Gladys Vonglahn, a Latina entrepreneur and the founder of Gladys’ Cleaning Service LLC, turned cleaning services into a passion for entrepreneurship and an established company in both residential and commercial services.
Gladys began her business in 2003 cleaning homes and apartments, with the desire to turn her passion for cleaning into a career. Like many immigrants, Gladys came to the U.S. without much experience and could not speak English, but she did not let these obstacles stop her from her entrepreneurial ambition.
She began working in the cleaning business without much knowledge of professional cleaning, without access to capital, and with a language barrier. Little by little her business began to grow due to her constant dedication and from there she was able to structure her business into the company it is today.
The biggest obstacle she cites is the language barrier which made communicating with her clients difficult at the start of her business.
Though, it is thanks to these obstacles that Gladys became motivated to continue to push through them and constantly reinvent herself and adapt to the changes in her industry. “I have a good sense of humor and I use it to market my services and also create communication channels with my clients,” Gladys said.
As a Latina small business owner she is very dynamic and multifaceted and she believes her flexible attitude and adaptability is one of her biggest strengths apart from her ambition. It is these qualities that have allowed her to continue to grow her business over the past fifteen years.
Alongside her entrepreneurial ambition is her genuine desire to help her clients. Her goal has always been to provide the highest quality service to her clients and adapt to their needs. “The customer is always right,” she says.
She values her clients greatly and she shares one story with us about a special client.
In 2013, Gladys received a call from a potential client asking for her services. The client lived 60 miles away from Gladys and she unfortunately had to decline the job because she was unable to travel such distance to clean his home.
Later the client called back three more times asking her to come clean his house and that he would pay whatever was necessary. After insisting so much, Gladys decided she would make the trip. When she arrived at the house and the client opened the door she realized it was Jessie Armstead, a famous football player for the Giants. He thanked her so much for cleaning his home because he did not want anyone else to enter his house.
“I felt honored that he valued the service I provided so much and that he had the patience to wait for me to be available to schedule him,” she said.
Gladys says her mission has always been and will always be to not only have a successful business but to also leave a legacy in her area of work. Seeing the impact of her work and how much she is appreciated by her clients motivates her to continue providing her services to others.
In addition to her business, Gladys also uses her life experience as a Latina woman who has been exposed to different cultures and social classes to give motivational speeches at Casa de Don Pedro to women who have been victims of domestic abuse. She also volunteers as Mantena Global Care and helps the Brazilian and hispanic communities in Newark.
Overall, Gladys hopes she can continue to help and inspire others through both her business and her volunteer work.
To other Latinas aspiring to start their own ventures she says, “I would like to motivate Latinas to start their entrepreneurial dream. The hardest part is getting started….Little by little all is possible, and to do what one loves is not ‘work’ but instead it is a daily passion that you continue to feed throughout the years.”