Talk about a dry cleaning veteran! What started out as a job between high school and college in St. Louis has turned into a highly successful (forty-six year and counting) dry cleaning career for Jackie!
If you’re into chocolates and dry cleaning history, you’ll want to visit with Jackie Wilson at the Clay Terrace Classic Cleaners store in Carmel, Indiana.
Rising rapidly through the ranks of her St. Louis dry cleaning employer from customer service representative to general manager of 25 stores, Jackie arrived in Indianapolis when her husband was transferred here, immediately continuing her work in dry cleaning production management. June 19th of this year marked Wilson’s four year anniversary with Classic Cleaners.
Asked about the most notable changes she’s seen at Classic Cleaners and in the industry in general, Jackie mentions computerization as the most significant. The Classic Cleaners process is continually modernized and automated, in sharp contrast to the manual labeling and invoicing that Wilson recalls from earlier years.
Heat seal labeling allows each garment to be scanned in and tracked, with orders assembled and tickets printed, all through an automated process. At Classic Cleaners, the combination of human and machine is the secret behind the quality. Each week a quality control random check is performed, and the report is reviewed with production staff. When garments are checked in, every button is unbuttoned in preparation for later pressing. The pockets on each garment are carefully checked for items that might be damaged or lost – or which might stain the garments themselves. Jackie is particularly proud of the compliments she hears every day about the wonderful job Classic Cleaners is doing on men’s shirts.
Jackie’s home, which she shares with her husband Jim (owner of the Altra I Collision body shop), is just across the way from her Classic Cleaners store in Village Farms. Many of her Village Farms neighbors have become loyal customers and fans.
Looking back over the years, Jackie has noticed changing trends. For one, people don’t keep clothes as long as they used to. In her early career days, she recalls, people owned separate suits and dresses for winter and for summer, and dry cleaners often offered winter storage services. Today it’s more common to find people wearing lightweight fabric blends year-round.
Jackie keeps up with the seasons, though, doing it with chocolates! You can always tell which holiday is soon to arrive by the assortment of chocolates on the counter at her store. ! If you should ever get chocolate on your clothes, though, ‘fess up, pleads Wilson. Telling the truth to your dry cleaner about stains pays off in terms of successful stain removal!
by Reb of the Classic Cleaners blog team