Location: Sterling, VA
Industry: Professional services
Belen Ishizaki Arauz
Founder and CEO
“When I founded my company, my main purpose was to help my family and community,” says Belen Ishizaki Arauz, founder and CEO of Lets Clean LLC. “Being an immigrant to this country and growing up in the Hispanic community, I knew a lot of people working in the cleaning industry who had a low standard of living and worked in poor working environments. I knew there was a huge need for cleaning services in my area, so I vowed to create a company that would provide an above-average standard of living for cleaners.”
Quick Tip: “As a leader, I am always upbeat, highly energetic, and constantly looking for the silver lining. My girls feed off this and sometimes tell me things just to see my response.”
Arauz started her business at the age of 23, and her staff grew quickly from 10 to 45. “I was not prepared for the challenges of managing such a large staff, not to mention all women,” she says. After taking a more hands-off approach to managing her team at first, she realized that “they needed somebody to listen to them and coach them and figure out how they could solve their issues.” Arauz implemented one-on-one meetings to learn each employee’s goals and dreams, and help them cope with stress and family issues. “I have seen a massive improvement in their attitudes, which of course reflects in their work ethic,” she says.
Lets Clean works with Cleaning for a Reason, a nonprofit that connects cleaning companies with women undergoing cancer treatment. “When a cancer patient needs to have their home cleaned, we donate four cleanings per patient,” says Arauz.