MARTINS FERRY - Nearly eleven years ago, Suzanne Duill and Sam Ferguson started their currently thriving business Maid to Order. The name makes it clear that the business is a cleaning service, but it doesn't express just how high-quality Duill and Ferguson are.
"He's the maid and I give the orders," Duill jokes, but truthfully both are co-owners who go to great lengths to ensure their customers are satisfied. That means driving all over the tri-county area to reach customers, from Powhatan Point to Adena, Yorkville, Morristown and plenty of areas in between. They've even traveled to Pennsylvania to clean.
"We're flexible about location," Duill says.
T-L Photo/MOLLIE WARNER
Suzanne Duill (left) and Sam Ferguson are the owners of Maid to Order, a cleaning service operating out of Martins Ferry.
Maid to Order has not done much formal advertising, but they've grown through word-of-mouth referrals. After both owners were laid off from other jobs, they began doing cleaning work for elderly women needing help, who encouraged them to start a business. They were motivated to work for themselves, so Duill and Ferguson decided being self-employed was for them. At first, they handed out flyers advertising Maid to Order, and the business began to grow as customers recommended them to friends for their reliability and quality services.
"We have never called off, ever," Duill said. "And we've had no complaints, in ten years." Duill added that they are licensed and bonded.
Ferguson was taught to cook and clean by his grandmother, who also taught him to be honest, reliable and self-sufficient. Duill picked up her cleaning skills from her aunt. Their services include all types of general cleaning, including things like vacuuming and dusting. They bring all their own supplies and products, which they have become very educated about in their years of cleaning.
"We've got it down pat, we know what to buy and use," Ferguson said. They're careful not to use harsh chemicals, because they know the houses they clean are homes to small children and pets.
"Whatever we use in peoples' homes, we use here first," Duill said.
They've cleaned pavilions for parties, detailed cars and have done yard work. They've even dipped into real estate services by preparing a house for sale, and they've decorated houses for holidays. Locations can be residential, commercial, businesses, or rentals.
"We do a little bit of everything," Ferguson offered.
Maid to Order is currently booked solid for the spring cleaning season, which Duill says is always a busy time of year. Holidays are also busy, starting every November, as customers want their homes to look nice for Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.
Duill and Ferguson have developed such good relationships with their customers that they are reluctant to call them such.
"Our clients have become like family to us," Duill said. "We've made friends through the business. Some we see every week."
They have maintained many original customers from the very beginning, and have been able to see families grow with time.
May 12 will mark the eleventh anniversary of Maid to Order. Duill and Ferguson say the experience has been a journey, as they've learned and shared much with their customers.
"We enjoy it, and I think if you enjoy what you do, you do a better job," Duill said.
Duill and Ferguson run Maid to Order from 808 Carlisle Street in Martins Ferry. Their hours are generally Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To book a cleaning appointment or learn more, call (740) 582-0846.
Warner may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.