Ipswich cleaning business works on Amazon Prime film set in first year
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
An Ipswich man who created his cleaning company start-up in January has revealed he already employs 20 staff — and has even worked on an Amazon Prime film set.
George Pennell, a former recruitment consultant, was playing golf while on furlough earlier this year when he decided to start Vivo Clean, with his first job being a routine scrub of an oven.
But the 31-year-old's business has "snowballed" over the course of the year, turning over about £250,000 in its first few months of trading.
Vivo Clean, based at Ransomes industrial estate in Ipswich, now has a 20-strong workforce and was hired to work on the set of Amazon Prime's TV series The Power, with scenes being recorded in Bawdsey on the Suffolk coast over the summer.
Mr Pennell said being asked by the producers to work on a filmset within months of founding the company was an "amazing" experience.
He added: "I was on furlough, walking around the golf course thinking 'what could I do differently?'
"I realised cleaning has never been more important. We've done a lot of domestic work, but have started to do commercial business too. There's been a huge uptake.
"We did an oven clean, which was our very first job. It really all snowballed from there — in March and April it really took off.
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"It's the first time I've ever gone into business myself. But seeing all the success stories from Covid gave me the confidence to try it.
Mr Pennell, whose wife Clare quit her job to join Vivo, was inspired to start the company after reading about how people changed their careers in the Covid lockdowns.
He has urged would-be entrepreneurs to take a chance on their business ideas in case they prove a success.
Mr Pennell said: "Where we are now is where I would have expected us to be in about year four. My wife even ended up leaving the ambulance service to come and work with us full-time.
"I would urge people to just go for it, otherwise you live your normal nine to five wondering 'what if?'
"If I can do it, anyone can."