A few years ago we had a very good dry cleaning customer that asked us to clean her purse. As with most dry cleaners and even specialty cleaners we all shied away from cleaning purses and I tried to talk her out of it. It turns out this was a brand new Prada purse that she spent $900 on. She said she would accept all the risk and had to try because her husband would never buy her another purse if he found out she ruined this one so quickly. We gave it a go and the purse turned out great.
Being the dry cleaner for most all the high fashion and couture shops in Southern California I was weekly walking into salons such as Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. The prime retail space in the salons was dedicated to purses and accessories and the clothing was in the back. When I inquired with the store manager I was told that those are the high price point items and their fastest moving product. Well, I immediately determined that Margaret's needed to be able to provide cleaning service for purses.
There was nobody in the industry to train on purse cleaning and when I set out on this project everybody tried to dissuade me that we would loose our shirt because most purses just can't be cleaned well. I didn't adhere to their advice and began the service anyway. We had to purchase some hand cleaning equipment and even had some tools custom built. The first hundred or so purses were painstaking and we cut our teeth slowly. As of writing this entry we have successfully cleaned over 3,000 purses and have pretty much seen it all. Everything from washing the signature fabric Gucci in the washing machine to a can of root beer exploding in their Christian Dior. The audio testimonial on our purse cleaning page was the customer that had the "brilliant" idea to clean her Gucci purse in the washing machine. We had to completely redye the fabric and refinish the leather and the customer loved the results.