Sisterhood Series: A chat with Stacey Barrass AKA the Domestic Goddess

stacey barras domestic goddessWhen I first heard Stacey’s story I knew I had to feature her on TWH!

Stacey is solo parent of three boys who are 13, 10 and 6. When she became a solo parent (escaping from a verbally, emotionally and physically abusive relationship), Stacey handed in her  resignation from the corporate world and commenced cleaning homes during school hours. From those humble beginnings to a team of fourteen, Stacey is forcing her way through this industry to turn it on it’s head. She is creating an environment where her team members are celebrated for their hard work and not looked down upon due to the current ‘cleaner’ mentality.

Her focus is on employment of other women from disadvantaged backgrounds and those emerging from similar unsavoury relationships and situations. Stacey aims to fill their confidence cup, build their self esteem and encourage them to start creating their own life with positive changes.

Tell us a bit about yourself, I want to hear about these three gorgeous boys of yours?

They certainly keep me on my toes.  My boys are true boys, requiring a lot of outdoor, sporty, rough and tumble time. They all have happy go lucky natures and keep me grounded, they constantly reminds me not to take life too seriously.  A single day with these gorgeous boys could involve (but not limited to); tennis, bad jokes, fist pumps, laughing until our belly aches, football, soccer, playstation, nudie runs down the hallway and last but not least, hugs and kisses (my favourite).  They all still ask me to tuck them in and kiss them goodnight, every night.

Domestic Goddess is turning the cleaning world upside down, tell me some more about the business you have created?

In the past, the cleaning industry has had a very low level of ‘job’ respect.  The role of the ‘cleaner’ has always been viewed as somewhat diminished in importance.  We have started to make a change in this perception.  A good ‘cleaner’ is quite easy to find, however a ‘fantastic’ cleaner is harder to find.  Our desire to disrupt this industry by providing the best of the best to ensure that our clients return home at the end of their day to enjoy their time without the need to clean or tidy is what drives us forward

We have implemented a training program that ensures all of our Team Members are trained to ‘our’ highest of quality levels and our independent audit processes allow us to provide feedback to clients on an on-going basis.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to keep dialogue open with our clients and teams members.

Traditionally ‘cleaners’ are employed on a casual basis and their hourly income is quite low (without many of the remuneration benefits).  We employ almost all of  our ‘Domestic Co-ordinator’s on a permanent basis and they receive all of the benefits that come with that.  Everyone is treated as family, with respect, open communication and we all maintain an open ear to all feedback.  This is the only way forward for us as a company.

I love that you are a sole parent, you run your own successful business and you manage to completely kick-arse at life! How do you do it all?

I am a hopeless morning person, I love my sleep.  Rarely ending my evenings prior to midnight or 1.00am, I am therefore rarely out of bed before 7.00am (usually only if one of my boys turns the kettle on, they know the offer of a cup of tea will entice me into the morning light).

As a mum, I don’t always get everything right.  I have made late night runs to the supermarket to buy milk and bread, walked around with hair unwashed for days and missed giving my boys money for the father’s day stall at school. I diarise as much as possible. My Kikki K family wall calendar is my saviour for remembering birthdays/excursions/free dress days etc for the boys.

Professionally, being organised is high priority.  My phone holds everything  I need at a touch. Appointments, reminders, calendar entries and TO-DO lists all have alarms linked to them. Some days it will all come together with a skip in my step and a cheeky air punch and other days I feel like the ring master at the circus.  Often my busiest days lead to the most rewarding.

Worst case scenario, when I’m feeling stressed or anxious, I make myself a cup of tea, breathe times ten, find a sunny position outside and give myself ten minutes to take stock of what I have already achieved.  Allowing myself time to reflect on the small wins often gives me the greatest sense of achievement (Thank you Mr Ellis!). Long days and longer nights.

Life Motto?

‘It is what it is!’  And:  ‘If you cannot change it, find another direction and move on!” I try to find the best in every situation.

What has been the most rewarding thing that has come from running your own business?

The most rewarding thing that has come from this business is being able to employ women who have come from a domestic violence and disadvantaged background.  These women and their children have suffered enormously and our main aim is to increase their self-esteem, fill their confidence cup and get them back on their feet.

Allowing these women to earn themselves an income, an opportunity to re-connect with the community, increase their communication skills, learn time management, problem solving and leadership skills are all imperative to helping them break that cycle.

We are building this company to ensure we are in a position to offer at least four more women that opportunity this year.

What advice would you give to young women who are wanting to start their own business?

My advice would be ‘just do it – start by putting one foot in front of the other’.  Surround yourself with passionate, happy, caring people who will see your vision and be open to sharing their experiences and knowledge with you.  Most importantly, back yourself, if you are passionate about your product or service, it will shine through from the very beginning. Be yourself, always!

For more information about Stacey and her amazing business check out The Domestic Goddess here!



Shannon Clarke - Editor, The Wild Hideaway
Shannon Clarke - Editor, The Wild Hideaway

Shannon is a travel and lifestyle writer with a keen taste for global adventure – whether it be snorkeling in the waters of Fiji, or exploring the art and architecture of Barcelona. When Melbourne calls her back home, she spends most of her time exploring and planning weekend road trips. To fund all of her trips, Shannon is a freelance writer and marketer – she was named the Australian Young Marketer of the year in 2017!

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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5 Comments

  1. May 2015 / 2:18 am

    Thank you so much Shannon for sharing my story. What an exceptional person you are. Thank you ladies for your comments, lovely to hear from you all.

  2. Annie Browning
    April 2015 / 3:14 am

    Shannon I LOVE THIS IDEA of the new sisterhood series, I can not wait to read about more inspiring women, keep up the great work. Lovely story Stacey!!

    • April 2015 / 11:30 am

      Thank you Annie, that means a lot! I can’t wait to share more inspirational stories!

      Shannon xo

  3. Jacinta
    April 2015 / 2:41 am

    Wow a very inspiring woman and a very inspirational article….great work girls!

    • April 2015 / 11:31 am

      Yep Stacey has a great story doesn’t she! An amazing woman!

      Shannon xo

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