Nicole Basseri &
Steamer Cleaners has been offering dry cleaning, laundry and tailoring services to Valley customers since 1987. Owners Nicole and Shahrokh Basseri met at a dry-cleaning establishment, married and started their business together. Ariana was born into the industry and has been a part of Steamer Cleaners her entire life.
Nicole graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in sociology. She worked for more than 30 years contracting with hospitals and MRI sites. Ariana attended Emerson College in Boston and studied marketing and creative writing. She is a comedian, script consultant and writer.
Take a risk or play it safe in business?
“Taking big risks is how we’re still on the corner of Ventura and Woodman. When we had the chance to change our cleaning solution to GreenEarth nontoxic, odor-free, petroleum-free solvent, we jumped at the opportunity to give our customers this cleaning that is better for your clothes and skin.
Shahrokh heard that Metalprogetti is the most effective way to keep track of customer clothes. So we took a chance on this robotic system that automatically bags and racks each barcoded garment, even though it cost many dollars and created obstacles while we stayed open during its assembly. This has streamlined the way we do business.”
How would clients describe you?
“There’s a family feel when you step through those sliding glass doors onto the marble floors. We’re a mom-and-pop business—if your mom and pop were very cool and gave you candy. We all are completely involved in every aspect of the business.”
Tell us about a time you thought outside the box.
Nicole: “I thought of gifting clients Steamer Cleaners T-shirts with our family’s faces on them. The art is by Faye Orlove—a female artist and fellow woman in business. I also created a program to dry clean an outfit for free for an unemployed person who has a job interview. Along with the clean outfit, we include a note with tips on snatching the job, based on my knowledge from my previous career.”
In what ways are you an innovator or an influencer?
Ariana: “I’m an influencer because six people got nose jobs with my doctor after I posted about Dr. Carlo Honrado. And I made my dad famous on TikTok—look up #hotbreaddad! We love to be these iconic characters of dry cleaning. I feel like an actual famous person when we strut the aisles at any cleaning convention because we’re that innovative and influential. Also, multiple production companies have worked on making a reality show about us happen.”