1988- 2018: RAVE FabriCARE celebrates it’s 30th Anniversary
By: Stu Bloom
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RAVE FabriCARE was founded in 1988 under the name Rave Master Cleaners.
Our first facility, located on North Hayden Road in Scottsdale, Arizona, was a tight 1,800 square foot retail space.
How we were able to build a business based on technical skills while operating in such a tight space under the tyrrany of landlords from hell (hello Art M. and Jim K.) is a testament to man’s survival instinct.
In 2006, we moved around the corner to our current, far more spacious facility.
Back in 1988, I was working and living in New York City. I’d just picked up my favorite navy pin striped suit from a neighborhood cleaner offering “fine dry cleaning for the discerning”.
Prior to dropping off the suit, the fabric had a butter soft texture one would have expected from a wool woven by one of England’s finest mills. And the collar, lapels, shoulders and silhouette had that distinctive Savile Row tailored look.
There was just one problem: the suit had been reduced to a rag.
The fabric felt as stiff as cardboard. The suit exhibited shine, flap, button and seam impressions, wrinkled linings, a rippled collar and hard pressed lapels.
And the chemical smell?
Don’t even ask.
In those days the were no internet search tools. So I set out on foot and by taxi and subway to find a true quality cleaner.
My search proved unsuccessful. It also led to the realization that true quality at the vast majority of cleaners was non-existent. And that true quality at the so-called “better cleaners” and self-styled “couture care specialists” – the one’s that “dressed up” their mediocre product with logo-printed tissue and poly and with wood/chrome hangers – was still only slightly above average.
And so it was that an idea – and a company – was born.
When you start something, you dare to believe it can work. What you can’t understand or predict is just how it’s all going to happen, who’s going to help you, and the level of effort and perseverance that will be required.
As with most business endeavors the early years were characterized by trial and error.
It’s hard to be different. To buck the industry status quo.
We could have played it safe. We could of ignored what’s best for our client’s fine garments, household textiles and accessories and followed the “industry rules” and “industry standards” set by value(discount), ordinary (middle market) and wannabe (illusion) dry cleaners.
In other words, we could have opted for the status quo. We could have opted for ordinary.
Nonetheless the vision inspired us, and, most importantly, attracted like minded artisans and craftspeople who saw something noble and rewarding in a simple, yet profound idea:
No compromises. No shortcuts. Just extraordinary care for fine garments, household textiles and accessories.
That’s been our promise to our clients for 30 years.
Promises made. Promises kept.
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