Fashion Cleaners got a new look with the opening of cleaning plant

LANCASTER — A long-time city business got a new look this year.

Fashion & Vanity Cleaners opened in 1960 in the Plaza Shopping Center on Memorial Drive. But new owners Brad and Shelba Roach bought the business in 2018 and completed a major expansion of it in March and changed the name to Fashion Cleaners.

Press Supervisor Christine LeFever presses clothing inside of Fashion Cleaners in Lancaster, Ohio on September 29, 2021.

The retail store is at 1105 E. Main St. and the new modern cleaning plant is at 2585 E. Main St. The Roaches closed the shopping center store and plant. Now the retail business and cleaning operations are in separate locations.

“Things kind of worked out,” Brad Roach said. “It was the right time to do it. We’ve got a bunch of new equipment and much more environmentally-sound equipment. Much more efficient, a better plant layout for our team.”

Fashion Cleaners is a full-service dry cleaning and laundry business. The business delivers throughout Fairfield County, to Logan and Circleville. Fashion Cleaners also has a contract for dry cleaning with a major supermarket chain and some law enforcement agencies.

Brad Roach, owner of Fashion and Vanity Cleaners, stands by racks of clothing being pressed and cry cleaned inside of Fashion and Vanity Cleaners in Lancaster, Ohio in September 29, 2021.

The Roaches bought the business from Bob and Nancy Lovell.

“The business requires you to be sort of nimble and ready to change for the environment,” Brad Roach said. “I would say maybe 20% of the garments that we get say dry clean only. The rest of the stuff that comes in you can use water to clean. Most people want, of course, the things to get clean. But they’re really interested in the appearance of a nice press job.”

He said Fashion Cleaners will have to continue being nimble because he doesn’t see a lot of companies calling people back to the office light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“So we’re going to have to find other ways to pick up that revenue stream,” Brad Roach said.

Dress Shirt Lead, Cindy Miller, press a dress shirt inside Fashion Cleaners in Lancaster, Ohio on September 29, 2021.

Like many other businesses, Brad Roach said his business is short-staffed with nine employees. Therefore, the Roaches spend a lot of time working themselves. For example, a few days ago Brad Roach drove the Logan delivery route that included the Logan High School Marching Band uniforms, and Shelba Roach handled the Lancaster route.

“It’s been quite a challenge,” Brad Roach said. “But another reason we did this (bought the business) was the people that worked here. We saw the strength of the team. I sure have learned during this not for a second to take anyone for granted. You have to be a good servant/leader to keep what you’ve got.”