Cleaning & Restoration Industry News

Carpet and FabriCare Institute News

Lisa Wagner (left) and Joe Goodman explain pre-wash inspection of Oriental rugs.

Time and time again, I am reminded of the great things that Carpet and FabriCare Institute (CFI) members share by being a part of the association. Yes, we have a great insurance program that saves some companies thousands of dollars a year. We have an alliance with the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) that provides a wealth of knowledge and a scholarship program that pays for the education of cleaning technicians. Some companies took advantage of the program and attended the CFI convention last year with the WFCA picking up all the registration fees. Our lending library is now up and operating, offering you a ton of manuals and marketing information for no more than the price of shipping. Our web site puts your company on the Internet. The CFI offers its members great value.

Think back about the first CFI meeting you attended. I’ll bet you were amazed at the quality of fellow cleaners that were there. These men and women were willing to share information with you. You got a chance to find out how successful they were and yes, there were others charging a lot more than you. And they were getting it. At one meeting I attended, I learned that the cost of doing business was $.18 per foot. Anything less than that and all you were doing was spinning your wheels. After that meeting, a lot of the companies raised their price to over $.20 per foot and are now charging over $.30 per foot. Most of them now have new equipment and the stress level is half of what it was.

The chance to get together is one of the most important benefits. Norm Bishop and Tom Bland said it best at the last LA/Orange Regional Education Day. “It’s great to see old friends.” This is the fabric that holds the CFI together. A chance to learn, a chance to find out about new products and ideas, but most of all, the chance to sit and talk with all the successful people in our industry. I’m not sure who said it first, but I heard it again from Joe Polish. “Hang around with successful people, and you will become successful too.”

Find out when the next chapter meeting is in your area by calling the CFI office at (800) CARPET9, and go say hello to some old friends. If you’re not a member yet, then here’s your chance to start some friendships that will last for years.

Now is the time to start planning on the greatest get-together of the year, CFI’s Annual Convention and Trade Show, Aug. 30-Sept. 1, in San Diego, Calif. Education and vacation all rolled into one. It’s Labor Day weekend and you owe it to yourself to see old friends, make new friends and enjoy life. That’s why you work so hard, right? Take time for yourself. San Diego offers a great place to vacation.

The convention program offers inspiration and information, and the trade-show lets you see all the new and exciting products out there. The exhibitors offer great deals and a chance for you to talk with so many different companies and get all the facts in one place. We are planning on a dinner/dance cruise on San Diego bay Saturday evening to finish off the program.

You are a member or can be a member of one of the largest trade associations in our industry. Take the time to enjoy one of the greatest reasons for being a member. Spend a few hours every other month with successful people. After all, wasn’t that one reason for being a member in the first place? See you at the next chapter meeting or in San Diego at the end of August.

Chapter Reports

Orange/Inland Chapter Report
After teaching a full-day class at Bridgepoint of Ontario, Howard Partridge of Phenomenal Products, Inc. and “Clean As A Whistle” fame was kind enough to headline our January 24th chapter meeting. More than 20 CFI members graced the elements (cold and rain) and welcomed Linda Burns from ISU North American. She gave a brief presentation and answered questions about how ISU helps CFI members save on Liability and Workman’s Comp insurance.

At about 7 p.m., it was time for Howard to reveal “How to Double Your Income Without Adding One Single Customer.” He used a spreadsheet model of a typical carpet cleaning company to show how little improvements in customer retention and increased referrals can indeed double your income.

We want to thank Kyle Walker of Bridgepoint of Ontario for generously making his shop available for our meeting, as well as feeding some hungry carpet cleaners. Thanks also to Gary Mills from Arrowhead Cleaning Systems for graciously helping to make this event a success.

L.A. & Orange/Inland Chapters Regional Education Day
The L.A. and Orange/Inland Chapters pooled their efforts recently and held a Regional Education Day at the WFCA building in Anaheim. Dick Bray, WFCA technical services director, was our gracious host.

The first attendees started showing up shortly after 8 a.m. for coffee, donuts and some networking. By 9:15 a.m., more than 35 people had rolled-in and the meeting got off to a quick start with Bob Cormier, a retirement planning expert. Bob explained the differences and benefits of a SIMPLE retirement plan versus a SEP-IRA. Mark Kanderian of What A Difference Fabric Protection and Cleaning pressed Cormier to show the group the real money-saving benefits of tax deferred investing.

At 10:30 a.m., retired business executive Alan Mannason discussed free and low-cost programs available to small businesses through Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) Many cleaners were pleasantly surprised to learn that such help is available to them and committed to contacting SCORE for free business counseling.

By 11 a.m., it was time to welcome Lisa Wagner of Blatchford’s Oriental Rug Cleaning & Restoration. As soon as the program got underway, questions started flowing from the group. Interest remained high throughout Lisa’s presentation as questions about cartooning, tea washing, fugitive dyes, abrash, and many other subjects relating to Oriental rug cleaning. Lisa also stressed the importance of the pre-wash inspections and documentation of findings.

This directly led into Joe Goodman’s (of Mark The Carpetbagger fame) hands-on pre-wash inspection sequence. Joe used several different rugs to show the potential and real problems that can occur with improperly pre-inspecting a rug. At 4 p.m., with questions still flowing, the meeting was called to an end.

Many cleaners commented that it was one the best programs they had attended in a long time and that they’re looking forward to many more great CFI meetings.

For more information about upcoming meetings please contact Orange/Inland Chapter Director Eric Bollmann by E-Mail at, and Los Angeles Chapter Director Shawn Forsythe at

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