PRESS, NEWS & AWARDSJanuary 5, 2013
East Valley Tribune
Gilbert couple look to clean up in local dry cleaning biz
Gilbert residents Jeff and Tanya Kline are quickly making their transition into the East Valley dry cleaning industry. The husband-and-wife business duo recently opened its third Lapels Dry Cleaning franchise store in just a few short months.
The Klines held grand openings in September for their plant store in Gilbert and drop store in Ahwatukee. The newest location, the Chandler drop store, opened its doors in mid November.
It wasn’t in the original business plan, but the location became available and the chance to seize it was too good to pass up.
“We’ll be a little busier than we planned this early in the business,” Jeff Kline said. “But when opportunity presents itself, you have to go for it.”
The stores work through a hub and spoke business model. The Gilbert location is where cleaning and other services are done. Customers drop off and pick up clothes at the Ahwatukee and Chandler drop stores, but no cleaning takes place there. A company van transports articles. Jeff Kline has been doing the driving, but the couple plans to hire a driver.
After a 20-year career in the aerospace industry, mostly as an aerospace engineer and program manager at Orbital Sciences Corp. in Gilbert, Jeff Kline said he always wanted to run his own business and believes he has the attributes of an entrepreneur — except he lacked “that one great idea.”
“It finally dawned on me to go find someone else’s successful business plan and/or business and just execute that,” he said.
After researching and working with business brokers, he got interested in the idea of dry cleaning and started talking with Lapels Dry Cleaning about a franchise. When he proposed the idea to his wife, she thought he was “absolutely nuts.”
“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh. You want to give up a comfortable corporate job to have a risky small business?’” she said.
But further discussions and research convinced her to get on board with the plan, especially when she found out that Lapels Dry Cleaning uses environmentally-friendly dry cleaning practices that are a result of technological advances in equipment and cleaning solution.
Lapels Dry Cleaning uses solvents that are biodegradable, non-toxic and don’t break down into hazardous waste. The Klines also recycle and reuse hangers and are mindful of ways to improve packaging for a more environmentally friendly or “green” practice. They try to reuse the plastic clothes bags and are keeping an eye out for possible biodegradable bags.
Tanya Kline may have been hesitant at first, but she now finds the job fulfilling in multiple ways and is proud that their Lapels Dry Cleaning stores can provide “quality garment care without creating hazardous waste or a hazardous work environment.”
“Because the both of us were willing to take this risk and work really hard, we’re actually not only providing a great service to our customers, but … we’re (also) able to create jobs for people,” she said. “That’s really satisfying.”
The couple has 11 employees, excluding themselves. They plan to hire one to two more experienced cleaning professionals for the Chandler location. Their 16-year-old son, Austin, works for the business and daughter Payton, 14, also helps out from time to time.
The couple said quality customer service is a key focus. The stores average about 60-70 new customers a week, and the experience those customers get at Lapels Dry Cleaning is not something the Klines take lightly.
Dry cleaning - May not be sexy, but continues to be recession proof and a ticket to a better future - for the franchisee and the customer. Perhaps it is “trendier” to talk about your new yogurt shop or fitness salon, but dry cleaning franchises are steady money makers day in and day out.
More millionaires have been made via dry cleaning than any other profession. Why do many prospects return to dry cleaning after kicking the tires on many other franchise concepts?
Suits and dresses may be less in vogue, what are the NEW dry cleaning items? - The dot.com revolution exploded
formality in the workplace. Although some tech geniuses still show up in pajamas, most now comply with “smart
casual”. And these outfits should look sharp. Thus, dry cleaners remain busy and relevant. What are the most
commonly dry cleaned items?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No hang ups about recycling and returning money to the community. Lapels of Littleton, CO recycles hangers and contributes to worthy causes.
DATELINE: LITTLETON, CO…
Lapels Dry Cleaning of Littleton, CO is helping to raise the bar on environmentally friendly practices within the dry cleaning industry through their program for recycling hangers. Used steel hangers are collected from customers and reused or sold as scrap metal and those proceeds are then donated to worthy community groups.
By giving where it matters most -- education and fighting hunger -- Lapels redefines what it means to be green, focusing on sustainability, which is one of the main goals of green practices. Last year Lapels of Littleton received over three thousand pounds of hangers. These efforts resulted in donations in excess of $300.
Lapels has also provided support to many of the schools in the neighborhood as well as the Leawood and Columbine Knolls Community Associations.
Dave Wood, local owner and operator of Lapels of Littleton, noted, “Doing business in the community means a lot more to me than just making a living. It also means making an impact. We are delighted to be in a position to both be a steward of the environment and share recycling revenues with non-profit organizations in our region.”
Lapels has pioneered its eco-friendly dry cleaning experience over the past 10 years. Lapels is committed to using the most advanced environmental practices and technologies not only in the manner in which they clean clothes but also in the build of their Stores and Plants. Their environmentally-friendly cleaning process has no odor, breaks down naturally and is gentler on clothes, thus lengthening the life of clothes. At Lapels you can see, feel and smell the difference.
Lapels Dry Cleaning – Environmentally Friendly Cleaners
Each Lapels Dry Cleaning store offers a full slate of services, including: same-day dry cleaning; shirt service; tailoring; shoe repair; wedding gown preservation; suede and leather processing; box storage and fur storage.
Lapels Dry Cleaning has stores in:
Entrepreneur's “Franchise 500” is the best and most comprehensive rating of franchises in the world and is based on objective, quantifiable measures of a franchise operation.
Lapels Dry Cleaning corporate offices are located at 962 Washington Street, Hanover, MA 02339.
To learn more about franchise opportunities with Lapels Dry Cleaning, call toll free (866) 695-2735 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information and up-to-date company news can also be found on the company’s Web site, www.lapelsdrycleaning.com.
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