Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

A Moment with our EDTP Graduate- Shonda Carter at Refreshing Cleaning Solutions LLC

Posted on 11/17/2022 by Ray Lamboy in LAEDA News

Shonda Carter is the owner and operator of Refreshing Cleaning Solutions, LLC, which is a cleaning company dedicated to providing top quality solutions and services. Refreshing Cleaning Solutions, LLC is dedicated to cleaning up in a way that creates a healthier environment. Shonda Carter is a graduate of LAEDA’s Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP). We had a chance to sit down with her to ask about her experience with entrepreneurship and LAEDA’s training program.

(1) LAEDA: Entrepreneurship is a very challenging path to take with many different possible directions. What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?

SC: Becoming an entrepreneur was a vision I had 10 years before I actually realized I could do it. I was in administration and it came to a point I could no longer see myself continuing on the path I was on. It felt like it came to an end, but I did not know exactly what to do next. In the vision I had years prior, I saw myself serving the elderly population through light cleaning, light cooking, and running errands for them. After resigning from my job the question inside of me was, "What are you going to do now?" There is a song I like, and the hook is, “You don't need a whole lot, just use what you've got," (talking about faith) with that, I called my family members and told them I would clean and charge $60 for any task. From there on my business grew. I saw how this could sustain my family and actually become a family business thus I continued onto my path of entrepreneurship.

(2) LAEDA: Why did you choose your industry?

SC: Cleaning was something I learned to do in order to help out and I saw how much of a difference it made in the home. A clean house brightens attitudes and it puts a smile on your face. In addition, it frees your mind to think on other things besides the redundancy of, “I've got to clean my home,” and never get to do it. There are endless positive effects of cleaning such as: killing germs, which will keep you healthy, having fresh air to breathe, and it helps increase happiness to name a few. Cleaning and organizing comes naturally for me, and I actually enjoy it!

(3) LAEDA: Tell me about your experience while attending EDTP. What have the major takeaways been from the program? Have you had any “Ah-ha!” moments? How did the program help you?

SC: The BEST step I made as a striving business owner was to sign up with LAEDA. Class #88 met online. Day one online was electrifying. Meeting the staff, meeting the other courageous entrepreneurs, and understanding what LAEDA had in store for us. For me, the classes created a safe place to talk about my business. Being able to talk about your business is important. It starts in your mind as a vision or an idea, but then you must speak it out loud. The class would ask questions that provoked me to think deeper about what I would need in order to make it and take the next step. They made suggestions, provided tools, and provided information that built on my vision.

Major takeaways for me are:

• Networking
• Continual support after graduation
• Vast resource of information & referrals

A network is defined as a group or system of interconnected people or things. Networking is a force within LAEDA. From the staff that you work closely with to your cohorts that you learn about and grow with as we pursue the path of entrepreneurship, to the network of panelists that share their knowledge. Even down to former alumni, who we are encouraged to contact if we need to enhance our business. The LAEDA graduate networking immediately displayed unity with a diverse team which is something I want to exemplify in my business.

Continual support after graduation is priceless. LAEDA literally helped my dream become a reality and walked me through the process. We were all able to make connections that you cannot put a price tag on and the information we were given on how to properly run and maintain our businesses helped us all learn about the current trends in our industries and how to build clients and the importance of a mentorship, which the staff at LAEDA were and still are.

The vast resources are appreciated because they help on a daily basis. In addition, we all were able to share our ideas and knowledge and then add onto that with the resources and knowledge that the LAEDA program and its staff gave us and this helps to create opportunities for each of the entrepreneurs in that room learning more on how to be successful in his or her business venture. Moreover, we were all able to make connections that you cannot put a price tag on and the information we were given on how to properly run and maintain our businesses helped us all learn about the current trends in our industries and how to build clients and the importance of a mentorship, which the staff at LAEDA were and still are.

LAEDA helped me apply for and get a grant during COVID, LAEDA helped me get my business registered (walked me through the process), LAEDA helped me to complete my business plan and prepare me for the time I may have to ask for a loan from the bank. LAEDA built up my confidence to say, 'I have a business,' and not shrink when I talk about it or downplay it. I can hold my head up and say, I am a business owner. When I think of a business owner I think of someone in a position to give back to their community and contribute to society. When I first started working I was a productive citizen that made a difference in my home, as a business owner, I am an entity that has the ability to enhance my community and touch lives in the service provided.

(4) Tell me about your journey on the road to business start-up. What have been some of the challenges, successes, failures, etc.?

Journey: The journey has been worth it; it helps you to believe in yourself even more and a valuable lesson is to never doubt yourself. KNOW you can do it and be patient with yourself and the process, don’t compare yourself with others, your business is unique and useful. Get in where you fit in.

Challenge: Keeping up with the paperwork, scheduling and managing my inventory. However, even when the vehicle was down for a little while I did not give up and used my lessons and challenges as a way to keep moving forward.

Success: Meeting the crowds that I desire which is the elderly population and yet I have contracts with others as well which in turn balances out my finances. Meeting your target market and being able to help outside of the target market as well.

Failure: Keeping up with a busy schedule and wearing the many hats of an entrepreneur, but I let this teach me how to manage all the hats that I wear and turn them into a successful entrepreneurial journey one small step at a time and constantly learning and growing on a daily-basis.

(5) LAEDA: Could you tell me a little about where your business is today?

My business is successful and I have a full schedule and money is coming in that can maintain my business without any problems. My business right now is successful in a manner that it is operating successfully and I have all the areas covered. However, I am still working on having all the areas of business stay and be professional and functioning properly to continue to keep my business toward success, which is what an entrepreneur does on a daily-basis by constantly working on growth, keeping up with industry trends and research and studying your clients. Furthermore, I have loyal clients and my finances are always coming through.

(6) LAEDA: Do you have any advice for future (or existing) entrepreneurs?

Go with your passion, surround yourself with like-minded people with different skills from you. Sign up for LAEDA because of the connections and resources that LAEDA provides.
LAEDA is the best experience because it puts me on the platform with people where I can really talk about my business and work on it. LAEDA also made me realize I can do this and this is possible, especially by putting you in the arena with other people.
Another important lesson I learned through LAEDA is that as an entrepreneur and having clients it is important to work together as a team and LAEDA showed this to me by how they always worked together as a team.

Some more information about Refreshing Cleaning Solutions, LLC:
This company provides deep cleaning and organization. Even though, Shonda’s passion is working with the elderly population she still provides services for anyone that needs that cleaning atmosphere in their home and or cleaning services.
Here are some comments from her clients about her business and work:
-She is dedicated to her work
-Really work-orientated
-Has great attention to focus and is not distracted
-Shonda has a warm and friendly personality
-She takes care of household equipment in not just a professional manner, but kind as well
-Really mindful of other people’s property
-Has a professional business mind in which she completes her goals and matches her clients standards

About Shonda Carter:
Shonda Carter was born at Cooper Hospital in Camden, NJ. Before turning 2 years old she moved to Sacramento, CA where she received her academic education starting from preschool to high school. After graduating high school, she returned to NJ and resided in Lawnside where she started to attend Camden County College. Shonda lived in various cities before she finally settled in her current residence of Glassboro, NJ

Between the years 1996 to 2007 Shonda had three children. When her youngest was of age, she returned to school at CCC and graduated with her Associates Degree in Public Relations. Her goal is to continue her education in pursuit of a Masters in Public Administration.

In 2008 while living in Camden Shonda made a commitment to her faith and developed a closer walk with God. She attributes this foundation to her success.

After working with inspirational leaders and organizations such as OIC of America, Inc., Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey & Philadelphia, and Golden Gate, Inc. she was inspired and launched out to fulfill a vision she had during one of the bleakest times of her life. When she heard of LAEDA's EDTP it seemed to have come at a perfect time.

Now with the support of her husband and children Refreshing Cleaning Solutions, LLC is committed to becoming a family-owned business with the intention is to provide professional services. Whether it be for cleaning solutions, providing employment, or progress for the people, Shonda wants RCS to make a difference within her community.

She graduated with LAEDA in 2020 and is the owner and operator of Refreshing Cleaning Solutions, LLC. She has been cleaning for about seven years and she is dependable, every personable, gets the work done, works well with her clients and is spreading the difference of providing a clean atmosphere.

Shonda Carter can be reached at:
Business Phone number: 856-347-0175

Email: Refreshingcleaningsouthjersey@gmail.com

The Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) is a free, nine-week business skills training course offered in Camden, NJ in the Spring and Fall each year. Qualified entrepreneurs receive 72+ hours of training from industry professionals, business planning, and continued technical assistance. Apply online at www.LAEDA.com.