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Irene Abalajen celebrates five years of flexibility and family time

Principal of Marlborough School Michelle Nell presents CrestClean franchise owner Irene Abalajen with her five-year Long Service Award.

Balancing work and family can be tough, but Irene Abalajen found a way to prioritise both by taking a leap into entrepreneurship.

After four years working at a Catholic Parish, Irene sought a career change that would allow her more flexibility. In December 2018, she found the ideal fit with a CrestClean franchise. Five years into business ownership and Irene has the healthy work-life balance she craved.

Irene Abalajen prioritises her four children above all else. She juggled her Parish job while she grew her business, but it wasn’t leaving her with much family time. Within six months, she had a built a solid customer base that allowed her to leave the Parish and focus on her new venture. It’s a decision that’s allowed her more time with her children and to work around their schedule.

“I have more time. I can focus on my kids and work when they go to school. That’s important to me,” says Irene.

A health setback in 2021 forced Irene to adjust her workload, but her dedication to her customers never wavered. With a loyal team behind her, Irene had peace of mind knowing her customers were well looked after during her recovery. Now that she’s back on the road to health, Irene is gradually expanding her business once again.

“We’re taking it slow but we’re happy right now. I’m getting better and we’re slowly trying to make our business bigger again,” says Irene.

Irene’s many loyal customers reflect her knack for customer satisfaction. Since purchasing her CrestClean franchise over five years ago, she’s retained a happy customer base, including Marlborough School – one of her very first customers – who remain with her to this day.

“Marlborough School was my very first site. We have open communication and a good relationship with them,” she says.

With her recent health challenges, Irene is grateful to own a business that allows her to manage her time the way that suits her. For those considering purchasing a CrestClean franchise, Irene says the best part is the flexibility that it offers.

“If you’re looking for a work-life balance, this really is the business that you’re looking for.”

Auckland West Regional Master Franchisee, Caro Wedding, describes Irene as courageous, capable and courteous.

“For a little lady, she is a strong force. Irene, Ritchie and their employees have been looking after Marlborough School since they started their franchise,” says Caro.

“They have many loyal and happy customers and are valued members of our CrestClean family.”


Crest Commercial Cleaning Ltd

P O Box 740
Dunedin 9054
New Zealand
Telephone: +64-3-477 1126
Email: service@crestclean.co.nz

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