Dry cleaning may not sound like a thrilling business but for Jeff Kline and his wife, Tanya, it was just the kind of project they were excited to get started.
“I’m very much a project oriented person,” Kline said. “My background is in aerospace engineering and program managing and organizing and building big teams to accomplish things. I find the doing as much fun as what it is you’re doing.
“We went down this path of what do we want to do with life, what kind of business do we want to do? We looked at all kinds of business models. I worked with a business broker and every time he brought something up my reaction to almost all of them was, ‘That sounds boring.’ But the more I looked at it the more I realized there was an opportunity here and a chance to build something that can really bring value to someone’s life.”
Kline and his wife decided to open their own franchise of a dry cleaning business, Lapels, which is based in Massachusetts. They opened their first location in Gilbert and one week later opened a drop-off site in Ahwatukee Foothills. Next month, they’ll open their third location in Chandler.
“All three locations are locations we really wanted to be in,” Kline said. “We are local residents and we really like our community so we really wanted to be active in all three of these communities. We’re the first Lapels here so that gives me an opportunity to go off and build this brand here. That’s how I can feel like I’ve accomplished something.”
Kline said he hopes the Lapels brand will be synonymous with quality. They have an experienced tailor on staff to help with any and all alterations and their staff is trained to offer quick fixes at no extra cost.
“We just go the extra way,” Kline said. “If you have a button popped off or a seam that’s loose, we repair that. We don’t want you getting your shirt back and see it’s nice and pressed but still missing a button. What good does that do? We want to help the customers out that way.”
Lapels is also an environmentally friendly cleaner. They use non-toxic and non-carcinogenic chemicals in all of their cleaning.
“It’s really about high quality of service at a low price,” Kline said. “That’s unique. You can get this high of quality up in Scottsdale but you’re going to pay two to three times as much for it.”
Lapels is located in the Trader Joe’s shopping center at 40th Street and Chandler Boulevard, 4025 E. Chandler Blvd. For more information on Lapels, visit mylapels.com.
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