The foremost name in dry cleaning and formal clothing rental, Belize Dry Cleaners, is taking another step toward improving its technology with the new introduction of a machine presser. Proprietor Lascelle Arnold what it is and what it does.
“We have two machines: one that does the cuff and collar and then the next one that does the rest of the shirt. What it does, it becomes straight from the…if it’s a dress shirt weh you use with tie which is a cotton shirt, it goes straight from the washing machine to the machine to press. To press it wet, it all depends; sometimes we put starch…it all depends on the condition of the shirt to get the best quality pressed shirt. It blow steams and then they blow down with air to cool down the shirt.”
Reporter: “And that allows it to get rid of the wrinkles”.
Mr. Lascelle Arnold: “Exactly, the pressure that it blows with and the steam, we have a 80 PSI Steam blowing into those shirts, and then from there, we have about 100 PSI fresh air blowing in to the shirt to cool it down and to take out all the wrinkles”.
Lascelle Arnold’s company has been in business for over two decades and has practically cornered the market on dry cleaning and clothing rental. Lascelle Arnold explains, however, that this newest investment helps solve a nagging old problem.
Mr. Lascelle Arnold: “What happened is that it was too costly for us to be doing it with the regular conventional press. An iron takes maybe 5, 6 or 7 minutes, it all depends on how fast the presser is. So, what happens is that it is too costly with the boiler running and the burning of gas and electricity, etc. With this, it will cut the time down by 80% right? So, what happen, we could do like 5 or 6 shirts more in that space of time”.
Reporter: “I notice that you are a businessman that very often, you make upgrades to your equipment in order to keep competitive. How important is that?”
Mr. Lascelle Arnold: “It is important because of cost of gas, because electricity goes up, because the cost of labour goes up. So, for us to maintain our price to our customer, what we do, we invest in technology to keep the price down. If you notice our prices, from the time we opened the dry cleaners, our prices are the same, and it’s all because of the cutting edge that the dry cleaners always pride themselves in acquiring”.
Lascelle Arnold says he will make back the 50 thousand dollar investment in the machine over time because of its heavy usage, especially at prom and graduation time. But what advice does he have for younger entrepreneurs who want to emulate his success? In addition to taking advantage of opportunities for development and information, he says they must get creative.
Mr. Lascelle Arnold: “We have to be more creative and innovative about business. A lot of business in Belize, because someone is making money out of something, then the next person want to go into that business. We have to look at nitch marketing and different services that Belize needs; maybe something that we never have in Belize before, but it will work because it’s human beings that will be using those services…and in Belize, there wasn’t a dry cleaners in Belize. In the past we used to have a dry cleaners way back in the 70s but it never worked because why? The same problem with not moving with the time and equipment and that type of thing…and then it became too costly and it couldn’t survive”.
According to Mr Arnold, the investments he has made has allowed his prices to remain stable. Belize Dry Cleaners is located on Dolphin Street in Belize City.