NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - After dropping out of school at 17-years-old, Daniel Terry began giving skate boarding lessons to kids in Houston. He constantly checked to make sure they were each doing good in school. Their parents reminded him he was a great influence for their child.
Daniel Terry, owner of VIP Cleaners, said, "As they're telling me these things it's just like I felt bad, and I felt like I had to go get an education so I can back up what I was telling these kids."
Terry decided to attend Stephen F. Austin with his girlfriend in 2010 but he wasn't having much luck finding a job. "No one was hiring. I should have known better. Thankfully the last place I came was this store," Terry said.
VIP Cleaners paid him minimum wage, and after a few months, he convinced the owner to sell him the business.
"Ever since then we've been doing pretty good, I mean really good, compared to how it was whenever I first walked in here. That conveyer was completely empty, and now you know it's jam packed," Terry said.
He has been around the dry cleaning business all his life. His 74-year-old dad bought and sold over 100 cleaners and has taught him all he knows.
"He pretty much laid out the ground work for me and everything, and everything else I had to learn from experience," Terry said. "You know even in the dry cleaning business people really do underestimate how hard it is to run a place like this."
The young business man says he's becoming more connected to the community. Providing quality service in the community is a big deal to Terry. He knows that policemen, firemen, and EMTs have a lot more to worry about than their laundry bill, so he charges $1.50 per item on their uniforms to give them the best deal in town.