Financial Finesse Liz Davidson & OXXO’s Salomon Mishaan

 

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Liz Davidson – Founder & CEO of Financial Finesse and Author of What Your Financial Advisor Isn’t Telling You: The 10 Essential Truths You Need to Know About Your Money

Liz Davidson

Liz Davidson

Liz Davidson is CEO and Founder of Financial Finesse, which provides millions of Americans with access to unbiased financial guidance through workplace financial wellness solutions. In 1999, she spearheaded the movement to institutionalize financial wellness programs in the workplace and has influenced legislation around requirements for financial professionals to ensure they work in the best interest of investors through the fiduciary standard. As an advocate for investors, Liz is a pioneer of the financial wellness movement. She lays out the ways that workers can find their own financial security in her book, “What Your Financial Advisor Isn’t Telling You: The 10 Essential Truths You Need to Know About Your Money,”published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Additionally, Liz has been tracking and analyzing trends in employee financial issues for over 15 years and provides commentary to Financial Finesse’s corporate clients as well as to human resources and financial media. She is considered an expert in the field of workplace financial wellness and behavioral finance and speaks regularly at national conferences on related issues. She also publishes a column on Forbes.com around employee financial issues. She won the Women of Influence Award y the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Leadership 500 Excellence Award by HR.com, and the 2015 Eddy Award for Pensions & Investments and many more.

Salomon Mishaan – Founder of OXXO Care Cleaners

Salomon Mishaan

Salomon Mishaan

Salomon Mishaan is a 20-year veteran of the textile and garment industry and founded OXXO in 2000, which has grown to 32 franchise locations in New York, Texas and Florida. The company is the best dry cleaning franchise around, offering tons of improvements over all the others. OXXO uses an environmentally friendly system that uses a silicone cleaning agent instead of the common — and carcinogenic — perchloroethylene. That’s better for not only for customers, but also the hundreds of employees working in OXXO locations. Additionally, OXXO uses a 24-hour “ATM” system for customers to drop off and pick up their clothes through an automated system. This is an awesome opportunity for anyone looking for a franchise.

Salomon Mishaan – President and Founder of OXXO Care Cleaners | by IdeaMensch

As simple as it sounds, work is something extremely habitual for me. I come to work every day. I like my job. Work is not a chore for me – it’s an integral part of my life.

Salomon-Mishaan

Having spent more than 20 years in the textile and garment industry, Salomon Mishaan saw firsthand the lack of innovation in professional garment care and the lack of attention to the well-being of the customer and the environment. So he decided to change things.

We recently spoke with Mishaan, president and founder of OXXO Care Cleaners, offering revolutionary garment care for the same price as traditional cleaners, with added benefits, such as 24/7 ATM-style pickup and customer loyalty rewards. Through Mishaan, we learned what he looks for in potential franchisees, the day in the life of a franchisee and, lastly, where he sees the franchise headed in five years.

Where did the idea for OXXO Care Cleaners come from?

When I got to the U.S. I saw that the dry cleaning industry was a half century behind the times. It hadn’t kept up with quality — it was also not looking into the future with landlords; plus the ecological situation the world was going through meant that the U.S. was starved for eco-friendly dry cleaning solutions.

We realized we needed to become more state-of-the-art and more in-tune with what’s going on with the world (both technologically and environmentally).

We didn’t go green because Al Gore started talking about it. We started before he was even talking about it. We didn’t hop on the Band Wagon We are the Band Wagon.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Fortunately, with all of the communications available today, I’m able to stay connected. Right now, I’m so passionate about OXXO Care Cleaners that I’m typically in our office in South Florida. If I’m not on site with the executive and managers, I’m looking to see how we can get the best equipment and improve our systems.

Most importantly, I’m staying on top of innovations.

How do you bring ideas to life?

A lot of traveling! Seeing what’s happening in the world and what’s being done in our industry helps generate new ideas. For me, it’s going to manufacturers of equipment and developing innovative solutions with them. For example, we have a 24-hour door where customers can pick up their laundry. To implement that, we went to the manufacturer and shared our idea with them. Working together, we created a solution for our customers.

We’re always observing and keeping our eyes open for new materials and trends in the Fashion industry to better serve our customers.

Also, most of our franchise business owners across the U.S. are entrepreneurs. If they have ideas on how to better the system, we welcome them.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

There are trends in the fashion industry that I’m following. For instance, I’m fascinated by the fact that designers are constantly introducing new materials. I’m always looking at trends in fashion because I come from the textile industry.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

As simple as it sounds, work is something extremely habitual for me. I come to work every day. I like my job. Work is not a chore for me – it’s an integral part of my life.

Throughout the years as a manager, I’ve learned a “habit of cooperation.” I want to hear from my team and empower them, working together to solve any problems we may have. I often joke that my team is are not yes men, but “know” men and women.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I have always enjoyed my jobs and feel like I’ve made sound business decisions throughout my career, but I have experienced many challenges working in construction and textiles. Ultimately, I learned that even if you run into potholes along the way, you have to learn from your challenges and mistakes.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I feel like every step of the way in my professional life has been one that has led me to a place I need to be. I wouldn’t do anything differently because even the trials I’ve faced as a business owner have taught me unprecedented lessons I’ll never forget.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Believing in what I’m doing and reaffirming that what I’m doing is helping others grow and develop, particularly when I’m working with franchise owners.

My end goal is to grow the business, but I also measure success based on how people are successful within our company, whether it is franchise owners, managers or staff.

This may sound harsh but, in my experience, a lot of companies work like a lake – they want to eat from the bottom and feed off what they and get. We tend to see ourselves more as a waterfall. We want to make sure we’re providing everything we can input, from our executive team all the way to our hourly workers.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

All my life, I have been in the industry. What that means is I have been a producer.

The way to grow a service industry is to be able to have a lot of people that feel for their companies. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is franchise.

If I had personal stores, managers would be leading them. But because we have independent business owners (franchisees), they have more skin in the game. They understand their mission and the collective mission of our entire organization.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

The way to overcome rough times — and we all have them as entrepreneurs — is to be resilient and persistent.

If you believe in what you’re doing you’re going to have a lot of tough times and you’re going to be in a hole every now and then. But, if you’re resilient, you and your idea will rise up.

You have to be able to cut your losses and go a different direction if need be. A while ago, we tried to produce our own equipment for OXXO Care Cleaners in China. But, after we tried it, we didn’t feel like it was going to live up to the standards for our franchisees. I’m so glad I cut my losses with that venture. In the long run, it wouldn’t have been good for our system.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I’m lucky enough that when I have an idea, I go for it. My son and I came up with an idea of starting a home shopping network kind of company for the South American market that currently doesn’t exist. It’s an innovative idea that he’s running with — it’s wonderful to mentor him and help guide him through the process of launching a business.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

It’s the money I spend on gas visiting my grandchildren. I’m a recent grandfather — every afternoon, I go to visit my grandchildren. That is, without a doubt, the highlight of my days.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

I use Instagram often — I like how visual it is and how the photos people post help them share their stories. I also use Dropbox, and I like “Teamviewer” a lot because I can connect to my main computer so easily.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged. It’s a book that promotes both independence, self-sufficiency and most of all ethics which are lacking. It’s also just an incredible read.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Ayn Rand, my father, Pedro Jedlicka, a gentleman I worked with, OXXO Care Cleaners’ Managing Director Nilma Fernandez (someone I’ve worked alongside for a number of years now), Richard Branson, how he lives his life and his pursuit for giving the best service in all his endeavors, Steve Jobs (his way of doing things, his passion — he believed in what he was doing). Jobs would do things — he would care even about the inside of the machine that people wouldn’t see. That is real attention to detail and a true passion for getting it right. Howard Schultz, how he made Starbucks a lifestyle, which is what OXXO Care Cleaners is becoming.

by IdeaMensch

Tis the Season for Preventing Holiday Foods From Staining Clothes

Preventing Holiday Foods From Staining ClothesWaltzing through the holiday season is like walking in a winter wonderland of tasty foods and treats. From morning until night, there are brunch feasts, delicious dinners, rich desserts and snacks everywhere you turn. Food plays a key role in holiday cheer. But, while you’re filling your plate and satisfying your appetite, be aware of the damage they can do to your favorite holiday sweater. Each plate of delightful treats you consume could threaten your clothes with stains that may last long after the holiday season has ended. Below are a few of the foods to look out for, plus what you can do to keep your clothes from suffering holiday damage. Find out more about Preventing Holiday Foods From Staining Clothes…

Sauces and Dressings
Hollandaise sauce with asparagus, gravy on roast, oily dressings on salads and side dishes, butter on homemade rolls – these all add a mouth-watering finishing touch to holiday dishes. The down side is they can also add stains to your wardrobe that can be quite pronounced on any color or texture of clothing.

Fruits
Your brunch festivities may include a colorful, nutritious fruit salad with fresh blueberries and strawberries; perhaps your signature dessert is topped with raspberry sauce; your turkey is probably trimmed with cranberry sauce, each of these foods can leave noticeable, bright stains that are difficult to remove.

Chocolate
Chocolate is a favorite treat any time of year, but even more so during the holiday season. Celebrations often include secret family fudge recipes, boxes of chocolate candies and desserts drizzled with sweet chocolate sauce. If you drop even the smallest bit of these foods on your clothes, though, you’ll have a serious stain and a major problem on your hands.

So, be careful when eating these delicious holiday favorites, doing what you can to prevent and spills on your clothing. Mistakes do happen though, and when they do, contact a dry cleaning franchise like OXXO Care Cleaners who can help you get the stains out before they set in. Don’t let mishaps with stains keep you from savoring special holiday foods and making memories to last a lifetime.

Are you interested in finding out how you can own a top eco dry cleaning franchise? Check out our OXXO Dry Cleaning Franchise Opportunities page.

OXXO Care Cleaners Is Revolutionizing Dry Cleaning

Having spent more than 20 years in the textile and garment industry, Salomon Mishaan saw firsthand the lack of innovation in professional garment care and the lack of attention to the well-being of the customer and the environment. So he decided to change things.

We recently spoke with Mishaan, president and founder of OXXO Care Cleaners, offering revolutionary garment care for the same price as traditional cleaners, with added benefits, such as 24/7 ATM-style pickup and customer loyalty rewards. Through Mishaan, we learned what he looks for in potential franchisees, the day in the life of a franchisee and, lastly, where he sees the franchise headed in five years.


What’s special about the franchise?

We’ve come up with a concept and a way of doing dry cleaning that is completely revolutionary. We don’t do anything like traditional cleaners. We don’t work with any polluting chemicals. We use GreenEarth — it is not petroleum- or chemical-based, but rather sand-based. It was originally created for shampoos, and it is very safe.

The other important thing we do is keep quality customer service in mind. We don’t work with steam presses used by traditional dry cleaners. These were originally developed 80 to 100 years ago when they wanted creases to be in clothing forever, but they can burn your clothes. Ours are not steam presses, but electric irons — making them extremely efficient and better for customers’ clothes. Finally, we show customers we value their time by giving them 24/7 convenience to pick up and drop off their clothes.

Our program has some beneficial features for the franchisee, as well. Everything is automated, so staffing and rent is more efficient and there is less room for error.

Franchisees have access to very efficient equipment, and they pay less rent because they’re occupying a smaller space. Build-out is also easier — we don’t need a chimney, diesel fuel, steam pipes and the like since we don’t work with industrial steam boilers.

Above all, our owner-operators can offer guests a top-notch experience with a completely air-conditioned, boutique-style space that was designed with the customer in mind.

What do you look for in a potential franchisee?

For us, potential franchisees don’t really need to know anything about the dry cleaning industry. We teach them everything they need to know. We’re just looking for someone who is entrepreneurial. Most of our franchisees are professionals who have come out of the business world. We look for people who have the potential, as well as a certain amount of business experience. They do need to have a net worth of at least $300k to $350k.

Where do you see the franchise in five years?

We’ve been growing steadily since we’ve opened, and I see us expanding to at least four to five times the size of where we are now. Right now, our franchisees and our systems are doing well. We have an item 19 in our FDD and ours includes rent and royalties. We are very transparent and honest about how well our franchisees are doing.

Can you describe a typical day in the life of a franchisee?

They come in, they open the store, they get the equipment warmed up. They also allow plenty of time to get people in position and manage their team. The advantage of our business is that franchisees come in and can leave in the afternoon. They clean up as they are working, so they’re able to have the work-life balance many entrepreneurs are seeking.

What motivates you to keep going?

Today’s dry cleaners are still set back 50 years. The modern equipment is only an adaptation of the old equipment. In the textile world, you see materials continuing to be cleaned with old systems that ruin peoples’ clothes. People are fed up by traditional dry cleaners.

I’m very passionate about how we are changing dry cleaning; I believe in it very strongly. The reason I continue doing it is that there is always new technology and ways to do things better. I like to be ahead of the curve. And, I’m flattered that a lot of companies are now trying to copy the way we do that.

What makes me feel comfortable is the growth of our franchisees. It shows that people are happy with what they are doing and that things are going well — which is a motivating factor.

We also have stores in Indonesia. When I went for the grand opening, they asked the master franchisee who brought it, and he said: “I looked all over the world for dry cleaning — for something different — and what I found was OXXO Care Cleaners.”

Please tell us your secret to success…

You have to believe in what you do, and you have to do it with passion. It has to come out of your heart. Of course, money is an incentive, but it is not the reason you do something. You need to get up in the morning and be happy about what you’re doing. You have to do things well and make sure that people will appreciate what you’re doing for them. You also have to be resilient with the economy.

What is the worst job you have ever had and what did you learn from it?

I have always enjoyed my jobs, but I have experienced many challenges working in construction and textiles. Ultimately, I learned that even if you run into potholes along the way, you have to learn from your challenges and mistakes.

What is one trend that really excites you?

Since I come from the textile industry as well, there are trends in the fashion industry that I’m following. For instance, I’m fascinated by the fact that designers are constantly introducing new materials. I’m always looking at trends in fashion.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

I look at Instagram often — I like photos and pictures. I also use Dropbox, and I like “Teamviewer” a lot because I can connect to my main computer so easily. Plus, the people who run the POS have their own cloud there. We can see if their sales are going up or down and help them out.

Do you (or did you ever) have a mentor?

My father has been my best mentor. He was my mentor until he died. I worked with him and for him, and I spoke to him every day. The advice and things mentors tell you are completely unconditional. They have no agenda. My son is starting a business in Colombia and I hope to be his mentor.

Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Be passionate and love what you do. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, and if you enjoy positives and negatives, then you are going to be successful.

OXXO Care Cleaners® Announces New Orlando Location

OXXO Care Cleaners®, a 24/7 eco-friendly dry cleaning business, is announcing a brand new addition to its franchise program today, expanding to the thriving market of Orlando, Florida.

Since initiating its franchising efforts in 2002, OXXO Care Cleaners® has expanded to nearly 40 locations worldwide with a strong presence throughout the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States. Inspired by rapid growth and a pioneering business model, the brand’s new expansion goals envision five to 10 new stores in the next year.

Southchase-webToday, OXXO Care Cleaners® announces its new Orlando location at 12147 S. Orange Blossom Trail. This is the first of multiple franchise locations planned for Central Florida.

Each boutique-style facility utilizes GreenEarth®, a non-toxic process that replaces the harsh solvents unique to traditional dry cleaning with liquid silicone. Operating procedures reduce waste, storage space and energy consumption.

This eco-friendly system, combined with state-of-the-art European equipment, hand iron finishing, and a convenient 24/7 ATM-style pickup window, helps the brand create first-rate garment care experiences for customers.

“OXXO is a franchise that has been around for a long time and has shown itself to be a very solid business with an incredible support system,” said Orlando franchise owner and manager Gabriela Morales. “Plus, it offers something that’s very hard to find in a care cleaner: 24/7 pickup and drop-off.”

The innovative concept provides a rewarding business opportunity for qualified entrepreneurs. OXXO Care Cleaners®’s franchise system offers operational guidance, site selection and real estate support, as well as the growth potential associated with protected territories.

Morales has a background in human resources and managing, and with her business experience, feels she is prepared for a long-term career as an owner and manager with OXXO Care Cleaners®.

“I am a people person, and as a customer I have always liked to be treated well,” she added. “What better outcome can you have than having very good customer service and having your garments treated well by specialized personnel?”

The brand’s recently announced strategic growth plans target surrounding communities along the I-4 corridor, South Florida and Houston. Additionally, OXXO Care Cleaners® is awarding single and multi-unit opportunities in states across the Southeast and East Coast, including Texas, Georgia, New Jersey and North Carolina.

About OXXO Care Cleaners®
OXXO Care Cleaners® is an eco-friendly dry cleaning franchise headquartered in Hollywood, Florida. Founded in 2001, the green dry cleaning concept has nearly 40 locations, including international units in Spain, Indonesia and Latin America. Each boutique-style facility uses advanced European garment care equipment and environmentally safe GreenEarth® solvents. The brand also offers customers hand iron finishing, pick-up and delivery, loyalty programs and a 24/7 ATM-style pickup window for round-the-clock service. Complete with cutting-edge technology and a careful regard for sustainability, OXXO Care Cleaners® has been recognized among Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Franchise 500” for its global reach and innovations in garment care.

For more information about the OXXO Care Cleaners® franchise opportunity, call 1.866.462.6996.

OXXO Care Cleaners® Expands Its 24/7 Green Laundry Business

OXXO Care Cleaners®, a 24/7 eco-friendly dry cleaning business, is announcing new growth expectations for its franchise program today.

Since initiating its franchising efforts in 2002, OXXO Care Cleaners® has expanded to nearly 40 locations worldwide with a strong presence throughout the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States. Inspired by rapid growth and a pioneering business model, the brand’s new expansion goals envision five to 10 new stores in the next year.

“In the last decade, we’ve grown organically,” said Salomon Mishaan, President and CEO of the company. “Now is a great time to boost sales as we see a growing market for more eco-conscious concepts in the garment care space.”

Each boutique-style facility utilizes GreenEarth®, a non-toxic process that replaces the harsh solvents unique to traditional dry cleaning with liquid silicone. Operating procedures reduce waste, storage space and energy consumption.

This eco-friendly system, combined with state-of-the-art European equipment, hand iron finishing, online billing and a convenient 24/7 ATM-style pickup window, helps the brand create first-rate garment care experiences for customers.

“Our business model really lends itself to environmental, economic and social sustainability,” said Managing Director Nilma Fernandez. “With our support, franchisees become part of an effort that is much bigger than themselves, and that’s something that really resonates with customers.”

The innovative concept provides a rewarding business opportunity for qualified entrepreneurs. OXXO Care Cleaners®’s franchise system offers operational guidance, site selection and real estate support, as well as the growth potential associated with protected territories.

The brand’s new strategic growth plans target surrounding communities along the I-4 corridor, including North Miami Beach and Houston. New locations in Palm Beach and Orlando are already under development. Additionally, OXXO Care Cleaners® is awarding single and multi-unit opportunities in states across the Southeast and East Coast, including Texas, Georgia, New Jersey and North Carolina.

“Owner-operators in our system double as brand advocates,” Mishaan added. “Together, we’re bringing sustainable solutions and fulfilling business opportunities to communities that need them most. Plus, they have the opportunity to develop and grow a truly exciting business model – a business they can call their own.”

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/09/prweb12980211.htm

Entrepreneur – Franchise 500

Franchise500“A lot of people are trying to use it as a marketing tool rather than changing the way they do business.” Active sustainability initiatives. But when it comes down to it, how many of these companies are actually newsworthy? “People try to capitalize on the green movement,” says Vaughan Lazar, co-founder of Pizza Fusion, an eco-friendly, organic pizza franchise. “A lot of people are trying to use it as a marketing tool rather than changing the way they do business.”

When Lazar and co-founder Michael Gordon opened their first location in 2006, they had set out to create “something with a purpose.” opting for organic ingredients, hybrid delivery vehicles, corn resin containers, recycled countertops and more. From there, “it turned into our passion to be the greenest business we possibly could.” says Lazar. And the idea to franchise soon followed.

It’s not always easy heading a national franchise that has such eco-friendly business practices given the still-limited number of suppliers and more expensive products. But with consumers’ staggering levels of environmental awareness and interest, Lazar and Gordon haven’t had a problem finding customers and franchisees interested in joining the green movement via Pizza Fusion. Jeff Yagoda, their first franchisee and a former KFC franchisee, saw it has a healthy alternative that would allow him to act on his eco-friendly agenda. Yagoda, 52, opened Pizza Fusion’s Fort Lauderdale, Florida location last March with his wife, Sandy, and partner Michael Block, both 37. Sure, his green status is getting him noticed more than when he was with KFC, says Yagoda, but even more important, he’s becoming increasingly eco-conscious in his everyday life

That’s also the case for many other entrepreneurs and their customers. Salomon Mishaan, founder and president of OXXO Care Cleaners, sees customers drive out of their ways to take advantage of this franchise’s eco-friendly dry cleaning. When he launched OXXO in 2001, he sought to provide quality dry cleaning without negatively affecting the environment. All his stores use GreenEarth, a silicone-based product that is safer on the skin. In addition, OXXO’s standard operations allow for less energy consumption, do not produce contaminating waste, and require smaller equipment and less storage space.

Green and Clean: Dry Cleaners take earth-friendly turn

miami-today__largeAn increasing number of Brickell businesses are looking into going green.

The under-construction 40-story, 600,000-square-foot Brickell Financial Centre has a green design, and hotels, such as the Hyatt Regency, have qualified for a green lodging certificate.

But perhaps leading the sustainability charge are dry cleaners.

Ecolav and OXXO Care Cleaners are changing the way people view dry cleaners by cleaning up the process.

“We’ve decided to literally change an industry that hasn’t changed in a century,” said David Greenberg, president of Ecolav, located in the One Broadway building on South Miami Avenue.

“There isn’t a dry cleaner in the world that truly looks like this,” he said, referring to a well-organized, aesthetically pleasing lobby.

The sustainable aspects of the business include the use of bamboo hangers, a solar panel-powered sign where “one day of sunlight powers the sign for a week-and-a-half,” a duel-flush toilet and the use of silicon based cleaning agent GreenEarth, which Mr. Greenberg said is reusable, and drinkable.

The cleaning agent many dry cleaners use is perchlorethylene, often referred to as perc. He calls it terrible for the environment.

GreenEarth “cleans with no fading and no shrinkage in a garment,” he said. “Perc cleans very well because it is essentially gasoline.”

While Ecolav has its flagship store here, OXXO has been around several years and has established 261 locations in South Florida, with three more on the way including one in Mary Brickell Village that is to open late this month or early December.

The two-employee, 600 square-foot shop is a satellite location. Cleaning will take place off-site.

OXXO also uses GreenEarth and has eliminated the energy eating steam boiler that many dry-cleaners use to power their operation, said Sallomon Mishaan, president of Hollywood-based OXXO.

He said is motivation to go green was rooted partly in his “hippie days,” as well as to stop using perc, adding that former Vice President Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” and a renewed energy toward going green have helped further the sustainability trent- a trend in dry-cleaning he said OXXO has helped pioneer.

“We are the bandwagon,” Mr. Mishaan said.

A unique concept however, is the ability of OXXO customers to use an ATM-style machine to pick up and drop off clothes at anytime. Customers will get a card when they drop off their clothes and can use it to retrieve them- packaged in biodegradable garment bags- when they’re ready.

“When you come into the store the first time, its like a debit card, you can subscribe an amount on it,” Mr. Mishaan said.

Ecolav’s Mr. Greenberg said he has eight employees for his 2,800-square-foot operation, which not only includes a sterile, eco-friendly dry-cleaning operation but a collection of eco-friendly retail including soaps, lip balms and nutritional supplements.

“Women came in from all over the place saying, ‘we’re so glad you’re here, we’re so glad you’re green,’” he said. “It’s certainly the key issue for us being socially responsible.”

By Scott E. Pacheco – Miami Today

 

Clean & Green – OXXO Care Cleaners, a Boutique-Style Dry Cleaner, is Using Safer Cleaning Products

home-page-large-imgDry cleaning can be a dirty business. And now an industry that has relied heavily on contaminating chemicals and solvents is facing an ominous edict from shopping center landlords and developers: Clean up your act or leave.

But not all dry cleaners are environmentally unfriendly, OXXO Care Cleaners, a boutique-style cleaner that opened its first South Florida store in 2003, is the newest addition to a wave of green dry cleaners that use biodegradable cleaning agent called GreenEarth.

“Landlords, they’re in panic. They don’t want their land contaminated,” said Salomon Mishaan, 53, president and owner of Hollywood-based MUSA LLC, which franchises OXXO. “But we found a way to distinguish ourselves.”

Instead of using the more common solvent perchloroethlyne, or perc, OXXO and companies such as Dryclean USA and Dry Cleaning Station use the silicon-based solvent developed by General Electric.

“I was looking for something safe that wouldn’t damage your clothes,” said Mishaan. “So in our first meeting with GE, I dipped my finger in a sample glass of GreenEarth and asked if it was toxic. I tasted it and nothing happened. It had a very neutral taste.”

GreenEarth, he said has the same stain-removing power of perch but breaks down into sand when spilled. Even treehuger.com, an online magazine for environmentalists, gives OXXO Care Cleaners high marks for using the solution.

Using GreenEarth isn’t the only way that OXXO tries to distinguish itself.

Mishaan, an industrial executive with packaging companies in Venezuela and Colombia, got the idea for OXXO Care Cleaners while traveling in Europe.

In 2000, he met an entrepreneur in Spain who owned a dry cleaner called OXXO. The store had a refreshing vibe and put an emphasis on personal service, offering hand ironing instead of steam pressing, for example.

Mishaan created MUSA LLC to bring the concept to the United States and made Jean Paul Aziza, the owner of the Spanish store, a minority partner in the venture.

Dry-Cleaning Empire

From the first store, which opened in Hollywood three years ago, OXXO has grown to more than 20 franchises, including 14 in South Florida and stores in New Jersey, California and Washington, D.C. Last year MUSA revenue totaled $2.6 million and Mishaan expects revenue of $5 million in 2006.

The air-conditioned interiors of OXXO stores are quiet and inviting and there are no pungent odors. With a prepaid card, customers can drop off or pick up pieces 24/7 at an ATM style service window.

“That’s what sets us apart: personal service, quality and convenience,” says Mishaan. “I knew the American consumer was ready for an upscale dry cleaner that was socially and environmentally responsible.”

Pricing Structure

Prices at OXXO are also a bit on the upscale side. Laundering costs $1.95 to $2.75 per shirt and dry cleaning generally starts at $4.95 per item— about $1 more than the average price in each case. But Mishaan says the price fit his target demographic “white-collar, high-to-middle class.”

“It’s part of a lifestyle,” he said. “Our clients need to get their clothes dry-cleaned but also enjoy the service and the environment.”

Mishaan and his team are putting a lot of effort into marketing franchises. A new TV commercial touting the OXXO experience also will air soon.

For now, there are no plans of going public or expanding internally. “I’ve got my hands full in the United States,” Mishaan said.

But his goal in he U.S. market is ambitious.

“We want to be the Starbucks of the dry-cleaning industry,” he said.

Shopping center developers are adding impetus to the cleanup of environmental contamination caused by dry cleaners.

The Florida Legislature established the Drycleaning Solvent Cleanup Program in 1994 with a goal of cleaning up contaminated properties, but developer’s sill like dry cleaners that use safer alternative to perch and other chlorine based solutions that can cause millions of dollars in environmental damage if spilled.

“The program has been successful but developers are being cautious in trying to protect their properties,” said Lang Houston, owner of Crest Cleaners in Cocoa and a member of the South Eastern Fabricare Association, a regional association for professional dry cleaners.

Making A Switch

Houston himself switched from perc to DF2000, a petroleum-based cleaning solvent. “I wanted to stay in line with regulators and property owners,” he said.

Woolbright Development, a real estate company based in Boca Raton that develops retail projects, has already gotten rid of half a dozen dry-cleaning plants that existed in shopping centers when it purchased them, said Mike Fimiani, Woolbright’s executive vice president of leasing and marketing.

“We’re mitigating any kind of potential risks of chemical spills and trying to eliminate that liability,” Fimiani said.

Now many dry cleaners are changing to eco-friendly chemicals or turning to central plants where clothes are cleaned and then distributed to drop-off stores in shopping centers.

DROP-OFF ONLY

“We put it very clear in our leases that we only want drop-off sites,” said Jon Mott of the Paradis Group, a shopping center developer based in the Tampa Bay area. “For some time now we have been steering off anything that is a hazard to our land because you can’t have stores that drain chemicals that seep into the ground.

“For one thing, you can’t resell the property,” he said. “It’s very tough.”

Dryclean USA, based in Miami says it hasn’t built any stores that use perc for the last 10 years and is fazing the solvent out in favor of environmentally friendly cleaning solutions such as GreenEarth and DF2000 at other stores. Dryclean USA has more than 400 locations throughout the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

“The first three to five years were challenging because it was a new technology,” said President Mike Steiner.

“Now manufacturers have it down to a complete science and the [new] machines are wonderful,” he added.

By Elias E. Lopez – The Miami Herald

Best Dry Cleaner in Hollywood: OXXO

HG_LOGO_2007Hollywood gazette Vol. VI, No.1
Five-Year Anniversary Edition – September 2006

When you pride services such as a window for clothes drop off that’s open 24/7, ironing done by hand, and use an environmentally safe cleaner, you can’t help but be the best. OXXO Care Cleaner’s® commitment to helping the environment and providing customers with the best possible cleaning service, make them unique in their field. That is, after all, why they’re called care cleaners and NOT dry cleaners. –EGL