Name: Joy Krause.
'Foolish' Idea: Cleaning houses.
Start-up Capital: A few dollars.
How idea was Launched: Joy ran a newspaper ad, 'Cleaning lady for hire, windows included'. Joy Krause called her cleaning services, The Maids of Rhode Island and the business grew from one employee to 30. Twenty years later Joy sold her thriving business.
Sales: Joy cleaned people's houses, treating her clients as special friends.
Earnings: Sold the business for an undisclosed sum in the high six figures.
Spin-off: After selling the business, Joy Krause wrote a book, Spring Cleaning for the Soul. She recounts life lessons she learned while cleaning houses and to prove that dreams do come true.
Joy Krause's husband walked out on her when she was 27, leaving her with two small children, no money, no education and a pile of bills. So, she decided to earn money doing the only job she knew - housework. Joy placed an advert in a local newspaper and every morning, loaded mops and cleaning gear, alongside the baby's playpen into the back of her rusty old pick up truck.
With both children with her, she'd head out and spend the day cleaning. It was hard at first, because she didn't see the point in spending her days scrubbing. The turning point came when she started cleaning for a lonely senior citizen who loved to dance. Joy danced with her, at the end of each cleaning session. It made Joy realize that cleaning was an opportunity to touch people's lives.
After that, Joy added the personalized touch to her business, treating her clients like special friends. Business boomed. Maids of Rhode Island grew from one employee to 30. Joy's lifestyle improved vastly, as she was able to take holidays and buy herself a BMW convertible.
Several years ago a health scare prompted Joy Krause to sell Maids of Rhode Island. With the six figure sum, Joy fulfilled her dream of a beachfront home in Hollywood. She also achieved her goal of writing a book and lives the good life she always dreamed of.