Rami and Stacy ended up in the same social circles and, and in 2000, they married and moved to the United States. Rami worked in sales for several years and always wanted to get back into the dry cleaning business, but the couple agreed, “We wanted to find the right model for us.”
With Rami in sales and Stacy working as a financial planner, and as the parents of two young children, they hated having to pick up the dry cleaning. It became “that errand that you really don’t want to do, so we came up with the model where we could do that errand for the customer.”
That’s when they created their business, Perfectly Pressed, a free pick-up and delivery service for dry cleaning. Perfectly Press opened in March 2008 with two neighbors who lived across the street from the Bakris. Now, three years later, Perfectly Pressed has 300 – 400 customers from Bethesda to Germantown.
“We have great customers,” said Rami Bakri. “We’re growing every day. Our strength came from existing customers and referrals. People have been really supportive.”
In addition, Stacy added, “people know Rami and that he works hard for them.”
Perfectly Pressed partnered with a local eco-friendly dry cleaner whom the Bakris carefully selected. “We mystery shopped cleaners to find the right one,” said Stacy.
“He is the best in the industry,” agreed Rami. However, they prefer not to reveal the name in an effort to “keep it separate.”
Rami and another driver handle all the pick-ups and deliveries. On Mondays and Thursdays, they run the Gaithersburg, North Potomac, Darnestown, Germantown route and, on Tuesdays and Fridays, the Rockville, Bethesda, Potomac route.
As far as how many delivers and pick-ups they make in one day, it can vary. Perfectly Pressed has two types of customers — a route customer who is serviced on standard days, and those who are on an on-call basis. There is no minimum order.
“So if a costumer only has one shirt, we’ll still pick it up for them,” said Rami.
There is also no membership, no monthly charge or contract. Perfectly Pressed does not accept gratuities, and customers pay by the piece, receiving a bill once a month.
“Our prices are very competitive, sometimes even less than a regular store,” Rami said. “We deal with wholesale. Basically, because we’re bringing in so many customers so we get a discount.”
For the customers, it’s very simple. Perfectly Pressed provides them with two eco-friendly hanging garment bags — one for pick-up, and one for delivery. The bags flip easily into a laundry bag, so customers can throw in their dry cleaning and hang it for pick-up. When it’s brought back a few days later, they find it hanging on their front door.
Customers are provided with the door hook, as well as cards for specific instructions on their clothes, and stain stickers.
Perfectly Pressed also serves businesses — mainly law firms, settlement offices and financial advisors — so employees can have their dry cleaning delivered straight to the office.
“People think they are jeopardizing quality for convenience, but they are not,” said Rami.