Whether you’ve got a full-time job and hardly see your domestic worker, are struggling with a language barrier or simply aren’t sure which product to suggest for which stain … this fabulous mother-and-daughter team are here to help!
Now more than ever our homes have become our sanctuaries. Or at least they should be. In reality though, the modern-day juggle makes it extremely hard to achieve the ‘domestic bliss’ we all dream about, even when we have wonderful domestic workers to help out. But that’s where Heather Stratford and Lauren Hancock come in.
Passionate about creating beautiful spaces, this mother-and-daughter team have started a business called Domestic Brilliance, which aims to upskill and empower domestic workers and help their customers achieve the beautiful homes and spaces they dream of.
“Growing up I remember coming home with my friends from boarding school and always feeling a huge amount of pride at the beautiful home my mom had created. From freshly-starched linen to white fluffy bath sheets and beautiful flower arrangements … I know that home is a sanctuary for my mom and our business brings her so much joy as she helps create that sense of pride for others,” says Lauren.
Her mother, Heather, lives in Umhlanga and runs the operational side of their business. She has a background in midwifery and nursing and is comfortable interacting with people from all walks of life, says Lauren. “Her role as training facilitator is perfect as she loves working with people and who better than a nurse to set the standard of cleanliness within a space?!”
Lauren is an accountant and mother of a toddler. She handles the finance, marketing and customer support side of the business.
The idea to start Domestic Brilliance was born when Lauren found herself asking her mom for advice when she visited. “I was always asking her to show my domestic worker, Thuli Mwelase, how to do things that she did in my childhood home. It’s often difficult to explain exactly what we need over the phone from the office or, in my case, I simply didn’t know myself what to suggest to Thuli for a stubborn stain that needed removing!”
But, Lauren says, Domestic Brilliance is about more than just training your domestic worker. It’s about empowering and upskilling them so they feel confident to thrive in their work environment.
“As a full-time working mom, I realised how vital Thuli is to our family and I wanted to give back to this woman who has given so much to our home.”
In fact both Thuli and her sister Nonhlanhla Mwelase have become important members of the Domestic Brilliance team. “Once we came up with the concept of the business, we were excited to share our ideas with the ladies and hear their thoughts. Thuli was adamant that proper training would be appreciated by many domestic workers, who often lack confidence to ask their employers for guidance. Both ladies share their opinions when we were creating our course content and are now recognised as trainers in our business, often accompanying Heather to assist with demonstrations.”
Asked what the most common challenge women face in terms of cleaning their homes at the moment is, Lauren says, “women in general place too much pressure on themselves. Our homes are a sanctuary, a place to unwind and relax … yet friends coming over for a dinner party or in-law popping around for a quick visit sends us into a flat spin! We want our homes to live up to an expectation that we can’t always deliver alone.”
3 TOP HOUSEKEEPING TIPS TO REMEMBER:
1. Don’t forget to leave an anti-bacterial surface spray on for at least 30 seconds before wiping away!
2. Descaling your kettle with bicarb shows attention to detail when you have friends over for tea.
3. Good old Brasso Metal Polish works wonders to remove sticky price tags on your new dinnerware!