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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Tips for Choosing the Right Wedding Gown

I was one of those rare brides that didn’t have to try on hundreds of dresses before I found the right one; I saw the gown I wanted in a magazine.  Further, my husband worked for the magazine’s publisher, so they called the designer who sent me a sample.  We then sent her my measurements, and about a month later my gown arrived.  I was also lucky because it was a simple, sleeveless sheath dress, and we were getting married in a simple outdoor ceremony.

Sadly, not every bride falls into the perfect dress.  Sometimes it takes time to find ‘the one’, so we thought we’d offer a few tips that might help that process go a bit more smoothly.

Set your budget and stick to it.  If the overall budget for your wedding is $10,000, don’t spend $8,000 on your gown.  Figure out how much money you have to work with and then allocate the dollars realistically.

Think about your style and the venue.  In my case I knew I wanted something simple; I’m not an overly ornate or frilly kind of girl.  I also knew we were going to get married outside, so the last thing I wanted was a long train that would get grass stains on it or get stuck on the rocks on the cobblestone walkway.   

Start shopping – as early as possible.  There are so many variables here – Are you a picky shopper? Are you going to want a custom gown?  Will it be rather ornate?  We recommend at least 8 -10 months out from your wedding date.  This will take into account shopping time, if it’s a custom gown, and will allow for alterations.

Schedule appointments.  Don’t just show up at bridal salons, especially on Saturday afternoons.  Instead, call ahead, discuss your likes and dislikes in case they might want to bring in more samples, and then schedule an appointment.  Take any accessories you might want to wear on your wedding day, but avoid taking too many helpers.  Sometimes too many opinions make it difficult for the bride-to-be, but do take one or two friends, or your mom, to give you honest feedback.

Have an open mind.  Even though you might have your heart set on a certain style be open to trying on other things, especially if the salesperson recommends it.  It’s hard to get a good picture when the dress is hanging on a hanger.  Plus, it is possible to fall in love with something completely opposite of what you thought you wanted.

Have fun.  You’re preparing for your day; enjoy the attention and pampering.  When you find the right dress, you’ll know it. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Importance of Where You Store Your Clothes

There are many things that make me uniquely qualified to do this job, but I think the biggest thing is that my life (most of the time thanks to my husband) is the ultimate guide of what not to do.  Here’s the latest story.

A year ago, my husband’s company was sold, and he temporarily went to work for the new owners to help them make the transition.  After about 6 months, they no longer needed his services.  We knew this was coming and prepared for it, so Matt took some time off to tear down our old barn and to build a new one.


As he was preparing to tear down the old barn, he had to put all his stuff somewhere, so he borrowed his uncle’s horse trailer (shown in the photo just to the right of the new barn) and stored most of his things – tools he doesn’t use frequently, sports gear, hunting gear, and so on – in that trailer.  Now that he’s almost finished with the barn, he’s started unloading the trailer, and what he’s discovering is that it probably wasn’t such a good idea to store his hunting clothes in that trailer.  I know you know that horse trailers are not temperature controlled, air-tight (notice the tarp covering the openings for the horses), and critter proof.  To top it off, he put his stuff in boxes or wooden cabinets.

The interesting thing was that when I put them in the washer, they just looked dirty.  When I pulled them out of the washer, they looked like they do now.  That’s because holes due to insect damage don’t appear until after the garment has been cleaned because the fabric was likely weakened by insects, then the agitation the garment received during the cleaning process caused unbroken but weakened fibers to break.






The lesson we should learn from this?  In previous blog posts, we’ve shared that you should always store your clothes in a cool, dry, clean place; never store your clothes in a cold basement or hot attic.  We should add never store your garments in a horse trailer.  These places are not temperature controlled and are more likely to house critters and insects that like to munch on fabric that hasn’t been cleaned properly.  To learn more about how to properly store out-of-season clothes, click here.   To learn more about storing your clothes at any A Cleaner World location, click here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Thank You for Donating to Give A Kid A Coat

The 2018 Give A Kid A Coat wrapped up its 31st campaign on Saturday, February 10 after collecting and cleaning 21,188 coats for distribution.

Every year, we are just in awe at the generosity and kindness that you show.  I talked with Captain Bobby Jackson, with The Salvation Army of High Point, during this year’s campaign, and he shared with me what kind of impact Give A Kid A Coat has on those receiving coats.  He explained that many families must decide each month exactly how to designate their limited resources.  Often, they chose between paying the electric bill, buying food to eat, paying rent, or buying coats.  “Give A Kid A Coat allows them not to worry about the jacket needs of their families, so they can focus on other needs,” he shared. 

Besides providing warmth, comfort, and security for the child wearing it, a coat also provides peace of mind for the parents.  And you guys did that.  I feel like saying the words ‘thank you’ doesn’t seem like enough.  Instead, we thought we’d say thank you in photo format, so you could see the impact your donations made.


It’s a team effort – starting with you, going to our hardworking staff, then to the ever-faithful folks at The Salvation Army, and ending up with a warm, happy face.  And that’s why we all love Give A Kid A Coat.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

It’s About the Customer

I love hearing stories from our managers, from things like crazy stains they’ve conquered to customers that have visited their stores for years.  So, when I heard that our A Cleaner World on Brandon Avenue in Roanoke had a 25+ year customer, I had to learn more.

Heather Taylor, the manager of the Brandon Avenue location, remembers Mr. Colter visiting the location when she was just a little girl.  “Mr. Colter has always been a big jokester,” said Heather.  “One day I remember him pulling up and ordering a hamburger and a coke.  My dad had just gone to McDonald’s and carried a bag with a burger in it and a coke out to Mr. Colter.  He thought it was a scream.”

Mr. Colter continues the fun now that Heather is the manager, and he especially loves Wednesday, a day he refers to as “hump day”.  One day, roughly 5-6 years ago, he brought the staff a plastic camel in honor of “hump day”, asking that they not mention it to his wife because he stole the camel out of her Nativity set.  To this day, the staff at that store places the camel out on the counter in the lobby every Wednesday.
This is just one of the things that differentiates A Cleaner World from other dry cleaners.  You drop off your dirty clothes, and we clean and finish them for you.  And sure, we have multiple locations in North Carolina and Virginia, but at heart we are a family-owned business.  We know how you like to have your garments finished and packaged.  We know you and your kids.  We love on your dogs.  Sometimes we know when you’re going through difficult things, and we’ll do something special – just because.

So, we just wanted to say thank you; each location has its own Mr. Colter, and we enjoy serving him or her just like we enjoy serving you.  There’s something about a family-owned business where customers are treated like family, where we know what you like, and where we are always there for you.
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