Martinizing Cleaners – Beyond Brightening Clothes!
Oct 17, 2014 11:22PM
● By Laura Ustanovska
Martinizing Cleaners is a second generation family business started by Brian Cass’s father, Chuck, 50 years ago. “Dad started out selling Martinizing franchises and eventually opened his own store at 74th and Greenfield in West Allis. I never worked at the business growing up, never even entered my mind to get into it. I spent the winter in Colorado after I graduated with my finance degree, and when I came back Dad asked if I’d ever thought about getting into the business. I answered not really but was willing to give it a try.” Twenty-four years later, Brian and brother/partner Dave own 16 locations (and several other business ventures) providing local communities with dry cleaning and laundry along with a host of other services such as alterations, area rug cleaning, wedding gown preservation and FREE home pick up and delivery.
Although Brian thrives on the fast pace, constant challenges and most especially marketing his businesses, it is interactions with customers that he enjoys most. “I like being able to help customers with their image and wardrobe. If you look good, you feel good!”
Brian and Dave are also finding inspiration by giving back to the community. “We recently started a community service project called Martinizing Helping Hands that we are very proud of; we do free laundry – wash and fold service with free pick up and delivery – for families affected by cancer. We had been looking for some type of community service project to start and a cancer organization called Tricia’s Troops just happened to call me and ask if we would be willing to do laundry for families affected by cancer – it was perfecting timing. In the past few months we have done free laundry service for about five families. We are now looking for other groups to offer this service through.”
Brian met his wife Cathy at UW-Eau Claire. Daughter and artist Hailey arrived 19 years ago; she’s currently a graphic design student at WCTC. Mitch (17), who likes to golf, frolf (essentially golf with Frisbees), hunt and snowboard, will be enjoying his senior year at Arrowhead High School and plans to pursue a degree in business. “My family is my biggest inspiration,” says Brian.
His other outside-of-work interests include golf and music, including playing in a band. “Our band, Ballmer’s Curve, has been together about four years. The members are Harley-Davidson engineers Jason Schreiber (drums) and Andy Schmidt (guitar), salesman Dean Leo (vocals), Pastor Jim Grear (bass) and Brian plays guitar and sings a little. We play out usually every other month everywhere from bars to parties to weddings.”
Cleaners has enabled Brian to meet all kinds of interesting people
and travel to places he probably never would have “plus my clothes
usually look pretty good!”