TWO sisters who fled a crime ravaged life in South Africa for a new start in Lancaster have become franchisees of an eco-cleaning and homecare business.
Michelle Wilkinson, 46, and Belinda Hattingh, 39, are recruiting six staff for domestic cleaning firm Bright and Beautiful.
The company will help working women in the Lancaster district and South Lakes with tasks like cleaning, tidying, laundry and ironing.
The sisters, who were born in Zimbabwe, both worked in engineering in Johannesburg, but feared for their safety after a number of robberies.
So they both emigrated to the UK a year ago, and moved to Lancaster because Michelle’s three children lived in the area.
They are now sharing a house in Aldrens Lane, Skerton, but have struggled to find jobs in engineering.
Michelle heard a franchisee of Bright and Beautiful on the radio, and a seed was planted.
“I told Belinda about it and we mulled it over before we decided this was what we wanted to do,” she said.
“We initially plan to recruit two teams of three people, but as the business grows we will recuit more teams.
“Our products are eco-friendly, and they are researched to make sure they contain no toxic materials whatsoever.”
Belinda, who has three children at Our Lady’s Catholic College, added: “Having six children between us, we feel like we’ve been training to do this all our lives.
“We’ve both always loved being homemakers, and know how much better we feel when our homes are clean, tidy and smelling beautiful.
“Starting our own business means we can offer that same support and help to other busy women in Lancaster and we’re delighted to be able to employ other local women to help us achieve that.”
The Lancaster business will initially support the broader franchise in working with the charity Change4Change, to support the Mother Teresa Academy in India.
But they hope to choose a worthy local charity to support in the near future.
The Mother Teresa Academy teaches girls to sew and then provides them with machines to enable them to support their families.
They repay the cost of the machines using the proceeds of goods they have sold.
Call Belinda and Michelle on 0845 2008026 or 07769 873703.
For more on Bright and Beautiful, visit www.brightandbeautifulhome.com.