Blog : Green Collar Careers: Green Maids Owner, Johnmark O’Brien

By Anna | Dec 18, 2014 | in

By Anna Murphy

Johnmark O’Brien, owner of Green Maids, has been cleaning up grime since 2009. O’Brien started his green cleaning company with the mission to keep harmful chemicals out of the community and local environment's waste-stream. It was a mission O'Brien embarked upon while a college student. Based in York Harbor, Maine, Green Maids now services the New Hampshire seacoast as well as southern Maine.

To ensure his company promotes and uses only the best products, O'Brien conducted years of research on the dangers of household cleaning products and the chemicals they release into the air, water and soil. He has also developed a highly effective Green Clean process that removes dirt and household pollutants and is safe for humans and animals. All cleaning products used by Green Maids must either be Green Seal Certified or guaranteed to be all natural, biodegradable, earth friendly, non-toxic and safe for home and office use. Green Maids uses only products that have not been tested on animals and come from environmentally responsible manufacturers and retailers. The Green Maids cleaning team makes their rounds in a Toyota Prius hybrid.

In addition to their eco-friendly cleaning practices, Green Maids actively gives back to its community, conducting three to four beach clean-ups each year. With sustainability at the forefront of each decision he makes, O'Brien says that every action taken, no matter how small, builds toward a greener future.

Anna Murphy (AM): What do you like most about your job?
Johnmark O’Brien (JO): I look forward to coming in every day to a company that fulfills my vision of improving the environment, and allows my vision to evolve and be revised. I started Green Maids so that I could give back to my community. Our services are 100 percent green. The longer we’re around and the more houses we clean, the more chemicals we can prevent from being introduced to the waste-stream. Owning my own company allows me to take what I have, put it to use and continually find ways to improve.

AM: Where did you go to college? Does your college education help with your current job? What skills from college most prepared you for the work you do now?
JO: I went to Northeastern University and UNH. I studied graphic design and also took a few business classes. I always knew I wanted to run my own business, but I didn’t think it would be in cleaning back then. After college, I worked at an organic turf company which gave me the passion and the knowledge for working with eco-friendly products. When it was time to go start my own business, I knew I wanted to stay in the green sector. After a lot of research, I started Green Maids and grew it into the company it is today. College didn’t directly impact my career but I believe everything we do in life sets us on the path. Everything is a learning experience, those design classes and business classes I took help with advertising and running a business each day. Knowing how to conduct research is another great skill I learned in school. I still do a lot of research to ensure Green Maids is using the best products out there.

AM: What do you look for in an employee in this field?
JO: I look for an employee with an interest in sustainability and recycling who wants to give back to the community. I want the best – somebody with the drive to be the best. Somebody who pays close attention to detail is hard working and reliable. My employees have to want to learn and grow as we grow.

AM: What made you integrate sustainability into your business/go into a green industry?
JO: Green Maids has been a sustainable business from the start. It always had to be and always will be. I started Green Maids after I worked as a manager for an organic turf company whose mission was sustainability. From day one, I wanted to be the best, greenest, most sustainable company around. We have never used anything but all natural, certified and safe cleaning products. And we will only use all natural products. Our uniforms are made from organic and recycled materials. Our company car is a Prius, for a greener commute to all jobs, and our business cards are made from recycled materials or seed paper. We are always trying to come up with new ways to be the most sustainable company out there.

AM: What are you most proud of in your business as relates to sustainability?
JO: I am proud that we’ve been able to take a stance for what we believe in. I have employees and clients that have really taken our mission and grasped onto it. All of our employees are great; they bring in ideas about new or better ways to do something. I’m always looking for new and better products to try and use. I love hearing that people believe in our mission and want to continue it. People, employees and clients alike, ask what cleaning products we use and we tell them where to get them or sometimes even how to make them! I did a lot of research on them and it’s great to see how people respond to green cleaning and want to do that themselves.

Green Maids is a green-certified business in the Green Alliance. To learn more about the Green Alliance click here, go on FB at fb.com/TheGreenAlliance, or on Twitter at Green_Alliance

Learn more about Green Maids: PO Box 349, York Harbor, ME, or call 207.361.4445, or click here.

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