What does Empowering Women mean to you?
Empowering women is giving them the confidence to know that limitations are all simply barriers we must push through. Many of those barriers are put in place by our upbringing, our cultures, society, and sometimes even ourselves. Empowering women means giving a voice to those who are fearfully silent, or even those who do not have a voice. It is giving women back the power that was never meant to be taken from them in the first place.
How did you get started working in your field? After the military, I decided to go into law enforcement. Being a woman in law enforcement
back them came with its challenges as women were not perceived as equally capable. I had to work quite hard as I wanted to get into the undercover unit. After years of work, I found myself working as an undercover sex worker and undercover narcotics. The job was grueling, had it's risks, and I felt under appreciated, overworked and under paid. One evening, I was called to a double homicide and while I was there, a family member of the deceased asked me "well, who is going to clean this up?". I was astonished and embarrassed to admit, I had no clue. I had been working in law enforcement for 8 years and did not know, as no one had ever asked me that. "I don't know who does, but i will find out for you", I responded. After hitting dead end after dead end, I did my research and learned that there were very few
companies who provided this service thus leaving many of the victims families to clean up their loved ones decomposition. It was a dirty job undeniably, but someone had to do it. "I can do this", I thought. I began to take courses on how to clean up biohazard and soon was applying for business loans. I was denied time and time again while others who studied with me were applying with almost identical business plans and getting approved. I decided I would go back to the bank and instead as for a loan to put new windows on my home and this time I was approved. I used this small loan to purchase as much equipment as I could (which wasn't much at all) and began cleaning crime scenes on my own as a side job. Today what began as a "one man show" stands as a national franchise with over 47 locations throughout the US.
What do you love most about your job? / What are you most proud of? I love that I get to provide relief for people during their most devastating moments. I get the privilege of taking on someones burden and giving them their home back as it stood prior to the tragedy. No human being should ever have to clean their loved ones remains.
What advice would you give to someone considering this line of work? It is not a glamorous job by any means. You have to be authentic and an extremely empathetic person. In addition to that, of course, you will need a tough stomach and you will need to learn to separate work from your private life. You will and should also make sure you make time for your mental health and for decompressing as the job can and will take a toll on you. Some jobs are much harder than others.
Anything else you would like to add? Once my crime scene cleaning company was in motion, I added all other remediation services to the company. We clean hoarder homes, we do water/mold remediation, drug lab cleaning, rodent cleaning and we added a real estate component to our business that only Spaulding Decon has. We purchase distressed homes and flip them for profit. Homes that people seldom want, where suicides, murders, deaths, etc.. have occurred. This started as a passion project and is still very much a labor of love. I love making magic out of a mess.
Check out Laura's YouTube Channel and TikTok: www.youtube.com/crimescenecleaning