Print
Entrepreneurs

Growing A Clean Business

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Oct 18, 2019
Jayna Crittenden, founder and co-owner of Wilmington-based SQUEAK, stands inside her new retail space and manufacturing facility where she recently moved to expand production of her line of cleaning products. (Photo by Michael Cline Spencer)
When it comes to clean, Jayna Crittenden knows her stuff. But not just any stuff. Crittenden, founder and co-owner of Wilmington-based SQUEAK, describes her natural and organic cleaning products line as an alternative to traditional methods of cleaning homes and offices, even yoga mats.
 
Crittenden moved SQUEAK’s manufacturing operations from the small basement of her home into a 1,500-square-foot facility at the Dutch Square Industrial Park. A grand opening for the space, which includes a small retail shop, was held in September.
 
Now Crittenden aims to get SQUEAK’s products to more online retailers and store shelves.
 
Crittenden, a mother of three and health advocate, has questioned the use of chemical-based name-brand cleaning products that possibly contain toxins. The main goal of the business, she said, is to educate and inspire others to make safer choices.
 
Crittenden began making her own cleaners and started sharing her methods through a do-it-yourself video on Facebook.
 
At the time, the video was a way to teach others how to make safer cleaning products for themselves, Crittenden said. But the video, and her self-made products, began to gain traction.
 
“I started making it for a few friends who asked and would leave it at my front door just in a glass bottle – no bag – with their name,” Crittenden said. “I made one DIY video about how to make a glass cleaner and an all-purpose cleaner [and it] turned into a business that I never saw coming.”
 
Crittenden’s journey to what has now become SQUEAK began in April 2018.
 
Last fall, SQUEAK landed its first major retail order of 900 units with Earth Fare.
 
Its products are now in 19 Earth Fare stores and in other retail shops, such as Tidal Creek. The firm also sells products on its online store.
 
SQUEAK’s line of 22 cleaning products include all-purpose, glass, floor and yoga mat cleaners. To make its products, SQUEAK uses water that has been filtered through reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light and combines it with natural and organic ingredients, Crittenden said.
 
Those ingredients include essential oils, baking soda, castile soap, witch hazel, vinegar and glycerin. And the company isn’t shy about what it’s using – SQUEAK lists all ingredients used to make a single product on the front label.
 
SQUEAK is also working to get an online shop going for its products on Amazon to soon go live, she said. Crittenden also has a goal to eventually get SQUEAK products on Target.com.
 
“If we keep growing that means we’re helping people make safer choices with their cleaning products and that’s a huge win for us and a good start for [our customers],” Crittenden said.


 

Creating Healthy Chores

SQUEAK

6700 Netherlands Drive, Unit D, Wilmington

No. of employees: 3
 
Year founded: 2018
 
Top local officials: Jayna and Joel Crittenden, co-owners
 
Company description: SQUEAK manufactures and sells natural and organic cleaning products.
 
Products made locally: The company manufactures 22 cleaning products, including all-purpose cleaners, glass cleaners, a floor cleaner, a gentle scrub, everywhere mists and a yoga mat cleaner.
 
Product distribution: Online at getsqueakywithus.com, Tidal Creek Co-op in Wilmington, Earth Fare and coming to Amazon.com in late October.
 
What made the company decide to make its goods locally? Jayna Crittenden: “We have lived here in Wilmington for over 25 years and wouldn’t have chosen any other place to grow SQUEAK.”
 
What’s planned next? Jayna Crittenden: “We have so much planned! No exact timeline, but we will always be adding and swapping out new products. Our customers are asking for: hand soap, dish detergent, toilet bowl cleaner, essential oil blends for diffusers and laundry detergent. We will continue to tackle this list all while growing our online business, our retail presence and so much more.”
 




















































EDITOR’S NOTE: To be considered for the Greater Wilmington Business Journal’s MADE feature, contact [email protected].
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Sherrip2019 insights profile

That’s Who We Are

Sherri Pridgen - Cape Fear REALTORS®
Jim ellis headshot 10311631058

5 Tips for Tradeshow and Conference Videos

Jim Ellis - Signal
Leath 683x10242

How to Avoid A Nightmare Holiday Party

Lisa Leath - Leath HR Group

Trending News

In Downtown Wilmington, Dupont Circle Restaurant To Open 2nd Location

Cece Nunn - Dec 3, 2019

At Mayfaire, Brunch About To Be Served

Jessica Maurer - Dec 4, 2019

Real Estate Firm Opens Office At Mayfaire Town Center

Cece Nunn - Dec 4, 2019

Economist Highlights Regional Growth, Opportunities At Annual Wilmington Scorecard

Christina Haley O'Neal - Dec 3, 2019

At ILM, Airlines Report Big Boost In Holiday Passengers

Cece Nunn and Christina Haley O'Neal - Dec 2, 2019

In The Current Issue

MADE: Mounting An Expansion

Grunt Tough is a software and traditional manufacturing company; products are made and distributed out of its Wilmington facility....


Navassa Driven Closer To Major Growth

About 2,100 people live in Navassa, but officials and developers expect that number to grow by the thousands in the next 20 years....


Habitat Chief Leads The Way Home

Steve Spain has spent much of his professional life combating homelessness. Heading into his seventh year as executive director of Cape Fear...

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2019 Health Care Heroes
August 26, 2019 Power Breakfast: A Healthy Sale?
2019 WILMA Leadership Accelerator
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`