RAYNER Davies went from being a single teenage mum on benefits to a hugely successful businesswoman after setting up her cleaning company.
The firm, which she set up on a shoestring 11 years ago, now turns over a whopping £4MILLION A YEAR.
She was 16 when she fell pregnant with son Cameron, 19, while studying for her GCSEs.
And after daughter Demi, 17, came along two years later, she struggled to make ends meet.
Rayner, 36, who lives in Bridgend, South Wales, with finance director husband Ashley, 40, set up A&R Cleaning Services because she wanted to give her children a better life.
She says: “I was 16 and skint when I fell pregnant with Cameron. After he was born, I moved out of my parents’ home and into a rented house.
“But living on £110-a-week benefits, I had to borrow money from my parents to pay for my gas and electric bills.
“When Demi was six months old, I got a job as a carer for the elderly, working 16-hour shifts while my parents helped with childcare.
“Once the bills were paid, there was nothing left in the pot. My relationship with the children’s dad ended when Demi was almost three and I was determined to give the kids a good life.
“On rare days out, I was fed up of having to rely on my older sister Stephanie to pay for our lunches.
“I started ironing for a living, charging £12 for a black bin liner full of clothes. I’d get up at 4am to fit it in before sorting out the kids for school, which was exhausting.
“Some of my customers asked me to clean their houses and I realised there was huge demand. So in 2011 I stopped ironing and concentrated on cleaning.
“Within a few months I was earning £200 a week and could afford to give up my caring job. I knocked on doors to find new clients and put an advert in my local paper.
“I took on new clients — the elderly as well as working mums who didn’t want to waste their weekends doing housework.
On rare days out, I was fed up of having to rely on my older sister Stephanie to pay for our lunches.
“In the first year I made just £6,000 profit. But it grew year on year and with extra staff on board, we began cleaning offices, schools and doctors’ surgeries.
“It was astounding how the business grew and by the end of 2018, our turnover was at £1.2million. Now we focus on commercial cleaning, which includes solicitors’ offices, banks and car showrooms.
“Some people think all cleaners do is go round with a cloth and mop but there is science and skill involved.
“We have 300 staff and our cleaners go through training at least every six months. I won’t hear anyone call themselves ‘just a cleaner’.
It was astounding how the business grew and by the end of 2018, our turnover was at £1.2million.
“Some of our staff who started out as cleaners are now managers.
“I see my business as my baby and it doesn’t matter if you are a cleaner or a banker — if you have the motivation to succeed in any job, you will.
“Growing the business means I haven’t always been there for the kids but I want to show them they can achieve anything if they work hard.”
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