We have been in the dry cleaning business for 22 years. We just recently received a notice from our local newspaper that our business was voted #1 Drying Cleaner for the 22nd year. This is a program that most local newspapers do for various retail establishments in the city and the community will vote for their favorites. They then announce it with a large ad in the paper. So, how fun to see our now 6 stores listed in the “list of favorites.”
I’ve received a few questions about how the dry cleaning world works. I’ve shared a few details before in previous posts and so I thought I would write a fresh one for you.
Laundry is an important issue as we wear clothes everyday and we spend our hard earned money on clothes. We want them to always be cleaned and looking nice, right?
I love this quote…
“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak!” – Rachel Zoe (fashion designer)
And I say… “You might be stylin’ but if you have stains and are all wrinkled, that might be speaking louder over your amazing style!” – Beverly Dillow (that’s me!)
How do you like the way I made my own quote as if I am somebody!
Well today, I’m going to give you my tips for your dry cleaning!
*Try to be loyal to your dry cleaner. If you hop around and try different dry cleaners, you will get confused on who, what, where and how things are done. Also, you may forget where you leave your clothes. So, if you can find a dry cleaner that you like the way they do business, be loyal to them.
*When you are a loyal customer you will know the employees and can build a relationship with them. There is nothing better than pulling up to the window or walking in the front door and you are greeted by your name by the employees. I know for our stores we have managers at each one and a district manager. These ladies know their customers and take care of them. We also live in a community that has a large turn over of employees, so when you see a new person, introduce yourself and get to know them. Granted they may not be there for long, but, then again, they may end up being there for the next 22 years! You just never know. We have some ladies that have been with us the entire time. For me, I still introduce myself to those waiting on me if I can’t remember their names or I’m sure they don’t remember me. They see hundreds of people each day and whew wee…I can barely remember my own name sometimes. So give the workers much grace when dealing with them.
*Stay on top of the business hours and anytime a holiday is coming up, make note of any changes in times that the store will be open.
*Look for cleanliness. I get tickled when I see dry-cleaning businesses that you would be afraid to leave your clothes in due to it being unkept and not clean. But, they are out there. The thing I love about our stores, is they are top-notch and clean. My husband and brother do not let anything go undone. Everything from the parking lot in front to the curb behind the store is in perfect condition. We have a maintenance man who stays busy keeping everything in perfect working order. Not only are my husband and brother business partners, but I have another brother who retired and has moved back to our area and he makes sure our properties are always in great condition! My mom is our office manager and bookkeeper. She can go in any store and everyone knows her and can talk to her about anything. She has helped many ladies throughout the years. I wish I had the room to tell you so much more. Me? I don’t work at the stores in any way. When we first started this business, I worked one day because someone was sick. Let’s just say…..I’m leaving it to the professionals!
Okay…back to my tips!
*I put all of my dry-cleaning and laundry in a bag that has my name and contact info on it. Our stores give these to you free of charge. We call them “Happy Bags.” I guess because they make everyone happy that you are so organized. I’m not sure. Anyway, this will keep all of your things together and makes it easier on the employees. If you don’t have a bag, no problem, many people don’t use them.
*I also make sure all of my pockets are empty. You would be surprised what people leave in their pockets. Our employees are trained to go through every pocket. I’m sure you can only imagine what happens when someone leaves an ink pen or a tube of lipstick in their pockets and it is overlooked. Yes….disaster in an entire load of laundry! Much more work! So, always empty your pockets.
*I make sure buttons are unbuttoned. Someone has to unbutton everything, so I just make it easier for them. Speaking of buttons….buttons are replaced when they are noticed to be broken or missing. Every now and then, they will be missed. This is probably the worse of the worst. When someone picks up a shirt and they leave town and get to an important business meeting and then they have a missing button. Not good. Accidents happen and everyone is a human and no one is perfect. Again, much grace….but, oh my…..I know that feeling when you are in a hurry, out of town or whatever….and you notice something is not right with your garment.
*If you have a stain or missing button, be sure to point it out when you take your garments in.
*Make note of what can and can’t be dry cleaned or laundered. The employees are trained to know the difference. They also go by the label that is in the garment. Sometimes things go wrong and the garment has been cared for by what the label says. That is when it is a manufacturer problem and will have to be dealt with through them. That is always a sad day, too. But, it happens. Know your clothes! When shopping you might make note of things like that, especially if it has lot’s of embellishments. I love clothes that are different and unique, so, I’m always watching out for how I clean my clothes.
*Here are a few things that that I have learned to do. * I travel with a small sewing kit. *I make sure that when an event is coming up, I plan accordingly with my garments and pick them up way before the time to be at the event just to be safe. *When I get my clothes home, I unbag them, inspect and put them away. *I always know exactly what I drop off at the cleaners each time and when they need to be picked up.
*This is important…..If you get your clothes home and find that you have a garment that isn’t yours….take it back immediately. Whew, I could tell you some nightmare stories on that one. Did you know that some people will keep their clothes in the bag for months before discovering they have the wrong clothes. Yep….bad on both ends!
*Make note of the store policy for garments left longer than usual. We have same day service if you get your garment in by a certain time in the morning. If it is a household good, it takes longer, usually the next day. As you can only imagine that comforters, etc. take much longer to process. Anyway, we also have a 60 day policy that you have to get your clothes or they will be donated to a local charity. You will receive several calls before they are donated. We can only assume you no longer want your garment if it is over 60 days and you don’t respond to phone calls. Money is lost on the time and labor over many garments that are just left all alone to fend for themselves. It’s sad, but not enough space would house all the left clothing. All that to say, don’t forget your clothes!
*Last but not least, be kind and friendly to the employees. They are hard workers and they have a hard job, especially, in the heat! I admire each and everyone of them. They love life, work hard and go home to their families. You can only imagine how they are treated sometimes. Some people are rushed, rude and hateful sometimes. But, the customers who show grace, gratitude and kindness outweigh the rude ones. I think that is par for any business out there.
*Always remember that there are a lot of people in the workforce who just don’t know how to make it in the working world. They can’t be trained to even smile. You never know where someone is coming from or what they have been through. You might even add some folks to your prayer list and witnessing list. We do our best to train our employees to be kind, courteous, smile and do a good job. All I can say is…..parents teach your kiddos how to make it in the working world someday. *I think I just gave myself a new blog post idea!
*If you have an issue, talk to the manager of the store. They will do all they can to help solve the problem. They are there to help and make the business better and they are on your side. One hint, if you have a problem and it takes a while to solve, I would be patient and work with the manager. Trust me, she wants it solved as well. I can’t count how many times someone has sworn they didn’t get one of their garments and they have been paid for it and then weeks later they come and say they found it in their closet. I have to share this…it’s my favorite of all times. When someone brought in a mustard stain on a shirt. It had been there for quiet some time. The stain would not come out. She insisted on being paid for that garment. So, can you imagine, you stain your clothes, and then if it doesn’t come out, you get paid for it. Amazing! That would be a great way to build a new wardrobe, wouldn’t it? I don’t think so…
I hope that helps a little bit in making your dry cleaning trips a bit easier and more pleasant.
We are extremely grateful for our employees and especially our customers. We have the best customers ever. I try my best to be a good customer when I go anywhere! I want people to smile when they see me coming….not, “Uh oh, there she is!” If I get bad service somewhere, I quietly go elsewhere. I’m not out to demand that I be treated like a queen…..I just move on. But, you treat me like a queen and I’ll be back!
Thanks so much for being a reader of my blog, His Heart, My Desire. My blog is hopefully inspiring and encouraging somehow…someway. You never know what will be on my mind each day.
As you can imagine, Dry Cleaning is in my blood….so to speak….here is a link to another post I did on this subject. Be sure to visit the links on that post as well….lot’s of info for sure! Click here to read more.