Female immigrant and entrepreneur changing the Kingston cleaning scene

*Paid Business Feature*

The Handy Fairies management team, L-R: Mohamad Mayhoub, Phuong MacNeil and Rory Warnock. Image via Handy Fairies.

For more than four years, Handy Fairies has been taking the chore out of cleaning for individuals and families in the Kingston area.

In October 2017, Phuong MacNeil began cleaning the houses of her neighbours after being laid off from her role as a software engineer.

Having immigrated to Canada from Vietnam to continue to work in tech in 2003, MacNeil was glad for the chance to change gears in her life. “In fact, I am grateful for the opportunity,” she said. “Finally, I have a chance to do what I always dreamed of after 17 years of working in software/telecom industries.”

Simply providing cleaning services isn’t enough for MacNeil. When she began this business as a team of one, she focused on her strengths: providing trustworthy, thorough cleaning services that she felt everyone deserved.

“I find that, as long as we work hard with our heart in it, people will feel appreciated,” she explained, noting that cleaning is an art. “We mop the floor with a science behind it. And we wipe the counter with passion, as we want to see it truly clean.”

Early in the pandemic, MacNeil said they did experience a slowdown. But, through education and a drive to continue to support their customers, Handy Fairies learned about COVID-19, and how best to clean and disinfect to keep the virus out of homes and businesses. They now use electrolyzed water, a common – and sustainable – disinfectant used in Asia and Europe to rid surfaces of germs, MacNeil explained.

Handy Fairies offers a COVID-specific package to disinfect homes or offices after a positive case or quarantine period. “We disinfect the building following three steps: mist/fog the building or office using our Environize solution; leave the building to let the chemical work for 10 minutes; and then clean as normal,” MacNeil explained. “Once the cleaning is done, we will fog one layer of disinfecting solution again for extra protection.”

Now with a team of over 10 people strong, Handy Fairies is focusing on sustainability. The team cleans with natural products and the business is approaching zero waste. MacNeil said that she hopes to change the image of cleaners from that of a “senseless or dead-end job” to an educated workforce.

Testimonial: Lorna Willis and Lynn Wyminga

MacNeil said Handy Fairies has plans to expand into more commercial cleaning and window cleaning. She is motivating individuals to join the team with a “living wage and lots of potential to grow,” she said.

Whatever the situation, when Handy Fairies arrive, their aim is to make homes sparkle. From tidy homes to hoarder situations, MacNeil said they work with each household to provide a better environment for residents to return to.

Now with offices in Kingston, Napanee, Brockville, and Belleville, MacNeil is constantly hiring. Job postings are available on Handy Fairies Facebook Page and LinkedIn profile, and qualified applicants can email their resume to [email protected] and ask for an interview.

To learn more and get a quote on the Kingston cleaning services that Handy Fairies offers, visit their website.

This article is sponsored by Handy Fairies. Interested in a Business Feature on Kingstonist? Contact [email protected]

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