When Salomon Mishaan was a boy growing up in Colombia, he used to go to work with his father on Saturdays. There, in the family business, he learned the art of crafting yarn, weaving it into textiles and creating garments. Over the years, Mishaan worked his way up in the business, eventually become a managing director.
Then his career took a different path, with a move into the plastics industry in Venezuela. Mishaan eventually became president and CEO of Polifilm, which manufactured automotive parts, food wrap and other plastics.
In 2000, he moved to the United States, and Mishaan’s career pivoted again, when he saw a way to revolutionize the dry cleaning industry.
“I had seen the advancements in dry cleaning in Europe and South America, but in the U.S., it was like the stone age,” he said. “There was no innovation.
Mishaan started with an ATM that dispensed dry cleaning 24/7, an eco-friendly cleaning process that didn’t use harsh chemicals, and a hand-ironing system that did away with diesel-powered steam presses.
The idea was pretty revolutionary in 2001.
Mishaan opened OXXO Care Cleaners in Hollywood in 2001 after researching the concept and designing the equipment.
“American culture is to want everything 24 hours a day, so I wanted a 24-hour ATM” that could accept clothing drop-offs, as well as dispense cleaned items to customers, he said. Customers use a card with a magnetic strip, similar to a credit card, to retrieve clothes that are bar-coded at drop-off.
OXXO also was an early adopter of the earth-friendly cleaning movement, and began using GreenEarth cleaning solutions when the eco-friendly company was first starting out.