to give a cost range she did say the company currently has an offer for two maids for two hours for $200.

Customers can get quotes for their homes online.

The company, which currently has five employees, is looking for a storefront in the area, most likely in St. Helens.