From education to employment

Clair’s cleaning fairies add a sparkle to her career

person standing next to van

Juggling work, study, and family life is no mean feat and a challenging task for the best of people, but @BordersCollege student Clair Windsor is doing just that.

The HND Business student is currently studying full-time while also running her successful cleaning business and leading a busy family life.

31-year-old Clair, from Tweedbank, set up Border Cleaning Fairies with her partner Pete Young in the summer of 2020, and the business has gone from strength to strength since its conception, now employing eight people in various full-time and part-time roles.

The company delivers its service to a range of customers, including local businesses, the Social Work Department and domestic cleaning, and is continually adapting to the ever-changing market to meet the needs of clients. 

Studying at College has proved a real asset to the business, with Clair commenting:

“It’s great to put my theory work into practice, and the skills I have learned, such as marketing, business law and entrepreneurial skills, have helped develop the growth of the business.

“What I learn at college also benefits other members of staff, and I often pass on my knowledge to the team and my partner Pete, who is keen to develop his own business skills.

“Studying in a business environment has also opened a network of new connections, and it’s great to meet and speak with other business owners in the region to get an insight into how they run their operations.”

Clair started out in the Hospitality industry after leaving school before becoming a self-employed cleaner around nine years ago when, as a single mum, she was looking to boost her income. This turned out to be the start of journey which led to her setting up Border Cleaning Fairies.

Asked how she manages to juggle full-time study and running her business, along with looking after her family, she added:

“It can be a challenge at times but I’m able to manage thanks to the support I have. My Lecturers, Emma Walsh and Susan Cooper, are great supporters and keep me motivated throughout my studies.

“I believe that family time is important, so I make sure that the evenings and weekends are focused here and not around my work, although running a business can often bring up surprises at any given time.”

Asked about what advice she would give to budding entrepreneurs, Clair said:

“Stick in at college, especially when you are young, as this will give you a great foundation to go on and do the things you are passionate about. If you are looking to start a new venture but aren’t confident, there’s plenty of support and guidance available out there. If you’re thinking about it, just go for it!”

Clair is also passionate about upskilling her staff, with cleaners undertaking biohazards training and admin staff training in areas such as digital marketing. She plans to expand her business in the near future and is keen to hear from anyone looking to take up a role in the cleaning industry.

Border Cleaning Fairies can be contacted by email at [email protected] or by telephone on 07999333542.

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