Meet the Herb’n Maid® Team

Past and present members of our team are college students and college grads, parents and pet owners, all with a shared passion to protect our planet. We’re proud to share some of their inspiring stories.

ANGELA M., Herb’n Alumnus, Class of 2012

Back when I was a community college student, I also worked as a retail assistant manager, enduring high stress, long hours, and an unrewarding lifestyle. While searching for more rewarding options, I discovered a position at Herb’n Maid, where I could promote sustainable living without working those stressful, long hours.

The position turned out to be a perfect fit for me. When I decided to transfer to an out-of-state university, the generous pay rate allowed me to save for tuition and moving expenses. When I got to the university, my heavy course load prevented me from maintaining a part-time job. Fortunately, my bosses at Herb’n Maid allowed me to work during my visits home to St. Louis on summer and winter breaks. That extra income enabled me to visit friends and family without worrying about dipping into the next month’s food allowance and also paid for school supplies for the following semester.

After graduation, I moved back to St. Louis, but I knew it was going to be a challenge to find work during a recession. Thankfully, Herb’n Maid pulled through for me yet again! I was able to return to my part-time position there while searching for work in my field. I soon landed an unpaid internship, and Herb’n Maid allowed me to flex my work schedule around my new internship duties.

Finally, nine months after graduation, I was offered an exciting, full-time position in my chosen career path. Without the help of Herb’n Maid, I would not have been able to achieve my dreams. I am grateful for my experience with Herb’n Maid and couldn’t be happier to be where I am in life.

ERICA M., Herb’n Alumnus, Class of 2012

Working with Herb’n Maid has been a very special experience in my life. The job I had before joining Herb’n Maid left me returning home feeling a sort of emptiness inside. I wasn’t happy with what I was doing. My sister was working at Herb’n Maid and loved it, so she suggested I make a change and join the team, too.

What an incredible feeling! I loved working for a company where I could make a difference. When I walked out of a home each day, I felt I had touched the lives of others… just by helping them with tasks they don’t have time to do themselves. Long-time clients even told me they felt like I could read their minds. It may have seemed that way, but I just knew a little bit about them and looked for special little things I could do to make them appreciate their choice in having our company into their home to clean. Putting that extra effort into my work felt good at the end of my day. And to make another person’s day is priceless.

A year and a half after I joined Herb’n Maid, I began going to cosmetology school. Because of the company’s flex scheduling option, I was able to complete 14 months of school, attending classes five days each week with a part-time work schedule at Herb’n Maid. I am very grateful to have had a job that was so flexible with my school schedule. It really made a difference and allowed me to focus on school and achieve my desired new career choice.

I graduated from cosmetology school with honors and awards for good attendance and testing scores. And now I’m working in hair design. I couldn’t thank my Herb’n Maid bosses enough for such an easy ride through school and for supporting my pursuit of my dream.

Emily FieldEMILY F., Herb’n Alumnus, Class of 2014

Back in high school, cleaning my living space was a way to relieve my stress and escape from my teenage angst. Somehow, if my drawers were organized, my sheets were pulled tight and my bathroom mirror was sparkling, life seemed calmer and I could focus on more important matters.

My cleaning habit continued into college, providing a similar escape from my hectic school schedule. Then, in my final semester of graduate school, I found Herb’n Maid. It was the part-time job I never knew I always wanted. It felt great to create that sparkling, serene space for other people and enable them to experience the calm that I loved to create in my own living space.
Thanks to the company’s flexible scheduling options, my job at Herb’n Maid allowed me to continue to pursue my true passion and career in the nutrition field. But the things I learned about management and leadership in a team setting are irreplaceable lessons I will take with me for years. Now that I’ve landed my first “big girl” job in my field, I know I have more confidence in my ability to lead and manage because of the coaching I received as an Herb’n Maid Green Cleaning Technician. The customer service standards that Richelle and Larbi have set for their business have heightened my expectations for how I can – and should – model my future business ventures.

ERIN W., Herb’n Alumnus, Class of 2009

Coming out of graduate school, I found myself without a full-time job. I had been offered a position to teach as a part-time professor and was working at an art gallery on the weekends, but I knew that wasn’t going to make ends meet.

When I began looking for a third part-time job, I discovered Herb’n Maid. The company’s philosophy meshed well with my own, and I appreciated working in an environment where my opinion was valued and respected. Their flexibility made it easy to work around my teaching schedule.

Herb’n Maid allowed me to keep my foot in the door in my career field, and ultimately I landed the full-time job I had been working toward.

MARLEE K., Current Member of the Herb’n Team

After college graduation, I had a hard time finding a job in my field. I figured I would look for part-time work in the meantime, and that’s when I found Herb’n Maid.

I wasn’t necessarily looking for a cleaning job, but Herb’n Maid’s philosophy caught my eye. Being environmentally conscious is important to me, and I love having a job that allows me to be green at work, as well. I also think it’s important to support local businesses and to keep the money and the mindset local. Herb’n Maid complements my preferred lifestyle in many ways!

I love that I can go to work every day and feel good about what I do. This job also puts me on the right path to my future. From my experience, I find that it’s a great part-time job for students, people who are in between school and career, freelancers, or for people who simply seek a part-time job that leaves a small footprint on this planet, but leaves a big impact on the community.

DAISY O.Herb’n Alumnus, Class of 2012

As one of the original team members back in Herb’n Maid’s infancy, it has been wonderful be part of a growing, small business.

Not only as working for the company been a way to provide for my family, it has also become my new way of existing in the world. Richelle and Larbi – the company’s owners – have taught me so many things about how to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. These are lessons I now try to instill in my three children.

I came to Herb’n Maid when I was working toward my degree in Social Work and appreciated the company’s willingness to flex my work schedule around my classes. Today, that same flexibility enables me to see my kids off to school each morning and be there to meet the school bus at the end of the day.

After my college graduation, my family and I moved out of state, and I left the Herb’n Maid nest. But I kept in touch with Richelle and Larbi, whom I will forever consider dear friends. And when my family decided to return to St. Louis three years later, I was welcomed home to Herb’n Maid with open arms while I continued to search for a full-time job in my field.

Maybe it’s the social worker in me, but even if I never cross paths with a certain client, I still feel a connection through pictures on her walls, the way her home is thoughtfully arranged, and the sweet little notes she sometimes leaves to show her appreciation.

Yes, cleaning is hard work. But to me, the job is much more than that. The work I do provides a smile and sense of peace to each and every client.

HANNAH P.Herb’n Alumnus, Class of 2014

My previous job was with a large corporation, and I was extremely unsatisfied with it. I wanted to work with a small, local company that had a “green” emphasis, and naturally Herb’n Maid precisely fit that description.

As a Certified Aromatherapist, I love the fact that Herb’n Maid’s handcrafted cleaning products are made with pure essential oils – so much nicer than commercial products!

I was very pleased with the flexibility of hours, which enabled me to volunteer with a local organization one day a week and to have another part-time job on the weekends. I also felt like I was making a difference in people’s lives… leaving their home cleaner and greener than when I arrived. It feels good!

P. RICHELLE WHITE, Herb’n Maid co-owner/founder

In the summer of 2007, my partner Larbi Belkouch and I sat down at the dinner table to map out our vision for the company we were launching together. We’d made lists of our individual priorities for the company so that we could create jobs for ourselves that we could feel good about at the end of the day.

Having most recently come from a corporate environment, I topped my list with a requirement I’d longed to hear during my career: “Hard work and loyalty must be rewarded.” And at the top of Larbi’s list? “I’d rather make a dime than a dollar if I can know that no one suffered for my dime.”

Seven years later, every time our team is assembled together, my thoughts drift back to that dinnertime conversation and to those requirements that Larbi and I established for ourselves that day. We’ve made good on our promise to ourselves and to our staff. And we were right. It does feel good!

Learn more about Green Job opportunities at Herb’n Maid.

 

Herb’n Maid in the Community

New City School Green Fest

We’re looking forward to spending this evening with New City School parents at New City School Green Fest 2014! The school is committed to promoting environmental sustainability on campus and in the classroom. And tonight, Herb’n Maid has been invited to help New City parents learn ways to green up and home and at work, too! Stop by our table to say hello, 6:30-8pm.

Interested in inviting Herb’n Maid to provide eco-education to your school’s students or parents? Contact co-owner/founder Richelle White at richelle (at) herbnmaid.com.

Holiday Housekeeping for Pet Parents

SharPei Christmas

There’s no place like Home for the Holidays. If you share your home with pets, you’ll appreciate these holiday housekeeping tips from Herb’n Maid co-owner/founder — and fellow pet parent — P. Richelle White. Download it here.

Need more pet-centric cleaning advice or pet-related services and conveniences? Ask the Herb’n Maid Eco-Concierge about our specialized services designed with dogs and cats in mind. Email us at ecoconcierge@herbnmaid.com.

CALLING ALL COLLEGE STUDENTS: Enter to win a FREE dorm cleaning!

Retro Rosie on red phone

 

Recycle. Reuse. Restyle.    Practice these three, simple principles and you can practically live like a senior on a freshman budget. You might even win a complimentary green cleaning from Herb’n Maid!

 

It’s the #HerbnU Green Cleaning Giveaway. Right now, Herb’n Maid is searching for the most eco-fabulous dorm room in St. Louis. If your dormitory dwelling packs a powerful design punch while maintaining a teeny-tiny carbon footprint, show us for a chance to win Herb’n Maid green products and services!

Retro Rosie with hand saw

Forget the mass produced, made-in-China dorm goods from the big box stores.

We’re looking for students who aren’t afraid to design outside the box to furnish their dorms with sustainable style. For example:

  • Vintage hand-me-downs
  • Flea market finds
  • Dumpster diving treasures
  • Upcycled furnishings
  • Salvaged or reclaimed materials
  • Handmade furniture
  • Creative storage solutions

Entering is easy. Through 11:59pm on Friday, January 31, 2014, post pictures of your sustainable dorm room decor on Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest and tag them #HerbnU. You may also email them to GreenJobs@herbnmaid.com or post them on our wall at Facebook.com/herbnmaid. The Herb’n Maid staff will choose the grand prize winner and two runners up. Winning entries will be announced Friday, February 14, 2014, right here and via social media.

The grand prize winner will receive an Herb’n Maid eco-luxury cleaning of your dorm room. That’s a top-to-bottom, so-clean-you-could-eat-off-the-floor, chemical-free, eco-friendly housecleaning of your dorm room (up to six labor hours). Second and third place winners will each receive an #HerbnU Clean Living Survival Kit, including locally-made Herb’n Maid Herbal Cleaning Products, plus microfiber cleaning cloths, sponges, and a handy cleaning caddy. It’s everything you need for a DIY dorm room cleaning. All you add is elbow grease.

Need ideas and inspiration to get your dorm room clean, green, and organized this semester? Follow our founder’s Herb’n Living 101 #HerbnU Pinterest pin board for green tips and DIY projects.

Retro Rosie posing

#HerbnU Green Cleaning Giveaway is open to currently enrolled students who live in residence halls at Fontbonne University, Harris-Stowe State University, St. Louis University, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Washington University, and Webster University. Only photographs tagged #HerbnU will be considered. Entry photos must depict the contestant’s actual dorm room and furnishings. Prizes are non-transferrable. Some black out dates apply. Photos shall become property of Herb’n Living LLC and may be used for this and other Herb’n Maid promotions.

Please direct all #HerbnU inquiries to GreenJobs@herbnmaid.com.

**Pssst! While you’re here, take a moment to meet our team!**

Herb’n Maid Celebrates Earth Day 2013

St Louis Earth Day

Every day may be Earth Day, but only the fourth Sunday in April, is the St. Louis Earth Day Festival in Forest Park. The 2013 festival was bigger and better than ever!

 

Five years ago, Herb’n Maid chose the St. Louis Earth Day Festival to debut our exclusive line of handcrafted, locally-made green cleaning products. The Herb’n Maid team celebrated this important milestone by returning to the festival with special Earth Day pricing and a philanthropic project to benefit FREE THE GIRLS.

 

Herb'n Maid boothJoining us in this Earth Day FREE THE GIRLS effort were our friends from Urban Nectar, Atomic Cowboy, and Philip Johnson Salon & Spa.

Festival-goers dropped off new and gently-used bras for FREE THE GIRLS or donated at least $1 to the cause and receive a free reusable, recyclable Herb’n Maid cup. They could then take that cup to the Atomic Cowboy booth to save $1 every time they filled and refilled that cup throughout the festival.

Urban Nectar display

Ellie Hock from Urban Nectar, an eco-fabulous nail color collection inspired by beekeeping, demonstrated her polish in the Herb’n Maid booth throughout the day.

Herb’n Maid offered Urban Nectar products at a special Earth Day price of 3 bottles for $25. (Individual bottles were available at the regular retail price of $9 each.) For every bottle sold, Herb’n Maid donated 25 cents to FREE THE GIRLS.

 

Rosie GirlsAt the bottom of every hour, raffle prizes were awarded, with all raffle ticket sales benefitting FREE THE GIRLS. Prize packages included donated products and services from Urban Nectar,  Philip Johnson Salon & Spa, and Herb’n Maid.

The festival offered a chance to score one of our limited edition FREE THE GIRLS organic cotton t-shirts, available with a $20 donation, with proceeds benefitting FREE THE GIRLS.

FTG Tees

 

Screen printed by hand with eco-friendly ink, right here in St. Louis, these clever tees are available in ladies sizes XS, S, M, L, and XL, as well as youth size L.

Email us at info@herbnmaid.com to find out how to get yours before they’re gone!

 

 

Free the Girls logoThat same day, Herb’n Maid also collected FREE THE GIRLS bra donations at the Recycling Extravaganza at St. Louis Community College – Forest Park Campus.

 

 

Bra dressYou can still help

It’s not too late to donate! Drop off your bra donations at one of our official FREE THE GIRLS drop-off locations.

 

 

 

 

 

Herb'n Maid co-owners

Gratitude

Herb’n Maid co-owners P. Richelle White and Larbi Belkouch would like to thank our promotional partners, our staff, and all who dropped by to meet our team and support our FREE THE GIRLS project at the festival this year.

Herb’n Maid® and Free the Girls®

 

“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” ~ Booker T. Washington

At Herb’n Maid®, we’re committed to offering Herb’n Giving™ opportunities that do good in the lives of others while providing eco-education for our clients and our community.

Our current Herb’n Giving project is one that is particularly meaningful to the Herb’n Maid team. The woman of Herb’n Maid are college students, college graduates, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and artisans for whom these part-time jobs provide the means to pursue their passions. But for women and girls who are trafficked by the sex trade industry, the dream of choosing a career seems distant and unattainable. We’d like to introduce you to an organization that seeks to change that.

Free the Girls® is a non-profit organization providing job opportunities to women rescued from sex trafficking. Many of the women with whom Free the Girls works were sold into prostitution as children, only 8 to 10 years old. Because their youth was stolen from them, they were deprived of an opportunity to receive an education. The organization’s job training program allows them to earn a living selling second-hand bras while they go back to school.

So, ladies, please open your top drawer and look in the very back… behind the comfy panties and pretty bras that you wear week after week. If you’re like us, you have a stash of new and like-new bras that you never, ever wear. Maybe you didn’t try them on before you bought them. Maybe your weight changed. Maybe they just never were that comfortable. But you’ve hung onto them because — well — what choice did you have? You can’t very well throw away a $50 bra, and it’s not exactly the kind of thing you donate to a local thrift shop for resale. So there they are, taking up precious space in your little top drawer. Now liberate those lovely bras and FREE THE GIRLS! Your donation will enable former sex slaves to reshape their lives and create their own futures.

Limited Edition Free the Girls® T-Shirts

Our Organic Cotton Tee, Screen Printed Locally with Eco-Friendly Ink

Show your solidarity with women and girls who have survived the unthinkable as they work to heal their bodies and reshape their lives. All proceeds from the sale of these limited edition t-shirts will support the work of Free the Girls, a non-profit organization that provides job opportunities for former sex slaves.

How our t-shirts are sustainable:

  • To protect our air and water from toxic pesticides, we chose only 100% certified organic cotton tees, certified under OEKO-TEX Standard 100.
  • To ensure that our shirts were not produced through child labor or human trafficking, we chose a manufacturer with strict labor standards and a proven record on human rights.
  • To support organizations that share our sensibilities, the manufacturer donates 1% of its net profit from the sale of each shirt to environmental causes.
  • To eliminate the carbon emissions associated with shipping, we selected in-stock merchandise from a local, indie supplier.
  • To support the local economy, we hired local, indie business The T-Shirt Guy to hand screen print the shirts. The T-Shirt Guy uses phthalate-free, soy oil-based ink and soy and citrus oil-based solvents. The company has also pledged to donate 1% of all proceeds from their sales and services for this t-shirt project to Free the Girls.
  • To support local artists, we worked with local, independent designers and media professionals on all creative and artwork, including Sprout Ideation (creative, branding, social media, public relations), Darren Brune Design (illustration, design, production), and Ben Borsos (Rosie the Riveter illustration, design).

About the Tee:

  • 100% certified organic
  • Pre-shrunk, 4.5 oz.  combed, ring spun cotton jersey
  • Fitted silhouette with side seam
  • Seamed collarette

Abbi models the size XS Ladies tee.

Sizing Chart:

Our Free the Girls tees are available in ladies sizes XS (0-2), S (4-6), M (8-10), L (12-14), and XL (16-18), as well as youth size L.

Need more sizing information? Visit the manufacturer’s website.

 

 

 

Pricing & Availability:

Our Free the Girls t-shirt is available with your suggested donation of at least $25. For a list of opportunities to purchase your t-shirt in person, visit our Upcoming Events page. Quantities are limited, so feel free to reserve yours in advance by emailing your name, cell phone number, address with zip code, as well as shirt quantities and sizes to us at info@herbnmaid.com. We will respond with payment instructions, as well as local pickup information. For an additional cost, domestic shipping is available with orders of at least three (3) t-shirts. Contact us at info@herbnmaid.com for details.

About Free the Girls®

(from FreeTheGirls.org)

SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

Currently 27 million men, women and children are being held as slaves around the world— more today than in any other time in history. Eighty percent of those slaves are women and girls. There are a number of amazing organizations that are helping to rescue these women out of a life of prostitution, but what happens after they are rescued? Many safe houses and aftercare facilities are doing great work in providing comprehensive rehabilitation and educational opportunities to survivors, but often their resources are limited.

WHAT’S THE FREE THE GIRLS SOLUTION?

Free the Girls provides an opportunity for women who have been rescued from sex trafficking to earn a living selling second-hand clothing while they go back to school. Many of the women we work with were sold into prostitution as children, only 8-10 years old. Because their lives were stolen from them, they missed out on going to school and getting an education. Selling clothes allows them to work as much or as little as their school schedule permits.

WHY SELL SECOND-HAND BRAS?

  • GREAT INCOME - Second-hand clothing is a profitable market in many countries around the world. Bras are usually sought after items. Some of the girls in our program are making 5x the minimum wage in their community by selling bras!
  • FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE - Most of the women we work with were sold into prostitution as children, only 8-10 years old. Because their lives were stolen from them, they missed out on going to school and getting an education. Selling bras allows them to work as much or as little as their school schedule permits.
  • SUSTAINABLE MODEL - Once a program has been started with a safe house, it is designed to sustain itself. The women receive their starting inventory of bras at no cost, then pay a small amount of money for additional bras once they sell their initial inventory. This money is used to cover the expenses for the next shipment of bras. That means we only raise money to start new projects, not to keep established projects going.
  • MINIMAL EFFECT ON LOCAL MARKETS - There is no doubt that second-hand clothing had an effect on local production of clothing in Africa in the past. However, researchers have shown that the current impact is far less than would be assumed.

Bra Drop-Off Locations & Upcoming Events

Ready to donate your new or gently-used bras? Here’s a complete list of Herb’n Maid FREE THE GIRLS Designated Drop-off Locations and upcoming events.

Bra skirt

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo by Sprout Ideation. All Rights Reserved.)

 

Designated Drop-Off Locations in the St. Louis Metro Area

These local, indie businesses will gladly accept your bra donations for FREE THE GIRLS.

JUNE EVENTS

HandleBar logo

HANDLE BAR • 4127 Manchester • St. Louis, MO 63110 • (314) 652-2212

On Saturday, June 22, HandleBar will collect new and gently-used bras for FREE THE GIRLS and various used clothing items for Goodwill. But as you might expect from our favorite, bicycle-friendly bar, HandleBar is giving this clothing collection event its own unique “spin.” It’s called Undress to Impress, and it’s part recycling, part dress-up party, part film project, and part philanthropy. Get a sneak peek HERE.

From the bar’s event page on facebook: “Paperdoll Cutout is an experimental stop motion film based on collaborative contributions from all over the world. It’s a modern documentary of clothes and wardrobes. Day in and day out. Get dressed, get undressed. Anything from underwear on up to jackets and everything between. Dress up, dress down, dress across. Be yourself! Be creative!”

And be generous! You can drop off your bras and other clothing items at the bar and enjoy drink specials. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous — and we hope you are! — you can head out back to the HandleBar patio to participate in the film project. The shoot starts at 5PM. Contact HandleBar for more information.

 

 

Rosemary Grove logo

ROSEMARY GROVE FAIR TRADE GIFTS • 101A West Argonne • Kirkwood, MO 63122

Through June 30, drop off your new or gently-used bras for FREE THE GIRLS during regular business hours. That’s Monday through Saturday, 10AM-6PM.

 

JULY EVENTS

Whisk logoWHISK – A SUSTAINABLE BAKESHOP

As if you needed an excuse to visit the baked goods booth at the local farmers’ market! Throughout the week of July 15th, WHISK will accept your bra donations for FREE THE GIRLS at these market locations.

Wednesday, July 17, 4-7PM: Schlafly Farmers’ Market • Schlafly Bottleworks 7260 Southwest Ave. • Maplewood, MO 63143

Saturday, July 20, 8AM-12PM: Tower Grove Farmers’ Market • Tower Grove Park • 4256 Magnolia • St. Louis, MO 63110

 

Call for Volunteers

Would your business or organization like to participate in our FREE THE GIRLS bra collection drive? Contact us at herbnliving@herbnmaid.com to find out how to become a Designated Drop-off Location or to request flyers so you can collect bras among your staff or membership!

 

Our cups runneth over… with gratitude!

Please join us in thanking these local indie businesses for supporting our Herb’n Giving FREE THE GIRLS project in recent months.

In Cherokee-Lemp Historic District:

I Scream Cakes logo

 

I SCREAM CAKES • 2641 Cherokee • St. Louis, MO 63118 • (314) 932-5758

 

 

 

Whisk logoWHISK – A SUSTAINABLE BAKESHOP • 2201 Cherokee St. • St. Louis, MO 63118 • (314) 932-5166

 

 

In Downtown St. Louis:

Local Harvest Cafe Downtown

LOCAL HARVEST CAFE & CATERING -DOWNTOWN • Inside the Old Post Office at 9th & Locust • St. Louis, MO 63101 • (314) 241-3196

 

 

 

In Forest Park Southeast Historic District / The Grove:

Atomic Cowboy logoATOMIC COWBOY • 4140 Manchester Rd. • St. Louis, MO 63110 • (314) 775-0775

 

 

 

 

K9 Athletic Club K9 ATHLETIC CLUB • 4501 Chouteau Ave. • St. Louis, MO 63110 • (314) 652-9599

 

 

 

 

 

In Kirkwood:

Local Harvest Grocery Kirkwood

LOCAL HARVEST GROCERY – KIRKWOOD • 12309 Old Big Bend Rd. • Kirkwood, MO 63122 • (314) 966-6566

 

 

 

In Tower Grove:

Local Harvest Tower Grove

LOCAL HARVEST GROCERY – TOWER GROVE • 3108 Morgan Ford Rd. • St. Louis, MO 63116 • (314) 865-5260

 

 

 

In Webster Groves:

VERDE KIDS • 27 South Old Orchard Ave. • Webster Groves, MO 63119 • (314) 962-5437