The determination and creativity of a “serial entrepreneur” is key to the ongoing support and success of a growing business in Hutchinson. Tidy Tightwads, owned by Cindy Haugland, is a recent recipient of a microloan from the Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF).
Cindy stands out in the business world, says Greg Jodzio, SWIF Program Specialist. “She is very outgoing,” Greg says. “She is one of those people who will cross the street to say hello to someone.”
Cindy opened Tidy Tightwads about 10 years ago.
“It started with me and my mop and bucket,” she says. Cindy left a career as a dental assistant and pursued her passion of organization. What began as a favor to help a friend do some home organization snowballed into helping her friend’s mom, and then another friend of that family, with similar projects.
“If anyone would have ever told me I’d be doing this I’d have said, ‘no,’” Cindy says. She now manages a team of 14 and has added services over the years to meet client requests. “I go with the flow and see what happens,” she says.
Tidy Tightwads now serves 55 homes each week, spanning an area from Litchfield, Dassel and Cokato to Glencoe, Winsted and Hutchinson. The business services have included carpet cleaning, home cleaning and small business cleaning.
As the business opportunity for expanding into car detailing presented itself, Cindy saw she would need extra equipment for the service.
“I went to SWIF and said, ‘Can you help me out?’” she recounts. Tidy Tightwads successfully used the SWIF microloan program previously when it expanded into carpet cleaning, Cindy said.
“The support and the knowledge is worth more to me than the dollars,” she said, referring to SWIF’s technical assistance and business coaching, which is provided for the life of the loan. “We’re fortunate to have something like this in our region.”