Entrepreneur Profile: Latonya Jennings

Latonya Jennings

Ms. Hunnie’s Cleaning Service

Latonya Jennings has a passion for cleaning. The Elkhart native started Ms. Hunnie’s Cleaning Service in 2012 but continued her day job at MORyde. A religious woman, Latonya decided to quit her job and focus full time on Ms. Hunnie’s in 2020.

“God’s going to step in long as I step out in faith, but he needed me to do some work,” Latonya said. “He needs me to do something, too. I kept hearing these words over and over and over – three different people was telling me this. So, I finally decided just to step out and trust God.”

Latonya’s leap of faith paid off. Today, she is running her own business, setting her own hours, and making more money than she did while working full-time for someone else.
The idea of entrepreneurship came naturally to Latonya. Spending her time working to build up another’s company – supporting someone else’s legacy – never felt right to her. She didn’t want to work on someone else’s schedule. It was her faith – and her faith in herself – that allowed her to make the transition from side hustle to running a company.

“If you don’t believe in yourself, who will you have to have faith? Believe in yourself and keep yourself motivated through this, because this is not an easy thing,” Latonya said. “You’re going to run into some obstacles. It’s going to be some ups and downs. Everything is not going to be great. So, you got to be able to be able to go through the trial, go through the fire and know that it’s gonna be OK. I’m gonna make it through.”

Latonya credits her family for being a support system, and for making the entrepreneurial journey not so lonely. Her cousin, Wanda Shorter, saw Latonya’s vision, and helped her register her business. Latonya’s husband is her strongest employee.

“I have an amazing family that backs me up,” she said. “My husband – he backs me up greatly. He works for me. He works for me, and he doesn’t get paid. He doesn’t ask for nothing.”

In addition to her circle of support, Latonya finds a key skill for all entrepreneurs is a self-motivation.

“I had to be my own motivation and that’s what people don’t understand when you’re trying to be entrepreneurs or run the business,” she said. “You don’t have time for people to lift you up. You have to be able to lift your own self up and push your own self because this is your vision. This is your dream.”

Latonya participated in the HustleSBE business bootcamp for Minority and Female business owners. It was her first participation in an entrepreneur program. She found the expert presenters each week inspired her in her business, and made her think of areas she needed help, like contract preparation.

“I didn’t know too much about business,” said Latonya. “Everything I was doing, I was learning on research, but Hustle just opened up my eyes to greater things that I need to know concerning this business. For example, I need an attorney. It’s just so much that I wish the class could go longer, but it was so much that Jess gave us. I kept every note. I’m going to go back to every note, every paper she passed out to us.”

Latonya sees a future as bright as a newly cleaned countertop for Ms. Hunnie’s. She’s looking at expansion, both in her team and her service radius.

“I see a vision of us with more than multiple cars or vans,” she said. “I see 20 or 30 more or more people, employees. I see great things for the future. Great things and actually I know it will be great things for our future. Our future is very bright. I see that’s outside of Michiana. We’re going further. We will be here, but we’re going further out. God’s going to expand us.”

For more information on Ms. Hunnie’s, click here.