When faced with single parenthood during her last year of nursing school, Trisha Lake was dealing with more than the challenges of achieving 18 credits a semester; she also had to figure out how to provide for her and her daughter. Her solution: cleaning houses for extra income. Soon, what was just a small gig to get by, turned into one of the most well-known cleaning businesses in the area—TLC Cleaning.
“At the beginning of TLC it was really hard. I was a single mom to Taylor and I would bring her with me to houses often,” Lake said. “I would work until 2 a.m. on apartment move-outs so I would bring a blanket, crayons and a lunch box for her. I have a picture of her sleeping on a blanket on the floor really late at night. Each time I see that picture I cry.”
As a single mom, Trisha learned to just make things work. And as it became harder and harder to keep up with serving her clients and school she did just that. She hired her friend to take some of the workload. Eventually, she followed her passion for entrepreneurship, leaving nursing and going all-in on TLC Cleaning.
Soon after she met her husband, Corey, and they’d have two children, Lily and Carter. Her team of two at TLC Cleaning has grown to 55, which now includes her husband who runs the carpet cleaning side.
Trisha’s drive to help others led her to nursing, and while that’s not the path she chose, it’s still a principle she incorporates into her business every day.
“We offer free cleanings to people undergoing cancer treatments,” Trisha said. “I want them to be able to concentrate on their health and not their home. These people are literally fighting for their lives and shouldn’t be thinking about their house chores.”
She also ensures TLC takes good care of its employees, hosting monthly events such as bowling, BBQ picnics, bounce house parties and weekend trips to the lake. She also treats the team to tubing down Detroit Lake Mountain each winter. “I want people to come to work and feel as though they are valued and truly a part of a community,” she said.
That extends to everyone in Fargo-Moorhead. Trisha started the Fargo Moms Group on Facebook to provide a positive, safe place for moms of all types to come together and talk about things. She also intended the group to be a platform where women can meet new friends and take advantage of TLC’s special giveaways, including house cleanings!
Here’s a little more about Trisha.
The story of how I named my business is . . .
I asked my mom what she thought I should name it. She came up with TLC Cleaning for Trisha Leigh Cornelision, which was my name at the time. And now my children's names are Taylor, Lily and Carter. Yeah, we did that on purpose.
My favorite part of owning TLC is . . .
simply the support we have from the community and the ability to have a large enough tribe to do some really awesome things in the community. It is very fulfilling to know we are helping so many families.
My big dream or goal is . . .
to simply be happy and to take care of my family. I enjoy challenging myself. That is probably why I like taking on large donations or big projects. I think it’s an awesome feeling to create a goal and work with your team to cross that line.
The No. 1 cleaning tip everyone should know is . . .
you can clean almost anything with Dawn dish soap and a microfiber washcloth. Essential oils can be your best friend, too.
I can’t live without . . .
my cell phone, ha! I can do all of my work from there. People are typically pretty amazed at all the stuff I can accomplish from it.
I work to balance all the things by . . .
just letting go and not getting consumed with perfection.
My two favorite books are . . .
Profit First and The 4 Disciplines of Execution.
One thing I know today that I wish you knew when I was younger is . . .
it truly doesn’t matter what others think of you. There will always be people in this world who want to bring others down. Just smile and keep going.
The most important thing I’ve learned thus far in life is . . .
time is something you can never get back. There are only so many hours in the day. So I often choose bike rides with my family over dishes. I often choose to read books to my kids over booking another client. These moments in time are ones we will never get back. Make sure you use yours wisely.