Doris Ellis is having her cake and eating it, too. And she has her own product to wash it down with.
Ellis runs a bridal shop, The Bride’s Request and Marla’s, and a janitorial service, It’s About Time. She also is the sole distributor of a local product, Quinceañera, a champagne that is made from fruit juice and contains no alcohol.
Being involved in three businesses is scaling back for Ellis, who worked for the Killeen Independent School District for 30 years before leaving three years ago to run her businesses full time. She opened her bridal shop more than 20 years ago on Stan Schlueter Loop, but relocated the shop to Florence Road in November.
Ellis moved It’s About Time to the same location after seven years on Farm-to-Market 480. She said her decision to combine the two locations was a matter of logistics.
“When I got through with the cleaning business, I had to go the bridal shop at night,” she said. “The way it is now, it is all under one umbrella, and I am able to oversee both businesses.”
She said it is helpful that the businesses are complementary.
“We do crossover services,” Ellis said. “We can help with event planning. We have bakeries and venues we work with. We have dresses you don’t see everywhere else. We try to offer one-of-a-kind styles at affordable prices. And It’s About Time can clean up after the wedding.”
Ellis has three full-time employees at the bridal shop. She said she supervises between 20 and 25 employees at the janitorial service company. She decided to open It’s About Time seven years ago.
“I started the cleaning business because I noticed there was a need,” she said. “It’s something a lot of people need, but residential and commercial.”
Ellis said she is a hands-on owner.
“I enjoy greeting the customers at the bridal shop, and when we have to give a quote for the cleaning business, I usually go out and do that,” Ellis said. “Offering personal service is a big part of both businesses.”
Ellis also is excited about Quinceañera. She targets people planning a quinceañera, a traditional Latin American coming-of-age party for 15-year-old girls. The fruit juice, which erupts like a real bottle of champagne when uncorked, costs $10 a bottle. Cases of 12 are available for $100. The product was created by local entrepreneur Andre Harris.
“It sparkles, and it looks just like real champagne,” Ellis said.
“And it tastes really, really good. We sell it for all events, and the kids really like it.”
Ellis said the stress of running multiple businesses isn’t too much for her.
“We’re pretty self-sufficient in both businesses,” she said. “Both businesses operate as separate entities, but they take care of themselves.”