Long before she owned Great Lakes Clothing Care & Wedding Gown Specialists in Holland, MI, Tami Parks grew up around laundromats and cleaning plants belonging to her grandfather and parents. “I started working when I was 12 or 13 in the laundromat,” she recalled. “The summer I was 14, I managed an entire laundromat all by myself, and then I slowly began to learn all the other parts of the business.
While knowledge and skill have always played a big role in the success of the drycleaning industry, there seems to be an emerging trend of a greater emphasis on education in the wake of the pandemic. Of course, the industry has always emphasized education —proper cleaning and stain removal require plenty of science, after all..
For some drycleaners who typically rely on garments from local television and movie productions, it has been a harsh few months since the Writers Guild of America strike began in early May. They were later joined by SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), grinding Hollywood to a veritable halt.
Last month, I embarked on a multi-part series in which I introduced a thought-provoking concept called The Focus Method to the industry for consideration. If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to read that column first before continuing, as each subsequent article will build upon the previous one. As you examine The Focus Method diagram, the first thing that catches your eye is the bold infinity symbol.
I was in a hotel one morning putting sugar in my coffee when I came up with the idea for this column. If you read the writings of a frequent contributor of virtually any publication, I bet that one time or another, sooner or later, you wonder how the author continues to come up with ideas for columns, month after month. I’m always thinking.
There is a long list of impurities in water entering a boiler. However, in the drycleaning and laundry industries, the major ones affecting the operation of boilers are dissolved solids (known as TDS, or total dissolved solids) and oxygen, which is dissolved in the new, city water entering the return tank. This oxygen combines with carbon dioxide to form carbonic acid, a destroyer of the metal in the boiler and piping throughout the steam/return systems
I just got off the phone with a client who uses large cranes to erect structural steel columns and beams. One of its crane operators had a seizure a couple of weeks ago originally attributed to dehydration. Yesterday, the same crane operator had a seizure in a car wash and caused damage when his truck went into reverse. The client wanted to know if it could just fire the crane operator.
These past two years have been incredibly interesting to me. Personally, I have never seen so many business transactions, both buying and selling within the industry. For the acquirer, there have been many opportunities. Covid contributed to this trend, which prompted smaller and weakened operators to consider retirement instead of continuing the battle.
Vintage garments are fashionable and big business. I deal with many people who buy, restore and sell older garments. One such project was the restoration of Colonel Sanders’ (Kentucky Fried Chicken) white suits that he wore while he cooked his famous fried chicken. After restoration, one of the suits was auctioned off for $82,000. As a garment analyst for 37 years, I have tested many of the original fabrics which have now turned vintage.
Leadership plays a pivotal role in guiding and inspiring your route team towards achieving organizational goals. While leading from behind the desk has been a conventional managerial approach, there is a growing recognition that leading by example is far more effective and impactful. By embracing active leadership, leaders can foster a culture of inspiration, motivation and collaboration, resulting in stronger teams and improved organizational outcomes.
During a webinar earlier this year presented by the National Cleaners Association (NCA), Dr. Lorynn Divita discussed what the cleaning industry can expect from Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012) as they enter the workforce. Dr. Divita is an associate professor of apparel design and merchandising at Baylor University, and has seen many Gen Z’ers in her classroom.
Recently, GreenEarth Cleaning named Tim Maxwell as its chief executive officer. Since 2003, Maxwell had previously served as president of the company. In his new role as CEO, he will continue oversight of GreenEarth and the company’s network of affiliates. At this time, GreenEarth’s proprietary products and processes are available at more than 6,000 points of consumer contact around the globe.
ZIPS Franchising LLC announced that Mary Ann Donaghy has joined the organization as chief marketing and customer experience officer. Previously a member of the ZIPS Board of Directors, she brings three decades of consumer marketing leadership to the organization as it continues to grow its revenues and expand its customer base and franchisees.
America’s Best Cleaners (ABC) hosted its first live studio event for its WorkFlow suite of programs and training and development services on July 20-22, 2023, in Chicago, IL. Led by ABC Senior Consultant Liz Davies and Executive Director Chris White, the three-day event was built around the principles of production management for cleaners. Sixteen leaders from across the ABC affiliation came together to build a community exchanging best business practices, systems development and coaching techniques for team success.
In 2023, Tide Cleaners has opened four stores in Charlotte, NC.
These new stores are in addition to the three existing stores and home delivery services from the Charlotte franchisee.
America’s Best Cleaners (ABC) recently partnered with Dress for Success Pittsburgh for the launch of EmpowerWear. ABC will assist in collecting gently used women’s professional and casual attire via a pilot program with its local affiliate, Owl Cleaners.
Earlier this year, Javier Garcia became the owner of the Lapels Cleaning of Buckeye, AZ, located at 1510 S. Watson Rd.
“Lapels Cleaners has been received very well here in Buckeye and we’re excited to continue that with the environmentally friendly cleaning methods Lapels has developed,” said david Grippi, Lapels Cleaners’ chief operating officer.
Trade Show Executive magazine recently announced its Gold 100 list — the top 100 trade shows for the year — and The Clean Show made the cut.
Clean ’22, held in Atlanta, GA, was run by Messe Frankfurt, Inc. Overall, close to 10,000 attendees showed up to visit booths by 347 exhibiting companies that filled up over 216,000 sq. ft. of exhibit hall.
Members of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists (AWGS) met recently in Napa, CA — famous for being the heart of the Napa Valley wine region.
The group, however, toured a drycleaning business with a fine vintage — Greene’s Cleaners — the oldest cleaning company in the Napa Valley founded in 1919 by George Greene. Today, it is owned by Laurie and Alonso Corona.
“It’s a dog’s life,” was the saying Adam Mathews had in mind when shopping for a business opportunity to own a dog kennel. Then, that deal fell through, and his business broker told him about Lapels Cleaning of Myrtle Beach, SC.
Fast forward to May of this year – amidst some serious research and number crunching – and Mathews became the new owner of Lapels in Myrtle Beach along with its satellite location in Carolina Forest.
The North Carolina Association of Launderers and Cleaners (NCALC) will be hosting seminars in Durham on Aug. 12 and its Fall meeting in High Point in October.
The seminars will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Location Regency Cleaners at 3811 N. Duke St. The cost to attend is $59 per member, which includes admission to the seminars and networking activities, including lunch.
Recently, Lapels Cleaners announced the re-opening of its location in Martha’s Vineyard at 395 St. Rd. by two new partners, Marcia DeSousa and Suely Oliveria, both of whom are also island residents that will now run the day-to-day operations at the drycleaning plant and store.
Forenta recently celebrated 62 years of manufacturing pressing equipment in Morristown, TN, by hosting a breakfast for its employees and for members of the local Chamber of Commerce. In attendance were former Forenta presidents Lee White and Jerry Rose, Industrial Board Chairman Jack Fishman, local business leaders and city council members.
Ryan Hames, the owner of Martinizing Cleaners in Westerville, OH, recently added a second location in the state with the purchase of LA Cleaners, located on Maxtown Rd. in Westerville. This expansion makes a total of four Martinizing Cleaners locations owned and operated by the Hames family – all of whom are GreenEarth affiliates.
GreenEarth Cleaning was awarded a U.S. Patent earlier this year for the development of an anti-viral cleaning methodology which has been incorporated into the GreenEarth Cleaning System.
The patent enables GreenEarth affiliates to integrate vaporization into the drycleaning cycle to deliver the highest level of protection from current and future lipid-layer viruses.
Joseph Petrozzi, a former National Cleaners Association (NCA) president and one of the founders of its Coats for Kids program, passed away on June 6. He was 95 years old.
Originally born in Niagara Falls, NY, he graduated from Niagara Falls High School before he served two years in the U.S. Army, stationed with occupying forces in Japan.
Now, Model-7D EZPress™ users can apply barcode labels or text labels to personal clothing at 330° F in only four seconds.
Our original presses and all competitors’ presses apply labels at 380° to 420° in eight to 12 seconds. Our new press gives you a major improvement in productivity, resulting in half of the normal application time and a temperature reduction of over 50°. This lower temperature will dramatically reduce the risk of damaging delicate and expensive garments.
Dr. Julie King, executive dean for the School of Digital Technologies and Arts at Staffordshire University, has been named the new chair of the Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry (ABSCI). Additionally, Garry Knox, sustainability director at GreenEarth Cleaning, has been appointed as vice-chair alongside existing vice-chair Jonty Wilson.
Lapels Cleaners, an innovative, 100% sustainable garment care company headquartered in Naples, FL, recently announced the opening of its location at 1226 NW Maynard Rd. in Cary, NC. Previously, the location had been Mee Cleaners. Now, Jay Singh is the new owner of the drycleaning plant and store.
Recently, Platinum Dry Cleaners of Naples, FL, was named a finalist for the 2023 “Distinguished Entrepreneur Award of Southwest Florida.” The business is a full service dryclean and laundry operation with two retail locations and 12 delivery routes, a 12,000 sq. ft. processing facility and 40 employees.
Eagle Star Equipment of Troy, MI, was recently named the 2022 Poseidon Textile Care Systems (Poseidon) Distributor of the Year for superior sales and customer support.
Led by Michael “Stucky” Szczotka, Eagle Star is a full-service distributor of quality solutions for the textile care, vended laundry and on-premise laundry markets.
The company has more than 47 years in the industry, offering drycleaning and laundry planning, equipment, installation, parts and service.