Little Silver Entrepreneurs: The Hodge Family
They may be new to Little Silver, but Fred and Christine Hodge, both 36, have already made their mark in the short time they have been here. Before they met, Fred lived in downtown Red Bank and Christine lived in Plainsboro. One night, Christine was out with her friends in Red Bank and that was when she met Fred. They hit it off right away and immediately went on a first date the day after. “After that first official date,” Christine says. “it was almost every day moving forward … it was as if we had known each other for years. We have always said since we met that we are always on the ‘same page.’ That’s like our thing.” About two years later, on September 9th, 2016, Fred and Christine became Mr. and Mrs. Hodge.
Now the proud parents of two healthy kids, Gabriella and Billy, Fred and Christine’s lives have gone nowhere but up. Fred is the proud founder and President of Clearview Washing, LLC, which originally started out as an exclusive window washing company, but has since grown into a commercial and residential cleaning company. “Here we are,” he says, “years later with a beautiful family, a successful family business, and living in Little Silver. It feels like we are living our dream.”
Fred became very interested in the business when he was in college studying entrepreneurship. One day, his parents hired someone to clean their windows and they never showed up. This was the start of something special for Fred. He decided to step in and clean his parents’ windows, partially doing this as a part of his college project on building a business plan. This was the beginning of Fred’s journey in entrepreneurship, something he would consider one of his greatest achievements.
“The best part of owning an exterior cleaning company,” he says. “is that every single day is different. One day I am a marketing expert, and on another I am an auto mechanic. One day I am out on the road, and on the next I am in the office. I get to spend time with 20 people who I genuinely care for daily, my employees. We laugh together, we teach each other… it’s great. Our shop is like a home base. Sometimes I walk in and some of my employees are done for the day, yet they are all sitting together talking. That gives me such great satisfaction.” It would later be found out that Fred’s grandfather, as well as his uncles, also owned a power washing company back in the 80s for a short time.
Christine would later join her husband in working for Clearview where she is now the CEO. It wasn’t always easy though. Before working with her husband and his exterior cleaning company, Christine originally worked at a pharmaceutical company in Princeton while living in Red Bank with very challenging commuting and limited flexibility. After Gabriella was born, that was when she found her true calling.
“When Gabriella was born and I was home on maternity leave,” she says. “I became very involved in Clearview discussions. We would discuss my potentially leaving the corporate world and working with the family business, but it was a difficult decision to really commit to.” It wasn’t an easy decision, but she became fascinated with her husband’s company and that was when Christine decided the best option was to take a risk, something she says she doesn’t often do, and leave her old job in favor of Clearview. She was very lucky to have her husband’s support. “We work so well together,” she says. “and I can still be home with my kids. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made!”
Though she didn’t start as a CEO. She originally joined in to help with the office work. Pretty soon, she began to help with daily processes and procedures. “I knew that I could contribute to the company from a process management perspective.” Over the years, she implemented an online client management system, an online quoting software, and several processes and procedures for their field crew members, sales team, and management team. Everything from customer service, to pricing, to vehicle tracking is now an official process. “I absolutely love the challenge of identifying a problem and finding and implementing a solution.”
On the side, they were big party planners, something they had to cut shorter due to the pandemic that has arisen, but they don’t let it stop them. “We’re still able to celebrate life, just on a smaller scale.”
After having Gabriella for two-and-a-half years then, they welcomed William “Billy” Hodge to the family and since a year has passed, Gabriella couldn’t be happier to be a big sister. “Gabriella is such a caretaker,” Christine says. “and Billy looks at her with such awe … Gabriella loves to chat, sing, and dance, and Billy is totally getting into it too. When Gabriella starts singing, Billy puts on a huge smile and starts to dance!”
In 2018, the Hodges decided to move from Red Bank and settle in Silverwhite Gardens in Little Silver. “We think our family is complete now.” Christine says. “In ten years we totally see ourselves still living in Little Silver, and maybe adding a puppy to the mix!”
Christine is happy to be a part of the Little Silver Moms Facebook group. “I love the local recommendations; they are so helpful.” The Hodges take great pride in supporting local businesses and in turn, they truly appreciate the support that Clearview Washing, LLC has received in return. They have become great friends with their surrounding residents and couldn’t be happier being a part of the Little Silver community and would love to thank everybody here for welcoming them, for becoming their friends, and they look forward to growing with us as a community.
By Justin Campana