Company History / About Murray & Joann
I was going to college when a friend of mine was cleaning carpets and mentioned he needed some help. I worked one day and liked it so much that I saw a good opportunity to make a very good living, so I asked if I could help him again.
And the rest is history…
I started working as a helper in the textile cleaning industry in November of 1977. By March of 1978 I became self-employed as a subcontractor, cleaning and dying carpet and upholstery in the Detroit metropolitan area. I soon became a dye master, changing or enhancing the color of carpet and upholstery. Six months later, I became manager of the largest cleaning company in the state of Michigan. I worked there until starting Total Custom Cleaning Services–a versatile residential and commercial company providing a wide range of cleaning and general contracting services. The business closed when the Detroit metropolitan area went into a recession and I got a job offer to move west.
In 1982, my wife Joann and I moved to Fremont, California, where I worked as a carpet, upholstery and area rug cleaner (and also as a commercial painter) until 1985, when I started General Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning Service. I expanded my services to include carpet repair, carpet re-stretching and pet odor control.
In January 1986, Joann took over as office manager and the company grew very fast; within thirteen months we had three truck-mounted vans and commercial accounts from San Francisco to Morgan Hill. One year later, we added two more vans as our accounts and territory served expanded. We began traveling from Reno, Nevada to Monterey, California, and added on location drapery cleaning as a new service. One year later, blind-cleaning and 24-hour water damage service was added. As the business grew, the high-quality of customer service never wavered. The cleaning division ran 22 hours per day, four days a week. Two more vans were added.
In 1989, the indoor air quality division was added as a service, and in 1992, General became the first Certified ValueStar rated carpet cleaning company in the United States. ValueStar used the public research institute of San Francisco State University to perform the survey, and the results were a 98.7% customer satisfaction rating. We maintained a very high customer satisfaction rating with ValueStar until it’s closing in 2001. Diamond Certified has since replaced ValueStar as a rating company.
In 2002 while looking for new ways of producing income I was offered a position on the other side of the industry, teaching companies how to do a better job of using their cleaning products, equipment and developing new sources of business. With the many years of experience of performing at a high level in the textile industry a new business opportunity came about in consulting to hospitals in the bay area.
In 2005, I felt that I wanted to stay closer to home, so I choose to manage a distributorship in Fremont. My clients consistently told me that I should be in business for myself and I realized that they were correct. Over time, though, I missed having the opportunity to express my creativity; I missed using my skills in a more profound way. So, in 2012, General Carpet was restarted. The overwhelming response from everyone we have called and mailed telling us how much they missed us has us ecstatic to be back servicing everyone in the Bay Area again.
In 1998 Murray and Joann won the top industry awards:
98-99 The Jackie Maplesden Award and again in 1999-2000, for her contribution to the Carpet and Fabric Care Institute as the most visibly supportive spouse.
The Carpet and Fabric Care Institute’s top award: The Bill Bailey Award.