National Clothesline
National Clothesline
100 is the new 90
Last year Foster-Stephens marked its 75th anniversary, but this year the company’s owner Ruth Jones, topped that by marking her 100th birthday.
She was active in the company until the mid-1990s, having taken over its operation after her husband and founder, Elmer “Bill” Jones, died in 1983. Their daughter, Nancy, took over the day-to-day duties of running the company after Ruth “retired” in the mid-1990s, but Ruth is still chairman of the board and maintains an active interest in the company as well as involvement in the community with bridge, church, and book clubs.
She has seen Foster-Stephens go from a company that mainly did posters and other sorts of advertising for drycleaners to one that focuses on the preservation of wedding gowns and other textiles by the industry, with its Keepsake Pak line of boxes and garment bags.
Asked about the changes in the industry over the years, Ruth said she was most impressed with the advancements in automation and how computers have become important in both business and at home.
Sanitone licensees meet in in Cincinnati
Drycleaners from the U.S. and Canada attended a Sanitone licensee seminar on September 21-22 at the Embassy Suites RiverCenter.
The theme of the seminar was “All the Ingredients to Build Your Own Success,” led by Sanitone President John Jordan. The speakers and topics were based on leveraging assets in this strained economic environment and using different tools and ideas to differentiate and guide your business to success through tough times.
Route consultant Ron Herrmann started off the event with his presentation on Driving Your Routes to the Next Level — Hiring a Route Developer.
Jan Barlow, owner of Jan’s Cleaners and president of the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute, spoke next about her experience using the Cloud of electronic devices in marketing her drycleaning services.
Siblings Andrea Kramer Wilcox and Rich Kramer of City Dry Cleaning brought humor and insight using videos, both their own and other TV families, on working in a family-owned drycleaning business while discussing defining roles and rules.
Next, Charles Selmon, mailing solution specialist with the U.S. Postal Service, explained the advantages of the Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) program in reaching customers in your market.
The Friday afternoon program began with Ron Garrett, divisional manager of MW Cleaners, discussing how improving customer service can improve sales.
Eldridge Cannon of Cannon’s Coastal Cleaners told his story of investing in his business, instead of himself, to become successful. Consultant Buster Bell joined Sanitone personnel in a discussion of cleaning with heated solvent, showing test results and comparing machine benefits.
Sanitone personnel also discussed the superior restoration results using Sanitone products. Plant owners from Colvin Cleaners, Williams Cleaners and Balfurd Inc. finished out the day with specific stories of successful strategies incorporated in their cleaning establishments.
Saturday morning featured Evan Fee, health and safety specialist with Cintas, explaining how the new GHS hazard labeling rules will affect all industries and what to do to prepare for their arrival.
Ron Herrmann finished up the seminar by going into the details of ensuring a successful route with his topic, The Art of the Door-to-Door Sale.
Conference attendees rounded out the weekend with a Cincinnati Reds baseball game on Friday evening and a visit to Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, the largest Oktoberfest in the U.S., on Saturday afternoon rounded out the weekend.
The conference received rave reviews from attendees, “I found the seminar… to be very timely and beneficial,” said  Dave Perry of Owen Cleaners. “It was a great seminar and I am glad that I was able to attend.”
Licensees are invited to attend the 68th annual New England Sanitone licensees meeting January 11-12, 2013 at the five-star Boston Harbor Hotel in Boston, MA.
The featured speaker will be retired professional boxer Micky Ward.
Sanitone is a division of Fabritec International which is headquartered in Cold Spring, KY. For information on the Sanitone Licensee program, call (800) 543-0406 for referral to a regional sales and service manager or visit