About Maria

Maria's Story

The Beginning

I was born in Ireland and at 8 years old my family immigrated to Canada. We settled in Winnipeg to be close to my Uncle and his family. What a strange and exciting adventure when you are almost 9. Everything was so new. In Ireland we lived in a small rural community and so it took a while to get used to large numbers of people. Ireland was mostly filled with Irish people so you can imaging the fascination of meeting all other nationalities. Who knew that the world was so diverse? We did not have access to much television back then so most of my new life was a surprise. I remember the food being very different and my Aunt helping my Mother to get into the Canadian way of things.

I was #5 of 7 children when we arrived in Canada and 5 of us started at our new school all at once. The Irish invasion or so it seemed. School with the Nuns was interesting. My name is Maria Goretti Murphy and in Ireland I was called Goretti. I was named after St. Maria Goretti as she was canonized a saint a few months before I was born. Lucky me, being an Irish kid with an Italian name caused lots of ‘how do you pronounce your name‘. When I started school in Canada the nuns thought that I should be called Maria as the other students might have a hard time pronouncing and spelling my name. With my family I was still called Goretti and everyone else calls me Maria.

I had 4 new siblings who were born in Canada, 3 brothers and 1 sister. I am now #5 of 11 with 7 being brothers. We all adapted and were happy to be Canadians. We had made friends and generally had a good life. After High School I wanted to move somewhere and tried Vancouver for about 7 months and got homesick so I moved back to Winnipeg. After a couple of years I met my husband and we moved to Toronto. Well I have to tell you that Toronto was not for us but especially not for me. It was too big and full of people who were always in a hurry. Mike got a job at BNR and we moved to the Ottawa area and I have called this area home ever since.


The Middle

I worked at a few different jobs and eventually got a job with BNR (Bell Northern Research) and stayed with them for 12 years. During my last few years with BNR I was unhappy and wanted to do something else. I took up cross-stitching as a hobby and was immediately hooked. One day I went to a new Needlework shop and fell in love and said to myself  ‘This is what I want to do when I grow up‘.  Well, I started to dream of opening my own shop and investigated all manner of things that I needed to learn. I did not have any experience working in retail so you know that my learning curve was steep. My new husband John was on board and we went for it and in 1992 opened Cross-Stitch Cupboard in Ottawa and the smartest thing I did was to hire a wonderful woman who had all of the experience that I did not. She taught me everything I needed to know and we grew from there. I loved having Cross-Stitch Cupboard as this happy place for my customers, my staff and myself to come to. There were many adventures and I felt that I was finally at home in my work. I met and got to know many amazing women and over the years have had many great staff members. We prospered for many years and eventually, sales started to decline and I closed the store. This was very sad for me and my many loyal customers who would now have to shop online for their supplies. I am very grateful for this wonderful experience of 17 years.

For the next couple of years I was not sure what direction to take and I tried a few things including working in a women’s clothing store. I loved being back working with people but after being my own boss for 17 years I did not make a good employee so I was soon unemployed again. I next tried Online Marketing selling Vitamins and Skin Care products. At this time I was not earning enough to live on so I started cleaning a few houses to make ends meet. Getting new clients for my house cleaning service was easy and I loved being of service to people again so I decided to make this my new vocation. While I was the owner of Cross-Stitch Cupboard I had a cleaning lady and loved coming home to a clean house so I do know the feeling that others enjoy. Green Clean Plus is my answer to giving quality house cleaning services to the people of Almonte, Carleton Place, Carp, Stittsville, and the surrounding areas. I do hope that we get to meet in the near future.


For me starting a new business at 61 is another adventure and I am looking forward to meeting and being of service to many people. I started by focusing on seniors to assist them in remaining in their own homes as long as possible and because I feel that they deserve a break from housework but I soon found that it is mostly working families that have contacted me. They work long hours and have many demands on their time and when something has to give it may as well be something that someone else can do. They also deserve to know and trust the people who will be in their home so each new member of my team is professionally trained. You are also the reason that I have chosen environmentally safe products to ensure your health and well being.

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