By: Tom Fink | Category: Professional Services | Issue: February 2019
Jeff and Shelly Waters, owners of WaterStone Dry Cleaners.
We all lead busy lives. WaterStone Dry Cleaners knows this full well and wants to help simplify your life by saving you the inconvenience of having to take the time to make a trip to the dry cleaners. With WaterStone, the dry cleaner comes to you.
A full-service dry cleaner and laundry, Waterstone offers valet pick up and delivery service from and to your home or business, with an attention to detail and quality service.
WaterStone founder Jeff Waters has nearly 30 years total experience in the cleaning industry, more than a decade of which has been at the business he owns with his wife, Shelly.
“We’ll be 13 years in the business in January, which we actually started as strictly valet – pick up and delivery to people’s homes – that was the initial business, and we operated in that format for about two years,” Waters said. “We marketed door-to-door and would put customers on a regular schedule, either a Monday/Thursday or a Tuesday/Friday schedule, and we still do that, but at some point, our customers told us they were very happy with what we did, but they wanted another outlet.
Crystal believes that personal service and attention to detail are key at Waterstone Dry Cleaners.
“So, after starting the business in 2006 and seeing it grow so rapidly, we added our operation in Owasso in April of 2008,” he said. “We live in Owasso and know a lot of people in the area, so it made sense for us to start our business there.”
Although, until recently, WaterStone only had the Owasso location, they had customers throughout Tulsa and the Tulsa metro area, including Jenks, Glenpool, Broken Arrow, Bixby, all of whom were serviced with the valet pick up and delivery.
“Over time, some of our south Tulsa customers began expressing an interest in having some kind of outlet a little closer to where they are, to have a drop-off location where they could get same day service – so that if they bring an item in by 9 in the morning, they could pick it up later that same day – including Saturday,” he said. “Because we had customers asking for this, we finally relented and agreed to have an additional location – at 92nd and Sheridan – where they could use our service on a day that’s not regularly scheduled.”
Waters said he attributed the business’s growth and expansion to WaterStone’s exceptional customers service and work quality. One of the particular strengths of the south Tulsa location is an employee named Crystal.
“Crystal is no stranger to the (dry cleaning) business in Tulsa,” he said. “We’re very pleased to have her on board here. She has years of experience in the Tulsa area and is well-known for taking care of her customers. If you become a customer here, Crystal personally feels like you are her responsibility. She provides her customers world class service.”
“I’m going on my 12th year of customer service in the dry cleaning business,” she said, “and once you become a customer, I’m going to do whatever it takes to take care of you. Many of the people who know me through my work have known me for years, they’ve seen my kids grow up and since I live in south Tulsa, I’ll run into my customers outside of work all the time.”
“It’s one thing to work somewhere and take care of business there, but when you live in the city where you also work, you have an added incentive to take extra care of those customers because you’re all the more invested in the community,” Waters said.
WaterStone Dry Cleaners offers traditional dry cleaning and laundry, shirt service, cleaning household items such as comforters and quilts, shoe shining, alterations, and offers a 24-hour drop-off window for the convenience of the customer.
WaterStone also uses environmentally-friendly chemicals in its cleaning of garments, recycling all the hangers and plastic which are brought in – even those of competitors, and they handle leather items, formal wear such as tuxedos and wedding dresses.
“One thing that sets us apart from our competitors is our mindset about what we do,” he said. “We all have a servant’s mindset. We’re here to serve the customer, first and foremost, and I know I take it very personally should I ever hear that we’ve provided anything less than perfect service for someone, it bothers me, it bothers Crystal.
“Another thing that sets us apart, I think, is that I’m in the business every day,” he continued. “I’m not an absentee owner – this is my life, this is my livelihood and the livelihood for the people who work here. I want to do everything I can to make it a success. If a customer needs something, we’ll just do whatever we have to do to try and make it happen.”
All items are barcoded for identification, with the garment and owner’s specifications kept on record. When a customer’s order is ready, they receive a notification text. Should the customer then decide they would rather have the item delivered, WaterStone can accommodate them, even if that was not the original agreement.
“A couple of Saturdays ago, we got a call from a customer who dropped an item off at the Tulsa location, and later asked if we could deliver it to them, giving us a narrow delivery window,” he said. “So I left the Owasso store, came here, picked the item up and took it to the customer’s house.”
“And that was Thanksgiving weekend, by the way,” Crystal added.
“Oh, that’s right – I forgot about that,” Waters said. “There are other examples – we’ve had weather events where we’ve had to close and I would get a call or text from a customer at 10:00 at night, telling me they couldn’t come to get their items (because of the weather) but they needed them before an early morning flight. So, we worked it out and we made arrangements to go down to the shop, unlock the door and take care of them outside or normal hours – I know that’s not the case with anybody else.”
“Once people come in and get to know us, allow us to do some work for them, they realize we provide a good quality product at a price that’s either less than or equal to what other dry cleaners are providing,” he said.
WaterStone Dry Cleaners has two locations, one in South Tulsa at 92nd and Sheridan, and one in Owasso at 96th and Garnett. Regular hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
9540 N Garnett Rd | Owasso, OK 74055
9241-C, S Sheridan Rd | Tulsa, OK 74133
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