The Business of Fabric and Carpet Cleaning
Since the age of 12, I’ve had a hand in the business of cleaning fabrics and carpeting. I would accompany my dad when he would visit clients to give estimates and when I was old enough, I worked on my own. Visiting big businesses and law firms in downtown Los Angeles became common for me. Some of my fondest memories include the times that I worked at such establishments as Wyman Bautzer, Gipson, Dunn & Crutcher, Bank of America, Arco towers, E.F. Hutton, the Playboy Club in Century City, and the Jonathon Club downtown. I met and worked for greats like Frank Sinatra, Sidney Poitier and Jimmy Stewart.
Here I am, over 40 years since my first visits with my dad, and still, my company is blessed with long term, ongoing client relationships, as well as many new clients each day.
We are in the cleaning business, but we also know that the service we provide is essential to our clients and our livelihood. If you’re a client, it’s a safe bet that you know we aren’t the least expensive option in town, but they also know that you are choosing to hire the most trustworthy and knowledgeable cleaning firm in the area.
What makes us stand apart is the way we work. We stand behind everything we do. We search tirelessly for the cleaning solutions that you need and then we help you with your cleaning needs. We are problem solvers! We believe that there is nothing more important than our integrity. Our clients know that we won’t make a promise without delivering and we’re always keeping our clients in mind. Our clients trust us and rely on us!
In 1963, my father, Joe Goodman founded Mark the Carpetbagger. While he was attending UCLA, he made money cleaning the carpets of tenants moving in and out of two buildings my grandfather owned in Westwood, CA. When he completed school, he realized that he really enjoyed the mental and physical aspects of his cleaning business. We often use his phrase, “using your hands as well as your head,” in our ads seeking employees. With time, my father – and his business – became known as the cleaning top company to call, and much of his business came from strong praise from one client to another. In fact, in sticking with tradition, over 90 percent of our work continues to come from word of mouth.
In 1986, I started Fibermark out of my apartment. It was only a few years until I had relocated the business to a building that I found in West Los Angeles. In just a short amount of time, I found myself busy every day. In fact, I would often find myself working seven days a week, as well as many evenings.
About seven years later, my father and I started talking about merging our business. This was during a busy time in my life; I met my wife and her son, we bought our first home in Sherman Oaks, CA. and our daughter was born. I was building my family and working on making the business that I had with my father work well, but unfortunately, due to differences in opinion, my dad and I decided to part ways.
Just two short weeks after 9/11, I found myself on my own with my business again. The timing couldn’t have been worse; with a family and a home, it was essential that I work. With hard work and determination, I managed to rebuild my business and it has continued growing and prospering every year since then.
At first, I worked out of my garage at my home, but as the business grew, my need for more space became obvious. I started the search for a building and it was during this search that I found a building on a prestigious street in Santa Monica. I knew I couldn’t afford to take it, but I did anyway. The building was right across the street from where my father and I had housed our mutual business. The irony was not lost on me, and it seemed like the perfect choice.
In May of 2008, I was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. Between my treatments, I still managed to work nearly every day. Since I couldn’t drive, I had a driver that took me to work before my appointments at Cedars Sinai, then to estimates before heading home. Saying that this time was a hard one would be an understatement, but I still managed to move forward. Amazingly, my company still grew and still flourished. The only thing that seems different to me is my short term memory isn’t as strong as it used to be; but my long term memory astounds both friends and clients alike. I honestly do not forget much.
In February of 2010, I discovered that my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Fortunately, the split in business didn’t cause a permanent rift in our relationship. During his last few months our relationship became stronger than before and it was established that I would merge my business with Mark the Carpetbagger so the two could become one. This is how we became Fibermark Mark the Carpetbagger, and are considering shortening our name to FibermarkMTC.
When I think about it, I realize how funny life is at times. I always wanted to make my way in the family business, but when I was forced to go it alone, it wasn’t what I would choose. Despite this, I managed to do it myself and make a name for myself and my company. It took time, but eventually, I didn’t want Mark the Carpetbagger anymore, because I had made my own business, my way. In the end, it is funny how life will make sometimes make decisions for you.