Liliana Reyes-Avalos: A Pathway to Opportunity
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
CASTRO VALLEY — Upon moving to the United States from Mexico, Liliana Reyes-Avalos faced an unexpected career setback. However, while it required her to start over from scratch, she soon found herself on a pathway to opportunity. “I used to be a preschool teacher before I came to the U.S.,” she recounts. “When I came here in 1996, I had hoped to continue teaching, but there were complications. Not only did I have trouble with the language barrier, my teaching certification in Mexico wasn’t transferable. Also, I’d just had a baby, so I decided to find a different line of work. After working a couple of random jobs, I was hired by a construction company to do move-out and post-construction cleaning.”
After two years in the cleaning industry, Liliana was presented with an unexpected prospect. “I had a friend from church who owned a house cleaning business. She decided to move to Texas and asked if I would be interested in taking over her company. The thought of running my own business was a little scary, because my English still wasn’t great at the time, but I did have the experience, so I accepted.”
Over the next two decades, Liliana grew the company by leaps and bounds, expanding both its service area and its capabilities. “When I first took over, the company only did regular house cleaning,” she explains. “Since I had experience doing move-in and move-out cleaning, I was able to add those capabilities to our services. I also got into Green cleaning, which has since become a major area of focus for us.”
Today, as owner of The Magic Mop, Inc., Liliana says her favorite part of her job is the relationships she’s able to cultivate. “I have a lot of long-term clients, and with many of them, it’s like I’m part of the family. I enjoy the conversations we have and the good feeling I get from maintaining those relationships.”
A resident of Castro Valley, Liliana spends her free time on a variety of pastimes. “I actually spend a lot of time working on my business,” she admits. “I take classes on how to improve the way I run my company. Also, since we make our own cleaning solutions, I’m always tinkering with our recipes and creating new ones.” Beyond her work-related interests, Liliana enjoys doing art like charcoal drawing and watercolor painting, as well as spending time with her daughter, Brenda.
When asked how she accounts for The Magic Mop’s long-term success, Liliana says it’s all about consistency. “Many companies give excellent service at the beginning, but the quality starts to decrease over time. However, we’re committed to maintaining the same high level of service for as long as we serve the client. At first, the client keeps our service because they’re happy with the quality, but they continue to stay with us because we keep delivering.”
When asked about her long-term goals for the company, Liliana says she wants to keep growing and innovating. “I have a lot of ideas about where to take the business next, but I don’t want to reveal them all at the moment. One thing I’m looking at is creating custom cleaning kits that customers can purchase for home use. I would also like to get my cleaning products on the general market and incorporate more technology into our operations. I’m always working on new ideas—this is what I’m passionate about.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Espetus Churrascaria in San Mateo.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person?
A: Both. That’s one thing my clients have always appreciated about me—I’m comfortable working around their pets.
Q: What was your first pet?
A: A terrier mix named Kiki.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for dessert?
A: Crème brûlée.
Read moreRead less