Akeem Greene

Yasmine Regester | May 15th, 2019
Akeem Greene (Photos by Pharen Lopez)

Akeem Greene (Photos by Pharen Lopez)

Being able to provide for his family and building a legacy of generational wealth is what fuels Akeem Greene’s purpose behind his floor and carpet cleaning business.

Established in September 2018 in Akeem’s hometown of Goldsboro, North Carolina, Greene’s Flooring provides expert floor and carpet cleaning services to both residences and businesses, which includes stripping and waxing floors, floor scrubbing and carpet cleaning. “My passion is floors. I love taking dirty floors and transforming them into something new. I take pride in what I do for my customers,” says Akeem.

He attended community college for a year, but wasn’t sure what he wanted to do but knew he liked helping people. He became a certified CNA in 2009, and worked at a hospital for five years before he ever touched a floor buffer.

In his full-time job as a nursing assistant for the past 10 years, Akeem says that helping people has been his calling in life. “I feel like giving is the best gift in life. That’s when you get your blessings from God — when you freely help another person. God is a part of me. I try hard to treat people right. You have to have faith and positive people around you,” says Akeem.

When he first found employment as a floor tech, it started as a part-time gig to supplement his income. Akeem shares that at first he didn’t like the job. But he worked with an older man he affectionately refers to as Mr. Perry, and says that he encouraged him to take pride in his work, no matter what it is.

“Always take pride in your work, because your work reflects who you are as a person. It was like he lit a fire in me,” says Akeem, adding that from that day forward he developed a passion for cleaning floors. After three to four years learning his way around a floor, he shares he asked his manager for a raise, but didn’t get it.

“I thought to myself, ‘why not be my own boss? Why not empower myself to start my own company?’” says Akeem.

So he went online to search for equipment and found a slow-speed buffer for sale in Hope Mills, N.C. Akeem says he told the seller about his plans to start his own business, and the seller also threw in a floor stripper and wax pads – at no extra charge. The next step was to obtain a business license. Then he moved onto creating a logo and business cards. “I wanted to be a young entrepreneur, be my own boss and do something to advance myself,” he says.

From there, Akeem says he made sure to purchase just one more thing for his floor care business with every paycheck from his full-time job. After about two months of getting the business set up, he was ready to accept his first job.

Now at age 30, Akeem said he’s focused on creating something he can pass on to his three-year old daughter, Faith Anne Miles. Raised by a single mother, Akeem says he now understands why his mother worked so hard. He recounts walking miles with her, in the snow and the rain, to her job at a nearby daycare. “Once I got older, I understood what she was doing. She was doing what was needed for her to provide. That’s where I get my hustle and grind from. I want to make my momma proud,” he says.

Akeem credits the tenacity he witnessed in his mother, and the tough love his grandparents gave him to the creation of the man he is today. “What they taught me is that nobody is going to hand anything to you. You have to grind and work hard,” says Akeem.

Although located in Goldsboro, Greene’s Floor Care has provided floor stripping, waxing, buffing, scrubbing and carpet cleaning services in Mebane, Kinston, and Wilson, and is willing to travel. “After you strip the floor, and then you add a few coats of wax and that shine starts to come through – it’s a beautiful thing. People don’t really understand all you have to do when stripping and waxing floors. Floor care can be very time consuming,” says Akeem.

He has experience working on an array of surfaces in barbershops, salons, homes kitchens and carpets. As a small business owner, Akeem says his model is to charge his customers fairly and deliver good, honest work. “I don’t want to cheat my customers or myself. I just want to be fair and I want people to want to come back,” he says. “Your floors say a lot about you. When people go into places like nursing homes, hospitals, daycares, they will look at your floors to determine what type of establishment you have. So how your floors look plays an important role,” says Akeem. “Quality will always open doors.”

His future goals for Greene’s Floor Care are to secure more long-term contracts with repeat clients and add more employees. He notes that the best way to promote his business has been on social media where he shares photos of his work and DIY cleaning tips. Another goal is to run his floor care business full-time that can provide jobs or internships for marginalized groups that may not get the chance otherwise.

“I want to help the next guy up. We need more Black businesses, ready to give back to their communities. I know that if I can do it so can someone else,” he notes. The young business owner says that it is a struggle being an entrepreneur, but what counts is how you stand up to hardships. In addition to being the owner, he is also his own marketing team, spending time passing out flyers and business cards, and receptionist, adding that he’s even had appointments cancel on him. “You have to keep pressing on. Another phone call will come and you have to be ready for them,” he says.

Akeem advises people to never stop learning and perfecting your craft. He says that through Greene’s Floor Care, he is trying to show people that you can start at the bottom and get to the top. “I don’t necessarily want to be rich; but I want to be stable and successful. My biggest accomplishment will be able to provide employment for people who wouldn’t otherwise get the opportunity. And provide them with a job they can be proud of,” he says.

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