SAN JOSE − Rodrigo Bejar never planned to go into the carpet cleaning trade, but when an unexpected need arose at his family’s business, what started as a temporary fill-in led to a permanent profession. “My dad and brother-in-law started Heavenly Touch in 1995,” he recounts. “In 2004, while I was attending college, my brother-in-law was in a motorcycle accident. Besides being a family emergency, it left an immediate need for someone to cover his absence at the business. So, he went into the hospital on Sunday and I started on Monday.”
Having little prior experience in the industry, Rodrigo says the transition was intimidating, to say the least. “I had helped my brother-in-law here and there in the past, but it wasn’t anything that could prepare me for cleaning four or five houses a day.” As time went on, however, he started to get the hang of things and eventually found himself enjoying the work. When his brother-in-law made a full recovery and returned to work six months later, Rodrigo had already made up his mind to stay.
Today, as co-owner of Heavenly Touch, Rodrigo says he has no regrets about his decision to become a carpet cleaning professional. “It wasn’t something I was aiming for, but I like it! I particularly enjoy the face-to-face interaction I get with our clients. We have a very loyal customer base, so I see a lot of familiar faces, which makes my job all the more rewarding.”
Born in Santiago, Chile, Rodrigo came to the United States with his parents at the age of three and has lived in San Jose ever since. Today, he says he appreciates the harmony between his profession and the local weather conditions. “In this industry, nice weather is a big plus. Not only do we get more business, but warmer temperatures actually help dry carpets quicker, which is always a good thing.”
Outside of work, Rodrigo likes to keep himself physically active, whether by snowboarding at Lake Tahoe or working out at the gym. “I like to stay in shape because the better shape I’m in, the better I feel,” he says. “I do a lot of running and weightlifting, and in the winter, I do a lot of snowboarding, which is also good exercise. Since our business tends to slow down in the winter, it gives me plenty of opportunities to get up to Tahoe and hit the slopes.”
In regard to his career, Rodrigo espouses the importance of straightforward honesty. “Unlike carpet cleaning companies that make outrageous promises, we’re honest about what’s going to come out of our customers’ carpets. I never tell a customer I’m going to make their carpets look like new again, because it’s just not reality. Not only does this establish realistic expectations, but if I happen to achieve a better result than anticipated, it makes the customer even happier.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Rodrigo says he’d take his love of snowboarding to a new setting. “I would probably take a trip to the Swiss Alps and go snowboarding for the winter. That would be a dream come true.”