When you enter Dee and Hattie Cleaners, you are stepping into a tradition. It is a tradition of over 60 years providing quality dry cleaning, restoration and laundry services. It is a tradition of honesty in business, excellence in workmanship and dedication to community.
As owner Tommy Payne explains, “Dee and Hattie were the names of the two women who started the business in 1949. They were working at Neiman Marcus at the time and could not find a satisfactory source for cleaning the beautiful and expensive wedding gowns sold at the store. They decided to open a dry cleaner’s and quickly established a fine reputation for quality service and impeccable restoration work. We still do almost all of our wedding gown dry cleaning and restoration work by hand just as Dee and Hattie did. This kind of handiwork is unusual in this business and we are proud to continue such a special tradition.”
“Another tradition we extend to our customers is our pick-up and delivery service,” adds Tommy. “Our customers love the convenience of our pick-up and delivery service so much that approximately half of our business comes from our routes. Our route customers typically do $150 a month or more in dry cleaning or laundry services and are always impressed with our dependability, courteous service and fast turnaround.”
“Our customers are very loyal” notes Tommy, “because we pay attention to the details. We do the little things that are necessary to ensure quality day after day. For example, our packaging of dry cleaned items and laundry is designed to keep it crisp and clean. Unlike most cleaners, we stuff all of our dry cleaned garments with tissue and always include a cardboard shoulder saver in our dry cleaned items. This costs us a little more but it prevents the garments from getting wrinkled while being stored at the shop or at home. In today’s business climate that is so focused on saving a buck, this kind of attention and detail distinguishes us from the competition.”
Customers who come to the convenient Preston Center location also like the way business is conducted. Dee and Hattie’s has a warm and friendly approach that is evident from the minute a customer walks in the door. There are free stickers for the children, doggie biscuits for the dogs and candy for everybody. The front counter staff is experienced. They are easy to talk to about dry cleaning and laundry needs. Most have been in the business since Tommy began dry cleaning and can accurately evaluate spot removal and restoration.
“One of the reasons my employees stay with me,” Tommy says, “is that they are paid very well. I feel strongly that people should be paid what they deserve. I have 18 employees and they each work hard, take pride in their work, and earn every bit of their wages. The front counter staff know most of our customers by their first names. They know the business as well as I do. We are a team. Our goal is always to give the customer our best each and every day.”