Spotlight on Martinizing Dry Cleaning in Iowa »

Local business spotlight: Martinizing Dry Cleaning Kristin Danley-Greiner Armed with an extensive background in corporate finance, Travis Schipper worked at a big company for nine years before switching to full-time ownership of Martinizing Dry Cleaning shops in Johnston and Ankeny. “The first 2½ years, I was more of an absentee owner while I worked at my other job. Then in August 2012, I had my last day at the company and my first day officially at the Johnston location,” Schipper said. “I wanted to get out of the corporate world and try to grow a business on my own. As a businessman, I had my clothes dry cleaned, so that was something I was familiar with.” Drop-off orders are accepted at both the Ankeny and Johnston stores. Residents in Ankeny, Urbandale and Johnston may also have items picked up from their homes or businesses on certain days of the week. The Ankeny location also houses the cleaning plant, which opened in 2004. Schipper has a “green” approach to dry cleaning. “That is one of our major differentiations from other cleaners in the metro is that we use a GreenEarth cleaning solvent that is considered safe for the environment, is gentle on clothes and doesn’t have that dry-cleaning smell,” Schipper said. Schipper spoke with The Des Moines Register about his business. Q: Who are your customers? A: Primarily business professionals. We do clean uniforms, but not as many. We focus on business suits for men and women that require special cleaning. We also launder men’s shirts. There is a convenience in having a professionally pressed shirt ready for you without doing it yourself. Q: What services do you offer? A: We clean clothes, do wedding gown preservation, clean household items like drapes and comforters. One of the key services we offer is free home or business delivery in Ankeny, Johnston and Urbandale. It’s really an awesome service for those who use it regularly. We give them a garment bag and a door hook, then if you have an order, you hang the bag on the hook and our driver going by will see it and pick it up. We’re in Ankeny on Mondays and Johnston/Urbandale on Thursdays; items are returned the following day. Q: How many employees do you have? A: We have 15 or 16 employees total. One gal started with us when she was 16 and still works with us while finishing up college. Q: What is your VIP loyalty program? A: It’s a lifetime membership. For $10 you get two garment bags and a $5 gift certificate for your next purchase. You also get 10 percent off all dry cleaning and laundry services for life. I don’t know of anyone whose program matches or comes close to that. It pays for itself with one or two orders. Q: Where do your customers come from? A: Ankeny residents primarily, with some spillover from surrounding areas. We do have customers traveling down to us from Ames, because we are a GreenEarth cleaner. Some people believe so much in that, that they’ll drive a bit further. Martinizing Dry Cleaning LOCATED AT: 8805 Chambery Blvd., Suite 350, Johnston HOURS: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays OWNER: Travis Schipper BUSINESS HISTORY: Schipper took over Martinizing Dry Cleaning in 2009. CONTACT: 270-2160, www.martinizing.com/johnston



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