Today we’d like to introduce you to Marek and Sylvia Slomczynski.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Marek and Sylvia. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My future wife Sylvia and I arrived in Chicago from the opposite sides of Poland in 1981, right before that memorable time when the Martial Law was declared, the event that eventually led to other major political changes like the fall of the Berlin Wall. Ronald Reagan was a president back then and he announced that all Polish arrivals to the USA would be able to extend their stay and work legally and that’s how we ended up settling in Chicago.
Obviously, it was a major culture shock for us. I remember that on my second day in the US on a bus somebody started talking to me, and when he found out where I was from, he was trying to tell me something that I did not quite understand. After a while, I figured out what he was trying to say was that the Pope got shot in Rome. My English at that time was very limited and it still makes me laugh when I think how hard it was to put even a simple sentence together in English.
We had to learn everything here including the language and getting used to a quite different way of life, but we were lucky to have met many wonderful and helpful people and it made the transition easier. As many other new arrivals did, we started working typical immigrant jobs: I worked the night shift at a floor tile factory, and Sylvia, before I met her, was cleaning houses.
Eventually, we met, got married, and built our family together. We have two sons and now we call Chicago our home. We also decided to join forces and grow the business together.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been a smooth road, and it was actually quite challenging.
Everything was so different and we were just 19. At that age you have to make all kind of choices, and sometimes you make the right choices and sometimes you don’t, and you have to do all of that at the same time that you are raising your kids. It was never boring and we never run out of surprises.
A lot has changed since those early days, and many things have gotten easier. For example, back in the 80’s, there were no cell phones, no GPS, and no Internet. It was a challenge to even find an address for a new customer. We used those old paper folded maps for that. But if anything changed during the day, tough luck, there was no way to communicate other then to stop at a gas station and use a pay phone.
Then came the pagers. Our kids don’t even know what that was, although our oldest son claims that he does remember them, and that was already a huge improvement. And now we have instant communication and we wonder how did we manage back then? Just recently I got rid of our last paper map that we used to find directions.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about maid1.com – what should we know?
At maid1.com we provide a team maid service to homeowners located in Chicago’s Northside neighborhoods and North Shore suburbs. We still serve the same area where we started some 30 plus years ago. We are especially proud that we still have many customers that are with us since our early days. So, the little kids that were running around the house in the 80’s have now have their own kids and their own homes and now have become our customers as well.
I’d like to think that what sets us apart from other cleaning services is our drive to quality and the attention to detail. While we are human and mistakes do happen, we strive to constantly improve and learn so that we can provide consistent results. We are not happy until our customer is happy.
We have decades of experience in the business, and that helps us deliver the most efficient results. We specialize in making even the fussy customers happy. We also have learned that using gentle chemicals if done right can provide as good if not better results than using harsh chemicals. No need to poison the people and the environment with the scary stuff.
We enjoy what we are doing and we have become like family with many of our customers. When one of our long-term customers retired and moved to Arizona, she offered to help us set up a cleaning service out there so that they could keep using our services.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I already mentioned the many friendly and helpful people along the way. Chicago is a melting pot of many cultures that are working hard to achieve the American Dream. People we didn’t even know lent us a helping hand when we needed it. We owe so much to them.
I also have to mention those customers that demanded from us top quality work and would not accept anything less. While it was tough at that time, and it seemed to be over the top, it actually helped us in the long run. They helped make us who we are today.
- Website: maid1.com
- Phone: 847 238 2485
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maid1com/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/maid-1-chicago