“HOT OFF THE PRESS” Dry Cleaning News
(248) 543-0340 | www.janetdaviscleaners.com 27607Woodward Ave., Berkley, MI 48072 | 3645 Maple Rd., Bloomfield, MI 48301
END OF YEAR REFLECTIONS
What the Ghost of Christmas Past Can Tell Us About the Future
Charles Dickens published his famous novella “A Christmas Carol” in 1843, a period when the British were re-evaluating past Christmas traditions, like carol singing, and exploring newer ones, like decorating Christmas trees. Whenever I think about my own family’s holiday traditions, this story is at the forefront of my mind, and it always prompts me to reflect on the past year in its entirety. Once the weather grows colder, I find myself reflecting on beginnings — the beginning of the year, the beginning of the company, the beginning of relationships, and the beginning of everything. As I pour over memories from when I started here at Janet Davis Cleaners to where I am today, I can’t help but imagine myself soaring high above the streets of Michigan, the Ghost of Christmas Past my only company. got into the business by accident of birth, and oddly enough, I’ve adopted that mindset too. I remember being in elementary school and stopping by his work on Sunday afternoons. One day, my grandma picked me up from school and dropped me off with my dad because he had some orders left to finish. I sat there and watched him press shirts, which is a time-consuming process and a lot of work overall. Apparently, I told him that when I Because we are a fifth-generation family business, my dad always jokes that he
grew up, I was going to invent a machine to do that job for him so he wouldn’t have to work so hard.
Reflecting on my time here has made me realize how much I’ve grown into my role, but it’s also made me appreciate the ways in which business itself has changed in the last decade. As we gain more clients, our team continues to grow. At the same time, we are always innovating to ensure that our operations run more smoothly with each new year. We also continuously shop for equipment to help make our employees’ jobs more efficient and get the clothes in our care as clean as possible. In fact, we recently purchased that press machine that I promised to build my dad all those years ago. He tells me, “Even if you weren’t the one who invented it, I’m really glad that someone else did!” As I consider the maturation I’ve undergone as an individual and the evolution of the company in its entirety, I am so grateful that the generations before me found a way to tie their fathers’ successes to their own visions. I guess you could say that they found a way integrate their Ghosts of Christmas Past to their Ghosts of Christmas Present, and I hope that in the years to come, I am able to accomplish the same feat.
My interest in Dad’s work followed me all the way through to high school. The same year I got my driver’s license, I started helping him with miscellaneous tasks. I input data into spreadsheets and worked at the front desk as a customer service representative. Once I began college, I started dabbling in the client accruement side of the company, which helped me gain experience for the role I’ve occupied since then. Following my college graduation and my stint in mortgage banking, I came to work here full time as the director of sales and marketing. I maintain the website and technology, and I’ve created all the marketing material we have to date. In fact, my dad now likes to joke that he works for me, and any time a mistake occurs, he kids, “Well, I guess you ought to fire me now!” “As I pour over memories from when I started here at Janet Davis Cleaners to where I am today, I can’t help but imagine myself soaring high above the streets of Michigan, the Ghost of Christmas Past my only company.”
–Kyle Matthews 1 (248) 543-0340
Ugly Sweater Parties
A FUN TREND YOU CAN EASILY FOLLOW!
WHAT DID CAVE MEN REALLY TALK ABOUT?
It’s speculated that the first ugly sweater party took place in Vancouver, Canada, back in 2001. Since then, the trend has become one of the most popular holiday party themes. Come Thanksgiving, you’ll start to see racks in all types of clothing stores lined with hideous sweaters. If you’re ready to jump on the ugly-sweater- party bandwagon this Holiday season, here a few things to keep in mind.
The Evolution of the Referral
While the idea of getting new client referrals seems to stay at the forefront of business owners’ minds, the concept of encouraging someone to seek out or share in a specific kind of experience has been around since the beginning of time. Since the prehistoric era, communication practices among humans evolved in tandem with social shifts. While these changes in communication were often a result of more serious issues, like lack of food or dangerous encounters with animals, cave men and women still likely made referrals part of their everyday lives. Perhaps they painted petroglyphs on the cave walls to inform other gatherers where the best berries were located or to offer directions for the best way to quarter an antelope. Fast-forward to the 1800s, and communication methods had dramatically evolved. Humans were no longer painting symbols on cave walls, nor were they tying notes to the feet of pigeons. Instead, they harnessed electricity to transmit and receive messages. People used telegrams to spread information. Perhaps some used Morse code to encourage their mothers to use wool or linen to make their wedding dresses because cotton and silk were harder fabrics to come by. Maybe they even sent telegrams to argue about the best way to shear a sheep. Then in 1876, the first phone call was made. From then on, people could just sit there at their kitchen table, dial the number, and talk to their friends about novelty inventions, like the typewriter or the escalator. Can you imagine encountering an escalator for the first time? It’s an experience you would definitely want to tell your friends about! Communication changed again in 1992 when IBM introduced the world’s first smartphone. Nowadays, you can talk to your friends, family members, or coworkers with a quick swipe to message, chat, email, or dial a good old-fashioned phone call. Using whichever medium you prefer, you can recommend a restaurant, an attorney, a class, or even a dry cleaning service at the drop of a hat. All of us here at Janet Davis Cleaners love your referrals. If you know of anyone you think might like our services, send them our way! We won’t even ask that you paint on a wall or master Morse code to do so.
YOUR VERY OWN UGLY SWEATER Ugly sweaters come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. You can head to H&M or a local thrift store to pick one up. However, if you have a sweater that’s been cozied up for years in the back of your closet or a drawer, now’s your chance to give it new life. Arm yourself with a hot glue gun, thread, and needle, and patch Santa, Rudolph, or Frosty on it. And let it be known that an ugly sweater isn’t complete without sparkles, beads, and sequins galore. WHAT EXACTLY IS AN UGLY SWEATER PARTY? It’s rather simple — slip on your favorite Holiday sweater, gather all your friends and family members, make sure there are plenty of refreshments and games, and you’re guaranteed to have a top-tier party. A few ugly-sweater-themed games that should be on the agenda include an ugly gift exchange, which is similar to the white elephant exchange, except with the gaudiest gifts you can find; an ugly photo booth, complete with terrible, tacky props; and, of course, an ugly sweater contest. This is the only time of year when slipping into a lurid red sweater with a stuffed Santa sewn on the front is considered trendy. So adorn yourself in the frumpiest, tackiest sweater you can find, and have some fun this December!
How to Prepare Your Tablecloth for Dinner DON’T FORGET ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT HOLIDAY LINEN!
Even the most careful of people can’t avoid staining their tablecloths during the holiday season. Between hosting family dinners, carving pumpkins, and cheering on the Spartans with your friends, your tablecloth sees a lot of traffic. With this traffic comes some of the most pesky stains. Just because these stains are common doesn’t mean they have to be permanent. In order to remove these stains, you’ll need: 1. Laundry detergent 2. A bucket 3. A spoon 4. Vinegar 5. Oxyclean 6. Access to a washing machine Pretreat the stains on your tablecloth with a 1:1 mixture of detergent and water. Apply the mixture to the stain
with the back of a spoon. The curvature of the silverware will put the soap where it is needed without damaging the tablecloth’s delicate fibers. Set aside the tablecloth for 15–30 minutes, then wash as you normally would. After the washing cycle is complete, inspect the tablecloth for stains. Never put an item in the dryer if it still has a stain on it! If stains are still visible, continue treating the stain by creating a solution made up of 10 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Be sure to test for colorfastness in an inconspicuous area. If the solution doesn’t alter the color, soak the tablecloth for an hour, then wash it again. If the pesky stain still persists, soak the tablecloth in Oxyclean.
of stains before your folks head over for holiday dinner. Just remember to always read the care label before starting any treatment. If you are uncomfortable doing any of the above steps or lack the necessary tools, please bring your tablecloth into our professionals for a little help! We will be happy to help you make this year’s dinner even more festive.
Using these directions, you should be able to remove the vast majority
Buttery ROASTED CHESTNUTS
Whether or not you have an open fire, you can easily roast some chestnuts using this simple, delicious recipe.
• 2 pounds fresh chestnuts, unpeeled • 2–3 sprigs rosemary • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste • Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste rosemary, butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Toss to coat and transfer to baking
1. Heat oven to 450 F. 2. Place a large sheet of foil on a rimmed baking sheet. 3. On a large, flat workspace, place chestnuts flat side down. Using a sharp knife, carve an X on the rounded side of each chestnut. 4. In a large bowl of hot water, soak chestnuts for 1 minute. 5. Pat dry and transfer to a medium bowl. Add
sheet. Arrange in a single layer. Gather the edges of the foil together, leaving an opening at the top.
6. Roast until peels curl up, about 30–45 minutes. 7. Transfer to a platter and serve while hot or warm.
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(248) 543-0340 www.janetdaviscleaners.com INSIDE THIS ISSUE
27607Woodward Ave. Berkley, MI 48072
What the Ghost of Christmas Past Can Tell Us About the Future
Everything You’ll Need for an Ugly Sweater Christmas
What Did Cave Men Really Talk About?
Don’t Forget About This Important Holiday Linen!
Buttery Roasted Chestnuts
The Biggest Black Friday Lawsuit in History
FAKE DISCOUNTS AND ANGRY SHOPPERS A Massive Black Friday Lawsuit
Shoppers flock to retailers every Black Friday in hopes of securing the best deals on the year’s hottest products. There are many nasty aspects of Black Friday — the long lines, the overzealous shoppers, the limited stock of items — but phony pricing and fake sales shouldn’t be among them. But that’s exactly what happened to folks in Los Angeles during the 2016 holiday season, leading to the biggest Black Friday lawsuit in history. In December of 2016, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office sued J.C. Penney, Sears, Macy’s, and Kohl’s for a practice called “false reference pricing,” a nefarious tactic whereby retailers lie about the original price of an item to make a discount appear bigger than it actually is. For example, Sears sold a Kenmore washing machine at a “sale price” of $999.99, compared to a “regular price” of $1,179.99. The problem was the so-called sale price was actually the price that product was offered at every day. Therefore, it wasn’t actually on sale. Duping your customers is a bad business practice, but what makes it illegal? Well, California law requires that retailers post a retail price no higher than what the product was sold at within
three months prior to the ad. “Families today … are striving to get the very most they can get from an extremely hard-earned holiday shopping dollar,” said LA City Attorney Mike Feuer. “They deserve to make an informed decision.” After the suit was brought against them, the retailers all quickly moved to settle, promising to never engage in false reference pricing again. Most retailers offer discounts around the holidays to encourage shoppers to come into their stores or visit their websites. Promotions and sales are great tools in any business’s arsenal, provided they aren’t out to mislead customers. Big-box stores may try to manipulate innocent people, and it’s up to aggrieved customers to hold those corporations accountable. Nearly every year, you’ll read about a class-action lawsuit that develops in response to the shady tactics of businesses eager to secure those holiday shopping dollars. Are there great bargains to be had on Black Friday? Of course. But if something sounds too good to be true, it very well might be. Keep your eyes peeled and don’t let retailers trick you into a purchase you wouldn’t make otherwise.
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