The prep work for hosting and entertaining this season starts with a clean home. Whether for a cocktail party, a big sit-down dinner, or hosting overnight stays, it's so important to welcome your visitors with a freshly scented and sparkling space. That is why we have turned to Jelina Saliu, President of Safely—the plant-powered cleaning and homecare brand founded by Kris Jenner and Emma Grede. Jelina and her team are behind the brand's formulas, scent, bottle design, and consumer experience, working to incorporate clean ingredients (free of harsh chemicals) with nature-inspired aromas. The Safely President shares her favorite tips on getting your home ready for the holidays, from wiping down all your counters to washing all your guest room bedding and bath linens to opting for a similar fragrance throughout your home. "I usually pick one to clean the whole house, so guests get a beautiful scent in my home, just like you would at a 5-star hotel." Read on for all of Jelina's tips and read more of our interview with her below.
From founding Account Management to building The Laundress over 13 years to being President of Safely, your career is marked by supporting and empowering entrepreneurs. Tell us about how that mission has driven you throughout your career.
I have met many small business owners who trusted me at such a young age, and their support empowered me to continue building confidence and growth in my career path. There's no better feeling than seeing success within those businesses that I believe in, and the feeling is mutual—and I am their biggest cheerleader!
You're behind the formulas, scent, bottle design, and consumer experience at Safely. How would you describe the creative process of developing new products? What's your inspiration?
It really is a group effort of experiences, ideas, places, memories, and familiarity. There's nothing more exciting than getting a group of great humans together for a brainstorming session and getting a sense of what speaks to each individual. I also get inspiration from travel, nature, and shopping! It takes time, but you'll know the moment you nailed what I like to call "the sauce."
Our team loved the Clean Freak Kit—it checked all our boxes. What do you think makes it a must-have one-stop kit?
We thought through the cleaning experience to find the most effective, safe, and luxurious solution. The Clean Freak Kit is amazing because it has everything you need to clean any space in your home: from your laundry, any surface, and windows to your hands, always leaving a reviving, uplifting scent in any space!
'Tis the season of holiday hosting for a lot of families. How do you prep your home for guests?
First thing! I wipe down all my counters with the Safely Universal Cleaner, so the fresh scent lingers while guests arrive. Next, I make sure all the bathrooms are stocked with our hand soap and lotion. I can't tell you how often people walk into my home and say, "Oh my God, it smells so good." And it isn't the food because I don't cook!
As the "Clean Queen," we wanted to ask what is on your holiday prep checklist when cleaning your home?
My house will be full of family and friends, so I always stock up on my Safely products. I will have at least three of each product in stock, ready to wash up any beautiful mess made! Next, I wash all the sheets and towels in Safely Everyday Laundry before guests come over and clean the bathrooms and living spaces with the Universal Cleaner. Depending on my mood, I will use the Rise or Calm Scent! I usually pick one to clean the whole house, so guests get a beautiful scent in my home, just like you would at a 5-star hotel.
Similarly, where do most hosts get it wrong when cleaning guest rooms? Would you have any suggestions?
We all want to feel calm and comfortable at the end of a long day, especially after traveling. So it's important to make sure the space feels relaxing. Washing the sheets, duvets, pillows, and towels in Calm Everyday Laundry makes the space feel so luxurious and yummy.
Storing sponges and other cleaning supplies is always tricky, and usually, they end up hidden under the sink—what is the best way to store your brushes to ensure they stay clean?
The best place for a brush or cleaning tool is a breathable holder that clings inside your sink. You want your sponge to dry out as soon as possible because it can grow mildew and ruminate germs quickly. Choose one that has a compartment for a sponge and a dish brush!
Any holiday traditions you're looking forward to this year?
My family makes the most delicious Baklava every year with a hidden Albanian coin inside. It is said that whoever gets the coin in their piece will have a healthy and prosperous year! So I indulge in many pieces, then clean up the house with Safely after everyone does the cooking!
Your role takes you from coast-to-coast, so we imagine coming home to your family is so joyous and restorative. What brings you comfort and joy at home?
Being with the entire clan all at once! We're a large, tight-knit Albanian family, and we literally do everything together. Seeing my kids, parents, in-laws, siblings, nieces, and nephews is a gentle reminder that breaks are good for the soul, and home is where the heart is!
How does living in New York City inform how you see the world and inspire your work?
Yes! I love New York City because regardless of who you are, we all walk the same streets! New York City reminds me that anything is possible in America!
What's next for you and Safely?
So many exciting things are happening with Safely! We are working on a ton of new innovations as well as spreading our amazing products to more stores nationwide! Stay tuned!Photography provided by Get Safely