Here, people who live or work in the West End tell us about their livelihoods. Heather Suttie caught up with a family-run business in Broomhill
How long have you been in the West End?
My family business has been in Broomhill for 43 years or so. It was originally set up by my father and my mother. My father died in his early 40s and my mum still pops in every day at the age of 80. I’m 56 and this has been my life for the last 40 years. It’s what I’ve invested myself in since I was a child. I run the business myself, so there’s a lot to do and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What do you love about being in the West End?
The customers are brilliant. They’re very, very happy to come into the shop and they love the banter. They just seem to love a cheery face behind the counter. Broomhill is a conservation area and it’s clean and quiet.
How has your business changed since it opened?
We have up-to-date technology and new machines. We’re open 7 days and for longer. But all our ironing is still done the same way - with TLC and smelling of fresh linen.
Who uses your business?
Restaurants come to me. I’ve known many families and businesses for a long time. I’ve had actors come in like the cast of Balamory and Still Game. We have a lot of doctors, musicians, accountants, lawyers, and judges. Nuffield Hospital and Glasgow Academy use our services, along with several health, beauty, and wellness businesses.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve cleaned?
I’ve cleaned my fair share of fancy dress costumes, vintage clothing, wedding dresses, charity and football mascots and thousands of curtains, duvets, and clothing. We were the official dry-cleaning partner of the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
What’s business been like?
I’m so grateful that we were allowed to open during the pandemic, as we were providing essential services. My main concern was for my mental health, to get out the house, see people come into the laundry and be of service. At that time a few new customers came in and they have kept coming in after the lockdowns eased, and for that I’m very grateful as it’s been such a difficult time for everyone.
What happens to pieces that aren’t picked up?
Any items that aren’t collected by customers 14 days after the ticket we take it to charity. Most usually it’s donated to Barnardo’s which is also located here at the shopping centre. We do always inform customers if they’ve forgotten to collect it. We send them a text and we can always deliver too.
You work so hard, what do you do for downtime?
I enjoy my mother’s cooking, being in my garden and just relaxing, really. On days when I’m feeling energetic you might see me jog around the West End. I also enjoy popping into The Square which is next door, they feed me and make really delicious vegetarian food. My life is so busy with business that sometimes I just like to do nothing!