July 12-25, 2006
Lace up those gym shoes and grab the duster
cleaning the house
By DONALD J. WARD Staff writer_
Get Elaine Gordon Evans talking and you'll hear an earful.
Just listening to the Redmond entrepreneur can be a workout in and of itself. The 54year-old native of New York recently was toting two bottles of water and pumping them like a pair of barbells.
Shooting is under way for Evans' new workout video. Although it doesn't have a name yet, she said its objective is to give women a workout while cleaning their house.
"You gotta run through your house - get out of bed and do jumping jacks," Evans said.
This is no Jane Fonda Workout. You aren't going to be sitting in front of the television watching some perky athletic trainer bend and contort their body. Instead, participants will be scurrying around the house, from room to room and up and down stairs.
The video's goal is to enforce a positive frame of mind. It might seem silly at first to
drop and do 20 push-ups after finishing the dishes, but Evans said that there's nothing wrong with being a little silly and having the ability to laugh at yourself.
With the need to balance a hectic work life and raising a family, Evans said that oftentimes women feel over-pressured. Sometimes the only thing that they can control isthe look and appearance of their homes. There is also a societal perception that a woman needs to have a clean home, she said.
"If there's dust on the TV and the kitchen is a mess, no one is going to look at the man of the house and say he's not doing a good job," Evans said. "I know that if I take care of my body and if my house looks good, I feel good."
She said the video is not a substitute for a normal workout regimen. Rather it should be used as a supplement.
Production of the video should wrap up by fall. Her son, Paul, who was nominated for an Emmy for a documentary he filmed about Ground Zero in New York after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, is filming the video.
Evans was on Martha Stewart's Radio show on Sirius Radio, June 24 in New York. Although she did not get to beinterviewed by Stewart, another host spoke with her.
If she has her way, though, Evans will be having Stewart performing crunches in between decorating festive autumn centerpieces.
When not promoting her video, Evans is the owner of Elaine's American Maid. The company cleans 140 homes a week on the Eastside and in Seattle, employing 80 low-income women and men. Many of the workers have recently transitioned from welfare.
On welfare herself when she was 19, Evans said the company's goal is to give women and single mothers from -disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to get back on their feet.
While cleaning houses herself, she suffered an accident, which left her with a collapsed lung and had her laid up in the hospital. Instead of letting her clients down, she contacted a handful of her friends who
were unemployed single moms and gave them the contract while taking a percentage of the fee.
After 35 years, the business is still a success.
Her company was nominated for the business of the year by the Better Business Bureau in 2004 and has won its American Spirit Award:
Donald J. Ward can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (425) 453.4610.