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And it all started with a …. broken button?


And it all started with a …. broken button?

Posted by Steve Thompson in Uncategorized 21 Jun 2017

Legend has it that one of Walt Disney’s favorite quotes was, “Let’s never forget, it all started with a mouse!”  And now look at the entertainment and media empire that is the Walt Disney Company.  Well, here at Sand Dollar Cleaners, we can look back and say, “It all started with a broken shirt button.”


Here is how the story goes.  Many years ago, probably about 20, I was teaching a multiple day seminar in Rochester, New York, for several of the staff at Eastman Kodak.  (Does Kodak even still exist?)  Anyway, one morning while getting ready to teach the class I was getting dressed only to realize I was missing the top button on my business shirt.

I know I growled a bunch of dirty words which were directed toward my shirt pressers and quality control people who were at least a thousand miles away.  Even though my tie hid my open collar, I was very much aware of the potential blemish on my great looks and found it to be a distraction throughout the day.

Needless to say, when I returned to Jacksonville, I had a very serious discussion with my shirt folks and told them in no uncertain terms that a missing button is more than a missing button.  It is an opportunity for a lost sale, a distraction during an important meeting or interview or an aggravation that could simply be avoided with a little caution and caring.

I gave them 24 hours to come up with a solution and here is what they came up with…

  1. When orders are checked in we will make it a point to look for broken or missing buttons and mark them for replacement.
  2. When shirts are pressed, our pressers will also look for damaged and lost buttons and flag them for buttons.
  3. And during our order assembly process, we will look for and replace missing or broken business shirt buttons.
  4. To provide assurance to our clients we will take care of these items, we initiated a $5 broken or missing shirt button guarantee. If we fail to take care of any broken or missing buttons on a business shirt, we will refund or credit your account $5 on the spot. No questions asked.  As far as I know we are the only dry cleaner in town who offers this kind of assurance.

Are we perfect?  Not quite, but I can assure you my staff knows I get real upset when I have to give out five bucks for a missing button.  Very few shirts get into our clients hands without the buttons being intact.

So go ahead on that business trip, go on that new job interview with confidence knowing you are looking your best.  And if all goes well… maybe you can let us know that we played a small part in your career success.

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