To celebrate hardworking ladies in business and help spread awareness of breast cancer, we have created the new design, Ladies in Business. Part of the proceeds from the sale of these shirts will be donated to National Breast Cancer Foundation.
In each article, we are featuring one of lady led businesses who are participating in this project. They have great stories to tell behind the scenes of running a successful business. These ladies are amazing at what they do.
Softwash NQ is an exterior cleaning company that uses and sells eco-friendly cleaning products made here in North Queensland that are kind to the environment. Leonie runs Softwash NQ with her partner Chris and here is her story:
"I joined my partner Chris, who had just started his pressure cleaning business (4M Pressure Cleaning) in 2019. We drew on our superannuation to finance equipment and advertising, including our work shirts from Design Works Apparel. Our business evolved to become Softwash North Queensland, specialising in exterior cleaning services using softwash. We began a relationship with a chemical manufacturer in Townsville who developed our biodegradable Softwash soaps. We soon began selling them commercially Australia wide and incrementally added domestic cleaning products to our range. In May this year we opened our retail store at 37 Ross River Rd, Mysterton with our next step being the addition of complementary cleaning equipment and accessories and other boutique decor and gift items.
My role in this business is not just running a business but also taking care of design aspect. It started with the Facebook posts and building a website and when we took on retail sales of cleaning products, it also included designing product labels. I have always had an interest in visual art and photography and designing has come naturally to me. It is a deeply satisfying experience creating all the artworks for my business and seeing them getting appreciated by many customers all over Australia. Integrating my personal passions, freedom, and earning income while being self-employed feels very satisfying. It's a liberating experience.
Why is Softwash North Queensland important to me?
While I absolutely loved my time working with children as a childcare educator, this business came at the right time when I was ready to move on. I find myself loving the connections I am making with a broader range of people and being able to help them in important and useful ways through the services and products we provide.
Since going into retail sales of cleaning products, I have learned that for a long time large chemical companies have been watering down their products and using cheap ingredients in the interests of good profits. We've also seen convenient ready-made spray bottles introduced which has moulded us to become wasteful and irresponsible regarding our environment.
At Softwash North Queensland, our exterior cleaning services use cleaning products and methods that help preserve people's property, and maintain a healthy outdoor living environment, while causing minimal harm to the environment. We want to offer cleaning products to the public that are made with the best interests of people and the environment in mind. That is why they are concentrated for longer use and made with high quality ingredients.
How's my work-life balance?
Presently, the short answer is non-existent, as it is just Chris and myself working in our business. While Chris looks after exterior cleaning and much of the social media and advertising aspect of the business, I am mostly tending the store that we have opened in Townsville. Being contained from 9am - 5pm Monday - Friday doesn't naturally fit with my freedom loving creative approach but I do it because I am dedicated and committed.
While I have pushed myself beyond my limits, especially now that we have opened our store in Townsville, I try to stay as equally diligent in maintaining regular yoga practice and gardening where I always find my "zen" pulling weeds. Walking along the beach with our dogs is another favourite leisure activity that provides release.
I wanted to participate in the Ladies in Business shirt initiative because research into the cancer causing ingredients in chemicals that are used for household cleaning, is hugely important. Supporting Breast Cancer Research aligns with our Mission which is to help improve health and wellbeing through responsible chemistry and cleaning practices. This great cause was brought to me by great people, and I gladly put my hand up to contribute.”
Leonie can be contacted on: