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Chuck Horst
Margaret's Cleaners

Chuck Horst, General Manager of Margaret’s Cleaners, recently returned from an international conference of gown care specialists held in Omaha, Nebraska. Featured speaker at the meeting of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists was A. Newbold Richardson, a collection management and conservation consultant to historical societies and museums. Richardson compared herself to a doctor who specializes in geriatric patients and stressed the importance of gentle care for vintage textiles. “You wouldn’t push your grandmother so hard that she bruises,” said Richardson, “so be especially cautious with vintage textiles because they, too, ‘bruise’ easily. Whether it is a family heirloom or a museum artifact, decide together with the client on what is best for the object within the framework of the client’s expectations.”

Later in the day Association members examined 19th-century christening dresses as well as wedding gowns from the twenties, thirties, and forties and discussed cleaning strategies for fragile textiles. Cleaning of vintage gowns and textiles are a relatively common occurrence at Margaret’s Cleaners and other Association members.

Still another highlight of the conference was a tour of cleaning facilities in Omaha that offered a look at the very latest developments in automated marking, assembly, and bagging equipment as well as a view of highly-specialized equipment used for finishing antique linens and lace such as Madeira tablecloths.

Horst said, “Traveling to Omaha to meet with the leaders in our industry was well worth the time. We at Margaret’s Cleaners are committed to providing our brides with the best possible care for their gown. That’s why we offer our Legacy Gown PreservationTM service utilizing entirely certified archival quality materials including muslin, tissue and an heirloom chest. We take pride in the quality of our work,” said Horst, “and our affiliation with the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists allows us to uniquely offer in San Diego a limited Lifetime/International warrantee honored at over 500 locations. We feel confident in providing the warrantee because we offer the consumers the best available product. Our brides know we are the gown preservation service they can trust!”

Horst is a recognized expert in the industry and cleans over 1,000 specialty gowns each year. Serving the Southern California area since 1953, Margaret’s Cleaners has 3 locations, 5 pick up and delivery routes and a nationwide CleanByMailTM courier service. Margaret’s Cleaners is the first Five Star Certified Couture Cleaner as recognized by Leading Cleaners Internationale, making Margaret’s one of the most awarded and peer respected cleaning institutions nationwide.

Other featured speakers at the meeting included Bruce Lowry, CEO and President of Summitsoft Corporation and award-winning videographer Gary Gellman of Gellman Images. Lowry introduced his company’s new Wedding PlannerTM, and Association members, the first to view a demonstration of the all-inclusive planner, looked on as ABC-TV’s affiliate station KETV filmed a couple using Wedding PlannerTM to begin planning their wedding. The planner features the Association logo, links to the Association’s website, and includes a gift certificate for gown preservation good at any Association member’s location.

Gellman, who covers events for Fortune 500 companies, professional sports figures, and political leaders and has appeared nationally on CBS-TV, ABC-TV, and Fox Broadcasting Company, recently completed production of a video CD for Association members and described the process of creating effective marketing imagery for the bridal market.

Members of the Association, a not-for-profit trade group with members located in the United States, Canada, Australia, and South America, specialize in gown cleaning and preservation. Each member honors the guarantee of every other member, which includes taking the gown out of the container and pressing it at no charge when the gown is to be worn again. For brides outside of the Southern California area, Margaret’s Cleaners offers their CleanByMailTM Courier Service, which makes the Legacy Gown PreservationTM service available via both telephone and the internet nationwide.

More than seventy specialty gown manufacturers currently recommend the Association for wedding gown preservations, which are also endorsed by the Association of Bridal Consultants, the organization dedicated to wedding professionals worldwide. 

For a newsworthy interview about Margaret’s Cleaners, contact Chuck Horst at 619.246.5895 (chuckhorst@margaretscleaners.com) or visit www.margaretscleaners.com - Updated: March 16, 2006

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