"We use the best soaps, solvents and equipment available to the industry. We do not take short cuts," Tripp Penninger told Columbia Metropolitan in 2011, one year after the magazine's readers voted Tripp's Fine Cleaners as the best dry cleaners in Columbia. Grandson of the couple that founded the business in 1987, Tripp and his staff of nearly 100 employees have earned their prestige; as Sanitone-certified master dry cleaners, they've carefully cleaned thousands of garments and have been trusted with preserving the wedding gowns of brides in South Carolina and beyond.
They clean regular laundry with low-temperature water, ensuring that nothing shrinks or becomes misshapen, and they use special procedures for high-end garments, making sure to wine and dine Chanel suits before removing wine or dinner stains. Tripp’s seamstresses are on hand to remedy ill-fitting garments, usually returning alterations in about three days. The staff picks up and drops off items free of charge in specified areas and offers complimentary seasonal storage with the purchase of cleaning.
When Redic Earl Robinson started making house calls in 1919, he visited his customers by bicycle. Each family knew him as "Mister Ed," and they bundled their laundry for him to take back to the shop on Gervais Street. Meanwhile, Myrtle Beckham Robinson, Mister Ed's wife, warmed an iron with a coal-fire stove as she awaited the shipment. Together, they soaked the garments in buckets and worked stains out on scrub boards.
Today, Redic Earl Robinson Jr. carries on the family tradition with modern equipment. Twice weekly, his team travels by motorized horse to pick up laundry and make deliveries. They utilize custom cleaning solutions for specific fabrics and offer specialty services for leather, suede, quilts, and comforters. In addition to stain removal, Ed Robinson Cleaners offers alteration services at its 2551 Forest Dr. location.
Though retired after years of keeping Columbia residents comfortable, Earl F. Martin still checks in frequently on Bryan Evans and Andy Coggins. Dedicated and experienced techs, Evans and Coggins lead the company while keeping clients educated about the importance of maintaining HVAC systems and filling vases around the house with expired milk to ward off ghosts. With each home visit, their EPA-certified technicians make sure HVAC systems are working at peak efficiency while also informing homeowners on the best ways to stay comfortable and energy efficient. The technicians receive in-house training each week, and they frequently attend continuing courses to stay ahead of HVAC innovations and pop quizzes.
A professional organizer descends on offices, kitchens, or other cluttered rooms with an eye for space conservation. After gaining an understanding of each client's lifestyle, she rearranges furniture, books, and assorted items to keep clutter to a minimum and ensure important items remain accessible. By streamlining spaces, the organizer gives clients a better chance of meeting personal or professional goals.
Mattress Source's knowledgeable staff pairs customers with one of a wide selection of firm and flexible beds that augment deeper slumbers. Sealy luxury firm mattresses ($449.99+) allays stressful nights by supplying supple support, manufacturers' warranties, and a cache of warm kittens to rest at the end of each bed. Silk woven jersey knit surrounds a layer of memory foam on the Stearns & Foster x-firm mattress, which gently pillows joint pain and absorbs excess body heat ($1,219.99+). At 26 Charlotte-area showrooms, shoppers can take inventory of each mattress' aptitude in hypnosis or chat with affable staff members about desired levels of firmness.
For the past 37 years, three generations of the Bolick family have focused on furnishing one room and one room only: the sleep closet. Since the bed typically acts as the focal point of the bedroom, Wes Bolick Bedrooms places particular importance on mattresses by stocking a vast selection with features such as inner springs, adjustable power settings, and memory foam that retains impressions from dreams. Customers can choose from more than 50 futon frames and various futon mattresses, or make sleeping spaces multifunctional with built-in storage units or loft designs to optimize room layouts. The Bolicks round out their stock with pint-size fittings for children’s bedrooms and waterbeds for amphibious pets.