Photo courtesy of Mrs. Meyer
Unlike Mrs. Butterworth and Betty Crocker, Mrs. Meyer, the name behind Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products, is indeed an actual person — and she's also a grandmother.
Thelma Meyer, who turned 80 this August, is the woman behind this eco-friendly brand of cleaning products, and her oldest daughter, Monica Nassif, started the company based on her mother’s natural, happy approach to home cleaning.
An Iowa homemaker, mother of nine, and grandmother of 22, Meyer and her husband of 50 years split their time between a very tidy home in Iowa and a very orderly camper in Arizona. Inspired by her mother’s garden, Monica created a new scent, peony, based on Thelma’s favorite flower.
With the launch of the new, limited-edition scent, we chatted with Mrs. Meyer and got the scoop on flowers, cleaning, and her namesake brand.
What prompted your daughter Monica to start the company?
Monica was walking down a cleaning aisle at the grocery store, and realized that all of the products had harsh, stinky chemicals in it. That gave her the idea to make cleaners that smell nice – like a fresh garden – but are still effective in cutting grease and grime.
How did you know she was onto something big?
I liked the idea of healthy products that were good for the environment, and I knew this idea of green living would spread.
Have you always used natural/non toxic cleansers?
Yes. I would use tried-and-true cleaning essentials such as baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar. I even tried some non-conventional cleaning tools, such as Tabasco sauce, club soda, vodka, and even white bread!
Which of your scents is your favorite?
Honeysuckle, lavender … I love them all.
What prompted Monica to choose peonies as your next scent?
Peonies have been with our family for over 50 years. My mother and mother-in-law grew peonies, and my daughters are starting to grow them as well! I went out to count my peonies the other day and I have over 25 bushes. The nice part is that they stay bushy green all summer and have a lasting, fresh scent.
Have you always been the cleaning type?
Not really, but the list on the refrigerator every Saturday morning helped motivate me.
What household chore is your most dreaded?
Cleaning the stove and refrigerator.
What are your top three cleaning tips?
Use minimum water, less product, and clean up every mess as soon as possible.
What's the best business advice you've been given?
Never waste, be a saver, reuse, recycle, watch sales, use coupons, be observant, and teach your children [to do] the same. Our country is great—we must use our resources well.
How well do you get along with your grandchild and other family members? Want to know if your personalities mesh?Find out here.