Jose’ Carreira has always been intrigued by chemicals and chemical reactions. At the age of 13 he had his first bomb explosion that left a 10 cm scar on his leg. Since then he developed a healthy respect for chemicals.
In November 2010 Jose’ and his wife Jackie Carreira were driving around chatting about how nice it would be if there was a one stop shop that provided eco friendly cleaning products that were biodegradable, worked well, and were very affordable. Very clearly no such place existed in Plettenberg Bay. After a lunch at “The Lookout deck” Jose’ said that he would be in his element if he had a small place to potter around with chemicals and make all sorts of products that could actually sell and be of benefit to the public and safe for the environment. Jackie said that this sounded like a great idea and that he could actually put his chemical engineering degree to good use.
That very afternoon, true to their fearless style, they found premises to rent next to the “Agri”, called the landlord and signed a lease for 1 year. This was great but they had no products, no equipment and in fact nothing except empty shelves in this building. Drawing on their previous manufacturing experience of the “Pool Magic” range of pool chemicals they went to work.
Jackie thought of a name for the business, she called it “CLEAN”, arranged to get a telephone line and set up her office which consisted of 1 small desk a chair and really nothing else. She ordered in a few raw materials, empty bottles and bought a printer so that Jose’ could make labels. In no time they had 1 employee to help mix and blend a few simple products.
Trading during the Christmas season of 2010 was totally dismal and they were lucky to have one or two customers per week. By January 2011 there were 10 different products on the shelves. Now they had 1 to 2 customers per day and the turnover for January 2011 was a whopping R234.00. This would have scared anybody else except them. They carried on. Some customers really didn’t hold much hope for the survival of this business.
By March 2011 they started selling toilet paper. It was sold at cost to create a draw card for customers. This worked and sales started picking up. Jackie’s “office” now got 2 walls made up of piles of toilet paper so that she could work undisturbed. Her “toilet paper office” was considered a joke between her and Jose’.
The business slowly grew in a very tough climate where other businesses were closing down daily. The whole economy was in doom and gloom but the customers that did come into the “CLEAN” shop loved it. They liked the idea of biodegradable, eco friendly products at unbelievably cheap prices. They also liked the fact that they could ask Jose’ to come up with solutions to almost all of their cleaning or staining problems. The word of mouth from these customers set the foundations of the “CLEAN” shop in stone. The support became overwhelming and within that year the Clean shop was bursting at the seams. The shelves were overloaded with many different products, most of which were new inventions by Jose’ and didn’t exist anywhere else.
In March 2012 the Clean shop moved to bigger premises on the corner of Piesangvalley and Greenpoint Road. The word of mouth grew stronger and the business started thriving. New and unique products were getting made weekly. The fantastic customers were willing to try out the new products and with their fantastic help patience and willingness the Clean shop became known as the place to go to if you needed anything related to cleaning, pet care, personal care, pool care, specialized products and literally anything anyone could think of including a fantastic range of orange oil products (which were inspired by an idea from Jackie).
In October 2012 a particular customer became intrigued with some of the products and could not believe how well and quickly they worked. In particular, the Pool Re-Nu cleared stains in one of his pools within half an hour, and the One Shot transformed his travertine tiles back to new within 15 minutes. He went to see Jose’ and asked him what he was doing to get these products known around the country. Jose’ said that the right thing would happen at the right time. He couldn’t believe how laid back and happy in his own little cocoon Jose’ was so he gave him a light slap on the head and said that these were fantastic products and should be available throughout the country. This customers name is Umberto Lazzari.
In no time Umberto, Jose’ and Jackie became friends. Umberto injected money into the business, became a partner and a complete bigger and better factory was set up in Klerksdorp to service that part of the world.
Umberto takes care of strategies and direction, Jose’ takes care of invention and development and Jackie takes care of admin and finances. The Clean shop concept is doing well and the vision is to one day have an individually owned Clean shop in every town and city in the country.
At present more than 85 new and wonderful products have been developed and this number is growing as this note is getting written…