It helped me realize that…it helped me feel like I was worth something. You know, I had 65 people depending upon me for their paychecks, and making the decisions that I had to make to grow Sparkle Cleaning and keep that growing, really instilled something in me and helped me grow as a person. So I wrote a book about my experience and it’s called From the Pits to the Palace. It’s not really a rags to riches story, it is more personal growth.
Carrie Johnson grew up in Natick and Framingham. Her father worked in a hat factory and her mother cleaned houses. She married after graduating high school but moved to California after divorce. She went to college and became a public relations person for a community gangs program. In the interview she discusses her involvement with drugs, her sons, her job as a one of the first African-American reporters for the Metro West Daily News, then being hired by the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, and her cleaning company. Sparkle developed into a $3.5 million company with 165 employees. Carrie went on to teach at Quinsigamond Community College and Center for Women in Enterprise and to write a book about her experiences entitled, From the Pits to the Palace.