It has made local, state, national and international news, with even Jay Leno addressing it during the “The Tonight Show.”
It is the — what some consider controversial — Lubbock Fantasy Maid Service which offers residents to pay maids to clean a house, while dressed in lingerie, topless or completely nude.
Melissa Borrett, owner of the Lubbock Fantasy Maid Service, said she was a waitress at the local strip joint, Jaguars Gold Club, and living in an Occupy Lubbock tent when she decided to drop everything and start her own business in February.
“I quit my job one night,” she said. “I just got fed up the night before and said, ‘You know what, I’m not going back to work. I can make more money doing it myself than I can at this club.’”
From there, she placed ads on Craigslist to clean houses or apartments in the nude.
The first day Borrett worked as a maid, she said, she earned $500.
“That’s when I knew this has got potential,” she said.
She then built a website and hired her friend, Star, to work with her as a fantasy maid.
The fantasy maid service has regular customers they book every week, Borrett said, and all customers can choose the maid they want to clean their place.
Star is the most popular maid, mainly because she has been working for the fantasy maid service the longest, Borrett said.
Some customers of the fantasy maid service have been Texas Tech students, Borrett said.
She is talking with some people interested in having the fantasy maids work parties. She said the business is a “full-service maid service” where maids can clean, deal poker, serve drinks, empty ashtrays and more during parties.
“They’re functional,” Borrett said about the maids. “It’s way more functional than hiring a stripper, in my opinion, and it’s for a very similar cause. I mean there are really no portable stripper services in Lubbock anyway. They’re not only going to be, obviously, something to look at, but they’re also going to be cleaning up. If you hire a stripper, you’re going to wake up with a hangover and a trashed house, but if you hire one of our girls, you might still have the hangover, but your place is going to look way better.”
With all the media attention, there have been rumors and comments made about the Lubbock Fantasy Maid Service being a sexually-oriented business and therefore illegal without a permit.
Maranda Buchanan, a Tech student and friend of Borrett, has teamed up with the owner by helping with the operations and law side of the business.
“I’m going to start working now,” the senior university studies major from Lubbock said, “and just making sure we’re following all the laws, we’re working within the right policies and procedures, and that we’re doing business the way that a really good business would do business.”
Buchanan said the business wants to make sure it has all the correct permits to operate.
“A lot of (media attention) has not been in good light,” she said. “There’s been debates over us not having the correct permit and that depends on whose viewpoint you’re looking at. A lot of laws and ordinances are really up to interpretation, I think. So, I just want to help (Borrett) cover all the bases.”
Sgt. Jonathan Stewart of the Lubbock Police Department said the police department is not making any further comments about the situation than what they have said in the past.
When asked what the comments were, Stewart said, “Just, basically, what everyone else is reporting. But, we’re not going over all of it again.”
Borrett said she has not received any phone calls from the police department, unless they are calling her from a blocked number, she said, which she does not answer.
“Nobody from LPD has ever contacted me,” she said. “In fact, I ran into a few cops the other day and gave them my business card. I told them about the law-enforcement discount. I mean, they’re blue-collar workers and I’m sure they could appreciate this maid service just as much as anyone else.”
There is a range of prices for the maid service, but for a fully nude maid to clean, it costs $200 an hour. Borrett admits the service is pricey, but said she would not want to charge any less because the experience is worth what they are charging.
“Honestly, with the girls I’m working with, I feel like I can’t really charge any less than that,” she said. “I have three girls right now with modeling experience who already had their image out there before they even came to me.”
Some of the maids have boyfriends or fiancés, Borrett said, and the men are supportive and some are interested in working for the fantasy maid service as security.
As far as Borrett’s family goes, she said her mother and sister are displeased with the cleaning service.
“They tried to get me to stop before the media storm ever hit,” she said. “They were like, ‘What are you doing? You can’t do this.’ And I’m just like, ‘Come on. Times are tough and there’s nothing we’re doing wrong here.’
“I made sure of that from the get go because, I mean, I’ve had big plans for this since I started because I am an entrepreneur. And I said, ‘Well, OK, I can start this with relatively little start-up and I can make this so big, just working hard that I’m not even going to be cleaning houses for long,’ and it’s true. I didn’t have to for very long because I found some way hotter girls to do it for me.”
The cleaning service recently added a butler, Mikey, Buchanan said, but the nudity aspect of the maids and the butler is just a fraction of the business. She and Borrett are looking toward the future and hoping to hire more men and expand beyond cleaning houses.
“The goal of the business is to have a one-stop shop,” Buchanan said. “So, the idea is that if you’re a 20-year-old single mother and you need somebody to help you with any sort of chore — anything — our maids do any kind of cleaning service, not just house cleaning. We have some males who do yard work, as a handyman type of thing.”