We’re so happy to be partnering with another local small business dynamo, Kris Ott. He is a fantastic human being and a wonderful business operator. For this blog we wanted to do an interview piece with Kris so that you, our dear readers and clients can get to know him and his business a little better as we all start off on this partnership adventure together. Here is what he provided us after we gave him our interview questions. Enjoy!
Hi everyone my name is Kris Ott. I am a Boise “native” or “from here” as you have probably seen on several bumper stickers. I have felt very lucky to grow up in such an amazing place, surrounded by all the wonderful things Idaho has to offer. Boise will always hold a spot in my heart, and I am excited to see all the new growth and outside influences that come with it. Especially the new In-N-Out they are putting in, we can only thank the California people for that one!
I enjoy being outside, not just confined to nature, but even my backyard is fun. This is our first year of gardening, I always had gardens growing up, just never had the space for one until now. I am constantly building or creating, I enjoy woodworking and cooking, the weekends leave all of the bellies full and a small mess in the kitchen.
I started Cleaner Windows in February of 2020 as a birthday present to myself, and a few short weeks before Idaho received its first documented case of COVID. I always wanted to build a company based on the way I saw fit, and grow it based on the old time saying of “do the right thing, no matter what”. This is something that seems to have been forgotten over time, and a lot of new companies no longer abide by it.
I have been in the home cleaning industry since 2012, and specifically learned window cleaning in 2013. I started as a carpet, rug and upholstery cleaning technician working for Boise’s oldest carpet cleaning company “Certified, INC”. After a short time there I ventured out into window cleaning. The values and principles I learned from an historic company didn’t line up with this new path I was on, so I decided to go back to carpet cleaning and figure out how I could start a window cleaning company that operated on these same principles. Eventually after the owner of Certified retired, a few odd jobs, and continuing to do window cleaning on the side, I decided to go all in and start Cleaner Windows.
My favorite part of the work day would be my interactions with the clients, and the gratification of seeing a job well done. I enjoy hearing people's stories and maintaining working relationships with their clients that make time for it. You might be surprised but dozens of meaningful conversations have happened while I am working and a client is in the same area also working.
My least favorite part is all the bad jokes I hear from people passing by. I can’t count how many times I have heard “You missed a spot.” In fact I will probably put that on the back of a T-shirt one day.
I decided to partner with Frank and Blind Appeal, because I see the way he operates and who he is as a person and I believe we both hold the same values of business to be true. He has developed an amazing and successful company which started in a modest way. There’s something to be said about the small business owners who put their all into their company only hoping for the best. I am also excited to learn from the entire Blind Appeal team to see how a larger, but still small business, operates on the scale that they do. Everyone has been extremely welcoming since we have transitioned over to the new space.
There are several reasons why you should become a client of ours. Each year, it's safe to say, no short of a dozen window cleaning companies pop up every year in the valley. Like the seasons they come and go. You don’t hear about their quality, usually don’t hear of their name, the lasting impression they leave behind is “My last window guy did this entire house for x amount of dollars.” And yes, it’s usually about 50% cheaper than what our estimates come in at. The difference between using us, instead of them, comes down to the experience and the quality.
Like I mentioned, I have now over 10 years of experience cleaning windows. I started a window pane counter on the website the first year I started Cleaner Windows and it surpassed over 10,000 pieces of glass so I just stopped keeping track. Multiply that by 10 years and I feel like I am nearing seeing it all, but I have also learned from it all. From the mistakes and the issues, the good, the bad, everything has helped me continue to grow.
All my technicians quickly learn based on my knowledge that I share with them. They don’t have to relearn my lessons, they just have to be willing to learn. If we don’t know something I will go out of my way to figure out a solution, not just fabricate a story that you want to hear. We are Certified through the International Window Cleaning Association, and I take any courses they introduce that further that education. I love learning new practices and safety standards. We carry insurance, have new vehicles that have amazing logos, every technician has a work uniform that looks professional but also has some style to it.
We are accredited through the BBB and won the 2022’s Nextdoor Neighborhood Favorite award. We genuinely care about your needs and if you feel like having a conversation we gladly will engage in it! After your cleaning appointment we will remind you of our 7 day rain guarantee, so you don’t have to worry if we get a freak rainstorm and it dirties your windows. We strive to make sure you are 100% satisfied or else we won’t charge you for service until you are happy.
We may cost more, but at the end of the day it's not just about cleaning windows, it's everything I built this business off of, and we happen to also clean windows.
The next couple of years have different goals for both my company and the business. I am a new father as of last Halloween to a happy little guy named Harrison. I love spending time with him and my wife Tessa. I really would like to focus on being in his life as much as possible, or until Tessa and him decide I need to work more so they can enjoy their own time. Full disclosure: I am high energy and love to make Harrison laugh all day long and at any expense to myself.
For the company I would love to see it continue to grow and gain the respect in the valley it deserves. We will be in the top 5 in our industry continuing to provide amazing service with a smile. Ideally we will grow with some more new employees that fit our core values and continue picking up new clients that have been forgotten about by other companies. Currently the company is undergoing a rebrand that I am excited to present once we get the last details wrapped up. I know you will see what makes Cleaner Windows shine!
We hope that this introduction to our new partner has helped you learn more about the amazing services that we are happy to offer with them. We are also proud to introduce our incredible new warehouse and showroom space in Meridian. Please feel free to stop on by anytime in the next few months. Schedule one of our window covering experts for a FREE estimate and more information by calling the office at 208-888-1056. If you have any questions about purchasing some awesome exterior solar shades or commercial blind or window covering work, or any other window covering related issue, we would love to hear from you. Contact us today to get started.