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Small Business Spotlight

Fish Window Cleaning Spotlight

Danica LaFaire was a beauty school dropout who worked in the restaurant industry for ten years. She says that’s where she honed some of her marketing skills. At 23 years old, she went back to school and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Marketing and her Masters’s degree in Communication Management and Leadership.

Having lived most of her adult life in St. Louis, MO, Danica worked for a startup company in an entrepreneurial community. In 2013 she went to work for a marketing agency and along the way got experience in acquisition strategy.

Deciding to interview for a position as head of marketing for a broadband company, Danica got into her car for an hour’s drive. She thought to herself there was no way they would hire her and she ought to turn around and go home. But, then again, what did she have to lose?

Danica says she doesn’t know where the words came from but it was the first time she was completely her authentic self. She talked about her scuba diving certification, growing a garden, leadership, and relationships. She got the job.

She spent three years at Fidelity Communications and was involved in transforming the culture. With 500 employees across seven states, Danica was part of a team. The team was accountable to each other and had goals and disagreements, but they were “all rowing in the same direction.” Growing together, they were an unstoppable force. In the broadband industry, if you are not acquiring other companies you are dying. Eventually, Fidelity was sold.

Danica and her husband Josh began talking about franchise opportunities and Danica became a franchise consultant to learn about the industry. Josh was offered a job opportunity in the Florida Panhandle territory including seven states and Danica stayed in broadband for a time while still doing franchise consulting. While on a call for a client to learn about Fish Window Cleaning, Danica felt her values aligned with the company.

Fish is built on the concept of “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” A blue-collar person could own a business. In 2021, Danica and Josh decided to open Fish Window Cleaning in Destin.

Fish Window Cleaning serves primarily commercial clients but does serve some residential clients. During the Covid pandemic, hotels and hospitals needed emergency cleaning services. Fish cleans windows but they do more than that; they help create a good first impression. They keep businesses looking beautiful. There is immediate gratification in helping a business look its best and in going home at night knowing you did good work.

Fish builds their culture on the values of trust, kindness, fairness, respect, choosing a positive attitude, doing the right thing, and creating “wow moments.”

At Fish, employees are team members and they are encouraged to think of working at Fish as a career path and not just a job. They have year-round employment and are proud to be technicians with world-class training. Danica invests time in her team and will help them rise as high as they want to go even if it means leaving Fish. Currently, she has five employees and will be adding three to four more in the next two months. Fish serves clients from Pensacola to Inlet Beach.

Danica advises other business owners to remember they are working with human beings. She thinks it is important to build a team and perhaps look at individual roles differently. Life happens while you are working and you need to be flexible. She also says to accept what you can control and what you can’t.

If anyone had told her years ago she would own a window cleaning company, Danica would have said they were crazy. But, even with the setbacks that come her way, she still thinks it has been a “100% good idea.”