BRIDGEPORT ENTREPRENEUR TAKES CLEANING SHOW ON ROAD
by Pam Dawkins
Connecticut Post, Saturday, July 27, 2002
Like most entrepreneurs, Nicky Tomboulides of Bridgeport wants her business to clean up, although she takes it more literally than most.
Tomboulides, 42, is a Sacred Heart University graduate and earned an MBA, but decided to put her cleaning skills to work, starting up Penguin’s Best Housekeeping Consultant, LLC in 1994.
She got her start with the help of government set aside programs that help small contractors get business.
“It’s my passion. I have fun with it,” she said. She works mainly in the big houses of Darien, Westport and Fairfield, but next week will expand her horizons.
Monday, she will be the lunch speaker during a seminar called “Business Opportunities in the Caribbean and Latin America.” The Service Corps of Retired Executives, the West Indian Foundation and Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz are sponsoring the seminar, which will be at The Hartford College for Women.
Tomboulides has taken part in showcases for small and minority businesses sponsored by the Secretary of State’s office, said Harland Henry, a spokesman for the office.
“We connect with micro and small businesses and help to take them to the next level.”
Of Tomboulides’ role as lunchtime speaker, Henry said “[We] wanted to give her an opportunity to go before an audience…It’s just like a new product launch.”
The Iranian-born Tomboulides—her Greek father worked for an oil company; she attended Greek schools and married an American, then became a citizen—won’t be speaking about importing and exporting. Instead, she’ll be offering her advice on keeping things clean.
She has been working on an idea for a seminar presentation for three years. She’ll address issues such as the merits of doing it yourself versus hiring someone, with tips on cleaning and picking someone.
She swears by bleach and organization, and recommends just doing the work instead of thinking about it, because then it will never get done.
While Tomboulides admits that no one can force a slob to become neat—whether at home or at work—she does want to show people how to be efficient when they do clean.
“All you need is the desire to do the work.”
These lessons can also apply to an office, where frequently “the neat people…aggravate the slobs, and the slobs …aggravate the neats,” she said.
Tomboulides has deliberately kept her business small, mainly sticking with an average of two residential jobs a day.
She doesn’t want to send teams out in her name, she said, because she’s worried about the quality of the work if she’s not there.
“When you’re good at something, you like to do it more. I’m good at this.”
For information about the Import-Export seminar, or others offered by the state, call Harland Henry at the Secretary of State’s office, 860-509-6258, or visit www.sots.state.ct.us.