Nicole Basseri &
It’s a unique love story. Nicole Basseri met her husband when she took a skirt to the dry-cleaning business where he worked. He lost the skirt—but gained a wife! They went on to run their own cleaning operations, and in 1993 they opened Steamer Cleaners in Sherman Oaks. Daughter Ariana Basseri works as marketing manager of Steamer Cleaners, which offers laundry and alterations, in addition to dry cleaning.
What makes your business stand out?
“Steamer Cleaners is the first fully automated dry cleaners on the West Coast, thanks to Metalprogetti. This incredible bagging machine and conveyor belt takes your perfectly pressed and inspected clothes, bags them and then organizes your pieces together to be transported straight to the front counter. This system gives us zero hands-on contact with your clothing after it is pressed.”
What projects do you support to help those in need?
“We proudly dry-clean interview outfits free of charge for those looking for employment. We include a letter with interview tips and an interest to follow up and see how the interview went.”
Have you changed the way you do business due to COVID-19?
“We’ve made every step to keep our employees and customers safe while staying open as an essential business. We have tall, clear barriers at each counter, sanitation stations and social distancing markers. We offer contactless trunk service (we put your clothing in your car while you wait) and continue to offer free pickup and delivery.”
What is your #1 piece of advice during this unprecedented time?
“You have to adapt. People are wearing fewer suit jackets and no pants! We pivoted to advertising convenient fluff-and-fold by the pound to take care of our customers who are wearing more athleisure clothing. We put ourselves in our customers’ slippers and think that maybe they’re sitting at home and now realize how dusty their curtains are. We’ll clean them! Steamer Cleaners is here for all your household needs—even beyond your usual lounge gowns.”
What have been your proudest moments during the recent crisis?
Ariana: “My proudest moment has been seeing my parents’ resilience in action. Steamer Cleaners burned to the ground in 2001, and I watched my family’s business start again from square one. When COVID-19 hit, we decided as a family that we were going to do whatever we could to maintain our business and support our community. This crisis is tough to get through, and I’ve only known my parents to persevere.”