On a steaming day in Hoboken, a blonde woman stands outside of her home washing baby strollers with a toothbrush. Cloudy water sits in a bowl besides her, and as she scrubs the upholstery, her head bobs to the beat.
Just a year earlier, Hoboken mom Anna Stanin was working at a high-profile job on Wall Street. She quit her job in October 2013, and shortly after, began a stroller-cleaning service from home.
“People thought I was absolutely insane,” said the entrepreneur with a laugh.
Less than a year later, Sudsy Buggy has a large returning client list and is in the early stages of making it a franchise business.
Based out of her Park Avenue apartment, Stanin cleans strollers, car seats and other kid-friendly items with organic products and kitchen concoctions.
“At first I was buying off-the-shelf stuff,” Stanin said. “The store stuff is crap.”
She said she found the best way to clean mold, sunscreen stains and baby fluids is with items she already had in her kitchen and bathroom.
“The parents feel good knowing it’s all natural,” Stanin added.
She also has some first-hand experience. Stanin, along with keeping up her business, chases after her daughters Gabriella, 4, and Victoria, 2.
After Gabriella was born, Stanin took 16 months off before she was hired at a different Wall Street firm. After leaving in October, Sudsy Buggy just “started off as a way to make an extra income,” she said.
Stanin said she would bring her young children to the park and chalk her information there, or walk down Washington Street asking businesses to give out her card.
She recalled a call she received about Sudsy Buggy, her first client, at Malibu Diner on 14th Street.
“I was so excited,” said the Brooklyn-born mom, smiling.
The business took off from there.
Because she works out of her garage, Stanin is able to keep the business family-oriented.
Her children love to grab spray bottles and coat the wheels in a lemon-vinegar liquid.
“My favorite part is the wheels,” declared Gabriella, holding a pale blue rag.
“They see how mommy works hard,” said Stanin, who said she wants to show her children how working hard pays off.
Stanin’s hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed by her clients.
“My stroller was a little mildew-y from outside storage and being in a flooded basement, but Anna spent several days scrubbing, soaking and other treatments so that my stroller now looks almost new,” wrote client Erika Taurel on Sudsy Buggy’s testimonial page. “I never thought that would be possible.”
Stanin offers her clients free loaner strollers in the case the dirty one needs to sit overnight.
“I’m grateful I can work on demand,” Stanin added.
Her rates start at $19.99, and every service includes a frame hand wash, fabric refresher, steam cleaning, full detailing, stain treatment and high-powered vacuuming.
Stanin said she looked at similar services in metropolitan areas like San Francisco, Manhattan and Brooklyn, “and went a little lower.”
Currently, Stanin said she is putting together a franchise kit and is in a “whole legal phase.”
“I’ve gotten more satisfaction doing this than my Wall Street job,” she said.