Our Story

From humble beginnings…

The year was 1988.

At that time, Stu Bloom, founder of RAVE FabriCARE, was working and living in New York City. And he’d just picked up his 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.

Only now it 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.

So began his quest to find a true quality cleaner.

The search proved unsuccessful. And 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 product with logo-printed tissue and poly and with wood/chrome hangers – was still only slightly above average.

Stu’s failure to locate a true quality cleaner led him to pose the obvious question: why can’t cleaners produce a garment that’s cleaned, finished, inspected and packaged with extraordinary care?

After extensive research, Stu’s conclusions were quite simple:

The dry cleaning business is riddled with compromises and shortcuts

He discovered that the dry cleaning business is riddled with shortcuts and compromises – at every step of the cleaning, finishing, inspecting and packaging process. And that, over the years, clients have come to accept these shortcuts and compromises as “just the way cleaners do things”.

And the reason?

A lack of consumer awareness about the difference between true quality cleaning and “bang and hang” or ordinary cleaning.

Most consumers have never seen, felt or smelled a garments that’s been cleaned, finished, inspected and packaged with extraordinary care.

They don’t have any yardsticks against which they can judge the quality of the product they receive.

They don’t know what questions to ask.

And they don’t know how to assess the “truthfulness” of the responses they receive.

Cleaners hate catering to personal preferences

He determined that, apart from soliciting your preference for “starch or no starch, on hangers or folded”, cleaners hate catering to the many personal (and, yes, sometimes idiosyncratic) preferences of their clients.

And the reason?

Personal preferences interfere with their standard operating procedures and their in-by-9:00-and-out-by-5:00, picked-on-day-1-and-delivered-on-day-3 production orientation.

In the dry cleaning business, there’s simply no such thing as catering to personal preferences when the entire operation is run like a production line in a chicken processing plant.

This is a self-evident truth notwithstanding cleaners’ claims to the contrary.

Cleaners are focused on fast turnaround and low production costs

He figured that the decision to take these shortcuts, make these compromises and ignore the personal preferences of clients is driven by two factors: the focus on faster turnaround time and lowering production costs.

And the reason?

The vast majority of cleaners compete on turnaround speed and/or price. Not on the quality of their work product.

In the dry cleaning business, there’s simply no such thing as “Top Quality Work Ready The Next Day”, “Top Quality Work Delivered In Three Days”, “Top Quality Work At A Competitive Price” or “Top Quality Work At Half The Price Of A True Quality Cleaner”.

This is a self-evident truth notwithstanding cleaners’ claims to the contrary.

Turnaround speed and low production costs are incompatible with true quality

He concluded that, in the dry cleaning business, the focus on faster turnaround and low production costs is incompatible with producing a true quality garment.

And the reason?

True quality requires the application of time and an investment in skills and specialized procedures, processes, equipment and fabricare facilities. Not the contraction of time and the extraction of cost at every opportunity.

In the dry cleaning business, there’s simply no such thing as compromising your way to true quality.

This is a self-evident truth notwithstanding cleaners’ claims to the contrary.

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 ordinary dry cleaners.

In other words, 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.

RAVE FabriCARE is Arizona's leader in true quality care for fine garments, household textiles and accessories. RAVE FabriCARE is the only cleaner in Arizona nationally recognized as one of the nation's premier dry cleaners by non-compensated, independent, authoritative third parties.
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