Who Says Dry Cleaning is Boring?
I was doing a phone interview with Sharon Davies, who, with her husband Rob Davies, runs Dry Cleaning to Go in Sarasota. Sometimes these interviews can be like pulling teeth…long silent moments while I try to keep the conversation afloat. But Sharon Davies is the type of person who has excitement about what she does, and she talked for 15 minutes while I took notes. She is an interviewer’s dream come true. When someone has the energy and enthusiasm that she has, it carries over in to what she does, and it shows in the level of customer service that Sharon thinks is the most important part of a service business.
Sharon and Rob are a team, each one tuned into the same channel and operating on the same goal path. Together they represent three generations of dry cleaning experience. To run a successful dry cleaning business is one thing, but as Sharon was talking I heard her say that her customers love to come in, and she loves to greet them, knowing everyone by name. She is convinced that it keeps them coming back. In fact, some of her regulars won’t try the Free Pickup and Delivery service because they count on that once-a-week encounter as part of their routine. A comfortable, lovely part of their routine. Think about the contact you have with your service-based stores and companies, and tell me you have this kind of dedicated relationship with anyone on your list. It’s so rare these days, and so important.
What Sharon and Rob Davies saw was a need for an upgrade in service, with upscale, quality offerings like alterations and the owners being “present” and “accessible.” In the rare circumstance that there is a problem result with someone’s garment, it’s their philosophy that the customer is right and you make up for it by paying for the garment and continuing on with the owner-customer relationship that is so important. Dry-to-Go is a full-service dry cleaner who advertises the following services: Hand-finished business shirt service, Linen service, Alterations, Wedding gown cleaning and preservation, and cleaning of Oriental rugs, area rugs, and draperies. Sharon likes to refer to the business as a “Feel good cleaners.” Their pickup and delivery service includes Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota, Longwood Key, and soon, Venice.
Philanthropy is part of the community spirit and the need to make the world a better place to live. Part of the unique way the Davies impact other’s lives is by Rob going to the Springs Retirement Home and doing his Frank Sinatra show of standards, and he is actually known as the Singing Dry Cleaner. It was a great Mother’s Day for the residents, thanks to time and graciousness given freely by a local store keeper. Sharon was in the real estate business before her present incarnation, and is the kind of person who gives 110% to whatever the challenge is.
Community involvement doesn’t end there with the Davies. They give back to the community and are happy to do so. If you talk to Sharon about their philanthropic endeavors, you’ll find that the Davies give time and dollars to Boys and Girls Clubs, Girls, Inc.,Children First, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Alpha Phi Alpha Foundation of Manasota, Inc., Designing Daughters (Designing Women), Harvey Milk Foundation, Sarasota Opera and Players Theater.
When the season is on, Sharon and Rob hit the ground running. When June comes and the world slows down, they head for the mountains. Rob likes to fly-fish and Sharon is a photographer. By the way, Rob is originally from Australia. He gets back there every few years, but has a mother and grandmother locally, and two children, so he is here for the duration. Two strong traits that Sharon believes are necessary to succeed today in a service business are inter-core energy and morality. Dry cleaning and morality? Well, of course. Morality goes hand-in-hand with being honest, humble, having high standards. The inter core energy part is to be enthusiastic and energized as you encounter the day, bringing about a feeling of openness and positive energy. It’s hard to find these days.
The Dry Cleaning To Go store is conveniently located at 1760 Main St. in Sarasota. To reach the store you can call 941-362-0800 or log onto their website to get details on services and other important information at www.drytogo.com There is a parking lost adjacent to the store, which makes it an easy-in-out situation. The hours of operation are Monday – Friday 7:00 am – 6:00 pm, Saturdays 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. Log onto their website today and start your free pickup and delivery service or call 941-366-1100 and sign up with one of Dry Cleaners To Go’s staff.