Not many people are as enthusiastic about cleaning materials and procedures as Brittany Beale Hampton (CGS ‘04, COM ‘06). Having been in the commercial cleaning industry for a decade, not many would have been as prepared, either, to launch an endeavor like Purifly.
Just a year ago, as the pandemic was beginning to burgeon in the United States, Hampton and her brother, Jonathan Beale, saw the need for effective disinfection services in childcare centers, commercial properties, schools and more. Using their experience from starting Boston Building Maintenance, LLC (BBM), they decided to launch Purifly as a sister company to target the specific needs of the pandemic.
“I never would have said, ‘Oh, I aspire to have a cleaning company one day,’” Hampton said. “It’s not necessarily the sexiest topic at dinner conversations.”
Hampton’s passion for the ever-changing nature of real estate led her down a career path of property management, which then piqued her interest in vendors and services. This led to her current positions as CEO of BBM and COO of Purifly.
Hampton excitedly described the unique methods Purifly uses to disinfect commercial spaces. Using a patented antimicrobial surface coating, professionals spray spaces to ensure they are fully protected against bacteria and viruses. The electrostatic disinfectant wraps 360 degrees around surfaces – Hampton likened it to the way paint is magnetically applied to cars – to effectively combat germs that may have been in the area from prior coughs and sneezes.
When the COVID shutdowns began in March 2020, one daycare that worked with Purifly in the winter of 2019 into 2020 “had zero cases of COVID, zero cases of norovirus, zero cases of flu in adults, and only four cases of flu in children that never spread to the center, which is just unheard of,” Hampton reported.
The daytime processes put in place by the childcare director, paired with the nighttime processes run by Purifly, created a successful model to prevent the spread of illness.
“Cleaning is really considered infection control, but it should be infection prevention,” Hampton said.
The Purifly co-founder’s entrepreneurial spirit did not start with her cleaning businesses, though. While a student at Boston University’s College of Communication, Hampton worked full time in residential development sales while taking classes.
“It was a lot of fun because my senior year, I got to actually use my marketing and advertising classes, as opposed to having it be for an imaginary company,” she said. “I got to build the website template for [the real estate company’s] sales, or I got to do their mailers, and it was awesome because I got to see how the classes that I was taking actually were applicable to the future.”
This also wasn’t her first time balancing school and work. During her freshman year, Hampton held four different jobs: working in promotions, as a bartender, as a cocktail waitress, and at a front desk. Having grown up in the Boston area, the typical college social scene didn’t appeal to her, so she enjoyed having these alternative ways of ensuring she’d never be bored.
It was through these experiences that Hampton realized her true passion for networking and problem solving. She was also encouraged by her father to take initiative and solve the problems she continually noticed in the market. This prompted her to start BBM, and she recruited her brother as a business partner after he came off active duty orders with the Air Force.
“I was really fortunate,” Hampton said of having access to her father’s advice and expertise. “I had his playbook of how to start a business and make it successful. Without that playbook, it would have been extremely hard to start out.”
When asked what attracted her to starting her own business, Hampton cited two unusual reasons: financial stability and family time.
“That sounds silly, and I want to be very clear: I made $25,000 my first year, and that was leaving a company that I was pretty much at six figures at,” Hampton said. “So, startups are not for the faint of heart.”
But having inherited her parents’ drive and work ethic, she felt confident it was possible to succeed.
“I have two young kids. I knew I was going to be a working parent,” Hampton said. She said that for both her and her brother, their supportive spouses have made a world of difference in their ability to succeed professionally.
“I know it may sound cheesy, but your partner matters,” she said.
In the long run, Hampton hopes that Purifly can help change some of the fundamental conversations around infection prevention.
“What we’ve now learned is pandemics aren’t going to go away. But, [COVID] is just, I think, a real eye opener,” she said. “Why was it okay that 80,000 people died of the flu in 2019?”
Hampton explained how the scope of this issue is greater than just wearing a mask and washing your hands. With regard to the way that public spaces and businesses go about protecting people through cleaning protocols and infection prevention, the Purifly COO says “there’s a whole host of things that have to change.”
Anika Brahmbhatt, Staff Writer
Anika Brahmbhatt is a sophomore studying media science and psychology. A San Diegan transplanted into the chilly Boston weather, she is excited to further explore the COM and BU communities by writing for The COMmunicator. When she’s not writing, you can find Anika creating playlists and DJing for BU’s radio station, WTBU, practicing yoga, or walking around Newbury Street.