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Texcare: Lizelle Parsons

To be an executive housekeeper at the high-end of the hospitality industry, you need to be organised, fastidious and well, finicky. These are personality traits that Cape Town entrepreneur Lizelle Parsons has taken full advantage of to build Texcare Laundry and Dry Cleaning Specialists.

Monique Verduyn

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Lizelle Parsons of Texcare

It was after she felt she had reached aceiling in the hotel sector that she took her savings and opened the business.“I believe that if you don’t have money in the bank, you don’t have money tobuy. I’ve always saved money, and I had managed to put a substantial amountaside. That’s what funded the business. When I secured the first contract, Igot the finance to buy the state-of-the-art equipment that you need to do agreat job.”

Parsons won the Start-Up Category ofthe Business Women’s Association Regional Business Achiever Awards in 2008, andwent on to win the national award earlier this year. It’s an achievementattributable to a big spike in profit in a short time. Texcare went from 15%growth in its first years to 100% growth year-on-year from 2007. On top ofthat, Parsons has proved that the business is sustainable and has built a topnotch client base. “I know what my clients expect,” shesays. “Something as simple as laundry can have a profound effect on the guestexperience. People want linen, towels and bathrobes to feel luxurious.” It was this know-how that helped hersecure her first client – the Table Bay Hotel. She has also visited businessesin France and Italy, “the capital of dry cleaning” to make sure she understandswhat international tourists want.

Unlike many laundry businesses, Texcareis in scenic and suburban Greenpoint, and not in an industrial area. “We’re justfive minutes away from the Waterfront, where most of our clients are. We don’teven have to get on a main road to visit them.” That’s a great advantage whenit comes to customer service. “It’s a phenomenally successfulbusiness,” she says. “In the midst of the recession we are expanding ourpremises and buying new equipment. We now employ 45 people and have machinesthat can press a shirt in less than a minute.”

Monique Verduyn is a freelance writer. She has more than 12 years’ experience in writing for the corporate, SME, IT and entertainment sectors, and has interviewed many of South Africa’s most prominent business leaders and thinkers. Find her on Google+.

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