Ishmael Wilson, also known as Pastor Ishmael, has both a unique story and business. Losing his step father as a child, Ishmael’s mother was forced to work 12-14 hour days in order to be able to provide her children with basic needs. After being harassed in her job, she was forced to retire. This was the first time Ishmael knew he wanted to build a business – a business built on values.
Ishmael launched Fresh Dry Clean, an eco-friendly dry cleaning chain. He decided to open a business in this industry because of its longevity. “I wanted to be able to have an income generating and profitable stream that had the bandwidth to last through tough times. Dry Cleaners, when given the right tools and support, have the ability to be around for generations to come,” says Ishmael. To his surprise, Ishmael later found out that his grandparents owned and operated a Dry Cleaners in the 1960s. Hence, Fresh Dry Clean is not only the “recession proof” business he was looking for, but also part of his destiny.
Fresh Dry Clean has 4 locations, including their very own production plant, and continues to expand throughout the DMV area. While they provide regular Dry Clean services for customers who frequent their pick-up locations, they also provide dry cleaning services to hotels and other organizations. Furthermore, they differentiate themselves through their focus on quality, rather than quantity. While other Dry Cleaners may focus more on volume, Fresh Dry Clean’s number one priority is to satisfy their customers.
“We want to be known as a Dry Cleaners who cares about your experience and will do our best to make sure that every experience is one that you will want to repeat over and over again,” shares Ishmael.
From eco laundry detergent & solutions, to fresh soy candles, to franchising, Ishmael has multiple ideas to grow the business. While Covid-19 pushed them close to shutting down, it also forced Ishmael to think outside the box and come up with solutions and services that have prepared the business to tackle any obstacle.