40 Under 40 The Class of 2015

Terra Missildine

Owner and Operations Manager, Beloved Earth Co.; Age 33

Terra Missildine

Terra Missildine

Terra Missildine says there’s a lot more to being a ‘green’ cleaning company than simply using organic products. And she would know.

Indeed, she and her husband, David, started such a company — Amherst-based Beloved Earth — before the business community and public at large really knew, or appreciated, what green cleaning was. And they’ve learned many things over the years as they’ve set the standard in this realm.

This includes everything from determining which product manufacturers are truly green — they all say they are — and which ones are simply capitalizing on a movement by using that word, to ‘batching’ customers to reduce travel time and thus their carbon footprint.

“We respect a triple bottom line,” said Missildine, noting that the company focuses on what she called the 3 ‘Ps’ — people, profit, and planet. “We want to be a positive impact not only for our clients, but also in the community, for our employees, and for the environment.”

As she retold the story of how she and David got into this business — something she does often and in a wide array of forums — Missildine said it happened out of both desire and necessity.

“In 2005, my husband and I were newlyweds, and he found himself unemployed suddenly,” she recalled. “I was in school studying sustainable living at UMass Amherst. So we decided to start a company together, and we wound up being the first green cleaning company in Western Massachusetts, and it just took off from there.”

The two knew what they were doing when it came to cleaning, but learned on the fly in terms of doing it in an environmentally friendly way. Today, the company boasts a deep portfolio of residential and commercial clients across Western Mass., including the Eastworks building, Hilltown Cooperative Charter School, Brain Balance Achievement Center, Keller-Williams Real Estate’s locations, and many others.

Meanwhile, as she and her husband continue to grow Beloved Earth, Missildine is also advancing another business initiative, one that will focus on the specific needs of entrepreneurs with young children. Again, she’s working from experience — she and David have a 1-year-old daughter.

“I’m hoping to open the doors of a co-working space in the Holyoke area that has on-site childcare,” she said. “It will specifically cater to the parent-entrepreneurs, the work-from-home professionals, and freelancers, so they can be great parents and great businesspeople, without having to choose one over the other.”

— George O’Brien

Photo by Denise Smith Photography