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EXCLUSIVE: Fresh Nest, A Nontoxic And Zero Waste Cleaning Service, Opens In The Capital Region

The cleaning service doubles as a charitable organization with a mission of helping local and international women.

Fresh Nest
A Fresh Nest bag, made by Apolis, with the DIY products that the cleaning service uses. (Wendy De La Cruz)

For Capital Region residents looking for a cleaning service that puts their health first, look no further than Saratoga Springs’ newest business, Fresh Nest. (This story is exclusive to saratoga living.) Opening on August 27, Fresh Nest now offers Capital Region customers nontoxic, zero waste and truly green deep-cleaning services. The business was founded by Dawn Scannell, a functional medicine and certified health advisor and yoga instructor, and she uses DIY cleaning products made from cheap ingredients such as baking soda, essential oils and washing soda and borax, among others. Scannell first got the idea for Fresh Nest just three months ago when she was looking for a similar home cleaning service that she could offer her clients who were dealing with chemical sensitivities, autoimmune disorders or recovering from chemo or radiation therapy. “I was getting frustrated while I was looking because I couldn’t believe there wasn’t something like it,” Scannell says. “And that’s when I realized, if there’s a need for it and a niche to be filled, then why not me?”

Even though Fresh Nest opened only last Monday, Scannell had already signed her first client in July (that client patiently waited for the business to officially open this month) and is now up to 20. She works with a cleaning staff of four. All of this has been done by word of mouth; Scannell hasn’t spent any money on advertising. “The response has been great,” says Scannell. “The most common thing I hear people say to me is, ‘My house sparkles now.'”

Dawn Scannell, founder of Fresh Nest. (Wendy De La Cruz)

Fresh Nest currently serves the Saratoga, Warren, Washington and Albany Counties. The price of each cleanse is based on a quote that Scannell gives her clients after a walk-through and examination of the space that needs to be cleaned. After each deep cleanse, Scannell leaves her clients with a cute, handcrafted, waterproof bag filled with the very cleaning products that Fresh Nest uses, all dye and perfume-free, and these products are replenished each time Fresh Nest does a return cleaning. “We’ve been told our whole lives that if our house is clean it must smell like bleach or a pine forest, and that’s really not the case,” says Scannell. “I like to tell people that fresh is a feeling, and clean does not have a smell.”

Scannell isn’t just making Capital Region homes spotless; she’s also helping local women find jobs. Fresh Nest employs almost exclusively women—from the company’s accountant and lawyer to the women who helped design the logo and branding. That also includes the company that Scannell buys her product bags from. Apolis, the Bangladeshi manufacturer of Fresh Nest’s bags, provides its employees, all Bangladeshi mothers, with Fair Trade wages, annual profit dividends and even a retirement fund. “So when clients contract with me, they get put right into the circle of helping these Bangladeshi women, simply by using my company,” Scannell says. She goes as far as leaving, inside her cleaning bags, a packet of product samples, business cards, promos and offers, all from locally owned, women-run businesses in the Capital Region. “That’s important to me—my cause is always women,” says Scannell.

Scannell has no plans of opening up a storefront or selling her cleaning products at local stores (even though she’s already fielded some requests). Instead, she wants to keep helping women by taking her model national and making it a franchise. So be on the lookout for Fresh Nest. It might just be the next big cleaning craze.

Jeff Dingler
Jeff Dingler

Jeff Dingler is saratoga living's Senior Writer. He's a graduate of Skidmore College and a professional musician.

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