Have you ever had a client come running to your store almost in tears because they have ruined a perfectly good piece of clothing by not following the label instructions? I’m pretty sure you have! And I probably was one of those!
Since I started being responsible for the washing of my own clothing, I was always a “daredevil”, so to speak, when it came to doing laundry. Pretty much everything went to the washer and dryer regardless of the washing instructions. Every time I saw “Dry Clean” on the label, that piece of garment would remain at the bottom of the dirty laundry basket for weeks until I wanted to wear it again and of course it was already too late, so off to the washer it went. I was just too lazy to go to the dry cleaner store and I always thought “nothing happened to my clothes really”… until it happened.
I remember it so clearly. I had this beautiful georgette silk dress with a long skirt that fell into soft ripples, flowing with so much grace. It had this label inside that very clearly stated “DRY CLEAN ONLY”. But you know I liked breaking the “laundry rules”. So yes, I washed it. I had to learn my lesson the hard way, right? I ended up with a dress with a horrible texture, that felt more like a shower curtain than a summery flowing dress.
And believe me I don’t want your clients to have to learn the lesson that way so it’s better if they learn from my experience.
There are a couple of lessons here. The first one is that you need to make sure your clients understand what the labels on their clothes mean. They are there for a reason. If certain materials, like taffeta, silk, wool, velvet, acetate, among others, are not cared for in the proper way, it is possible the fabric could rip, come apart, shrink or even fade—and stain other clothes.
If your client has a piece of garment that is labeled as “DRY CLEAN ONLY”, they need to make sure it is professionally dry-cleaned. If, on the other hand, it only says “DRY CLEAN”, it is mostly a recommendation, which I highly advise they follow. If they decide otherwise, they should test the fabric before washing and deal with the consequences if they don’t. I know you know all this, but you need to make sure that your clients know it too.
The second lesson here is that—if you don’t offer it yet—you should think about having pickup and delivery. My dry cleaner didn’t have that option back then when I ruined my gorgeous dress, but now I wish they had. This will prevent all those dry cleaning garments piling up at the bottom of the laundry basket, because with the click of a button your client can set up their pick-up time on their Enlite app and forget about having to drop their clothes at your store.
Convenience…that would have saved my dress (and following the instructions too).
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