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Meet the ‘Matrons of the Mansion’

By Staff | Oct 11, 2020

Dawn Siegling, left, and Wendy Cole paused for a moment to have their picture taken before getting back to work at a recent sale.

This is something we have been talking about for a long time,” says Blue Earth resident Dawn Siegling. “But we finally got serious about it last January.

The ‘it’ she refers to is her new business with her partner Wendy Cole.

The business is called ‘Matrons of the Mansion,’ and it is their new estate sales and cleaning company.

And just what do they do?

“We clean out houses, and we set up and run an estate sale,” Cole says. “And we can do as much or as little as the client wants us to do.”

The Matrons of the Mansion include, left to right above, Wendy Cole, Retha Rasmussen, Dawn Siegling and Judy Orvedal. Not pictured is Becky Hartman.

In other words, the two offer a complete package, which means they will come and clean out a house, dumpster what needs to be thrown out, mark prices on the rest, advertise and run a one or two day estate sale, get rid of the leftover items and then clean the house from top to bottom.

But, they also do just parts of that scenario, if that is what the customer wants.

“Sometimes we just clean the house and have it ready for a realtor to show the house,” Cole says. “So we don’t just do estate sales, we help with big or little jobs.”

Sometimes it can be a two hour cleaning job, sometimes it is takes a couple of days. It can be up to 12 hours or it can just be odds and ends.

“We work fast,” Siegling says. “I don’t like to dilly-dally.”

Siegling has had her own full-time house cleaning business, with a set number of clients’ homes to clean each week or every other week, for 10 years.

“I have had four cleaning clients who have moved in the past, and they asked me to help them,” Siegling says. “Not just clean, but get their stuff ready to sell and help sell it online for them. That is what gave me the idea this could be a business.”

One of the things their clients like the most is that Siegling and Cole can get rid of everything after the sale.

“They like that we arrange for the dumpster and take care of getting it emptied,” Siegling says. “And we take things to Goodwill and other agencies, non-expired food items to the food shelf, and other things to Next to New in Winnebago, MVAC, and we take clothing to an agency in Rochester.”

The two women say that every job they get is a little different than the others. Sometimes they clean a house that is already empty. Sometimes it is a total start to finish.

“We can fit our work to what they need,” Cole says. “Whatever the client or their family needs done.”

The two have become quite savvy on what will, or will not, sell in this area.

“Things don’t sell at the same prices here as they do in the Twin Cities or even in Mankato,” Siegling says. “And if we don’t know what something is worth, we research it online and find out.”

So far they have been doing a brisk business, but the COVID-19 pandemic and the state’s rules put a damper on some of it.

“We were able to still clean out homes but having the sale was difficult,” Cole says. “Now we are back having sales, and just ask everyone to please put on masks.”

The two women have some help with some of their larger projects. They have Judy Orvedal, Retha Rasmussen and Becky Hartman helping them out.

There are two things the two Matrons of the Mansion agree on.

“We work well together,” Cole says. “And it’s been fun. Yes, we have fun doing this, we really enjoy it.”

You can contact the Matrons of the Mansion for more information by calling 507-525-0503 or 507-525-2003.