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Ladies Who Launch
- Feb 21, 2006

New Workout-Housecleaning Video

How to Clean Your House in 30 Minutes
& Get An Aerobic Workout.

"Coming in the fall of 2006"


more information coming soon!


SATURDAY ? June 24, 2006

Redmond woman finds success in making houses sparkle

Forget the drudgery of scrubbing toilets, washing floors and dusting shelves
When Redmond's Elaine Gordon Evans talks about housekeeping, she doesn't see chores -she sees economic opportunity.

And that's what she tells those who ask about how she built her business, Elaine's American Maid Housecleaning Service.

She'll talk about her story - and her vision - on "StartUps with Joan Durand," a Martha Stewart radio show airing at 4 p.m. today on Sirius Radio.

"I grew up in a welfare pro­ject in New York City," Evans said. "My father left when I was 5. My mother was very ill. I grew up on welfare. I don't remember being a child."

To help out, she says, "I started ironing shirts for a nick­el apiece when I was 9."

She was 18 when her mother died. Inspired by a subway poster showing a man loung­ing on a Miami beach, Evans headed south to Florida.

By 19, she was a single mom making her way by cleaning houses. Then she got sick and landed in the hospital. Desperate not to lose her cus­tomers, she drafted other single mothers to fill in.

"That's when my house­cleaning business really began," she says.

Evans eventually married and ended up living in California. Then she produced a children's exercise video and she, her then-husband and their four children - two of them her stepchildren -began touring to promote it.
But the couple's plans did­n't play out the way they'd hoped they would.

"We were homeless - stay­ing in churches, schools, camp­grounds. That's how I ended up in Redmond - a family took us in. I was pregnant.
"We landed here in time for me to give birth to my youngest son."
Soon after, she again launched a housecleaning busi­ness, lining up clients, then find­ing people to provide services to them.

These days, her business - now in its 21st year - provides cleaning for 140 homes a week. Some 80 self-employed house cleaners do the work for her clients. At the same time, she says, they're learn­ing how to build their own clientele on the side.

"What I do is launch them," she says. "My customers are to keep them going. I insist they also find their own customers. They know how to put ads in the papers, put fliers out. I vouch for them when cus­tomers call."
Evans has plenty of dreams about where she wants to take her business - and her vision.
She wants to launch her business nationwide, not to offer franchises but to go into cities and teach women how toopen their own housecleaning businesses.

"My mission is helping low­income women across America open their own housecleaning services to sup­port themselves," she says. "Give them a few tools and they will be the most phe­nomenal entrepreneurs you have ever seen."

Next fall, she hopes to have out her first workout video, "How to Clean Your House in 30 Minutes and Get An Aerobic Workout."

"It's the Cliffs Notes of cleaning," she says. "We do pushups and squats over the toilet."
In addition to her other efforts, Evans also created "Elaine's Maid for Life" two years ago. The organization, which operates under the umbrella of the Heritage Foundation, provides free housecleaning to women with cancer and the husbands of women who have died from cancer.



July 12-25, 2006

Lace up those gym shoes and grab the duster

Video incorporates
exercise with
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 don.ward@reporternewspapers.com or (425) 453.4610.


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