There's a new business in town.
Mrs. Domestic Services is a northeastern Pennsylvania commercial and residential cleaning service operated by Colleen Dykas of Albrightsville.
Dykas said Mrs. Domestic Services was born of necessity.
"I suddenly became a single parent and needed to have a flexible schedule to take care of my children," she said.
Having been in the cleaning business from the age of 15 until the age of 32, when her first child needed a full-time mom, it was fairly obvious to Dykas that she would be better off starting a business than searching for a job. Also, by starting a business, she would be able to hire employees.
About 15 years ago, Dykas first hired employees to help with her former business, Colleen's Cleaning.
"When you have your own business, people always ask for a job," she said. "I look to church or to people in situations where they are trying to better themselves through college or are trying to re-enter the workforce. My clients are getting an educable employee, and I'm getting someone who is going to stay because they know that I am going to work with their schedule and that their family comes first. That's in my mission statement."
When she speaks about helping people like herself, Dykas not only talks the talk, she walks the walk. She has not only reentered the workforce and started her own company, she is also cyber-schooling her daughter, and -- in her limited spare time -- attending college.
Dykas is enrolled in a pre-nursing curriculum at Lehigh Carbon Community College. When she completes her degree, she plans to serve in mission work in Appalachia.
"I could now, but I don't have the education and skill to offer others," she said. "I want to serve people. If the business grows. I'll continue even if I complete my degree."
Mrs. Domestic Services currently employs three people and has customers from Allentown and Bethlehem to Tannersville. On many jobs, her daughter travels with her, with her portable computer, doing her schoolwork as her mother works.
Dykas has been contacting businesses and Realtors in the Jim Thorpe area, hoping to reduce the amount of travel between jobs for her business.
She is perfectly comfortable with heavy-duty commercial cleanups, such as from floods or fires. She sees the foreclosure market as a potential opportunity to get assignments for cleaning up or rehabilitating buildings that have been abandoned, trashed or damaged. She is comfortable working with anything from ozonators, antimicrobials and Dumpsters to subcontracting tradesmen to making a property habitable.
For people with allergies, or who desire a home that is environmentally and pet friendly, she also offers "green cleaning," which involves no harsh chemicals.
"I wouldn't recommend eating it, though," she noted.
"It's relaxing to me," Dykas said. "Cleaning is therapeutic."
Dykas grew up with a single mother.
"She keeps a great house," Dykas said.
From the age of nine, Dykas and her brother would clean the house so their mother wouldn't have to when she came home from work.
Dykas loves helping people. At her church, she runs a hospitality ministry.
"If you have a baby or are sick, I set up people to bring out meals," she said.
For additional information, call (570) 722-2911, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.