Solomon’s cleaning up all over Glenview
Simon Solomon at his client Amy Kwit's Glenview home. | Jackie Pilossoph~for Sun-Times Media
Simon Carpet & Furniture Cleaning Service
Updated: March 1, 2013 6:35AM
GLENVIEW — If you live in Glenview, or if you’re driving in the area, there’s a good chance you’ve spotted Simon Solomon’s truck parked at various homes. That’s because Solomon, owner of Simon Carpet & Furniture Cleaning Service makes his living here.
“He is the carpet guy in the Glen,” said Michael Fine, a Glenview client of Solomon’s, “He owns the Glen.”
“He should change his name to ‘Simon in the Glen Carpet Cleaners,’” said Colleen Goldstein, also a Glenview client.
Solomon started his business in 1994, after spending 15 years working for an insurance company as a salesperson and a manager. He said he got into the carpet cleaning business after buying a rundown carpet cleaning truck from his friend’s son. He fixed it up and began cleaning his own carpets.
“I then started cleaning my brother’s carpets and then other family and friends’ carpets,” said Solomon, who was born in Lebanon, grew up outside of London and moved to Chicago in 1978, “People started asking me to come over and clean their carpets and I really felt like I knew what I was doing.”
When Solomon decided to officially start a business, he said he chose to focus on more affluent customers, who truly cared about their homes.
“I didn’t want to be your run of the mill carpet guy,” he said, “I wanted to separate myself and deal with nicer homes and people who really wanted quality service.”
Solomon said the first few years were tough, as he struggled to build his business. He invested in some yellow page advertising, and spent hours every day cold calling and waiting for the phone to ring.
When one of Solomon’s Lakeview clients, Dina Golden moved to Glenview almost 10 years ago, she asked him to come clean the carpets of her family’s new home.
“We wanted the carpets cleaned before we moved in and we were really happy with Simon, and we trusted him,” said Golden.
Golden recommended Solomon to her neighbor, Yolanda Hart, who was so pleased with the result of his work, she decided to recommend him to everyone who lived in the Glen, by sending out an email message to the Glen yahoo group, a list that hit at least 300 homes at the time.
“Just like everybody else, when you get great service at a reasonable price, you want to pass it on and share it with your neighbors,” said Hart, “It’s nice to help someone who owns a small business and whose living depends on word of mouth.”
Simon Carpet & Furniture Cleaning Service cleans wall to wall carpeting, area rugs, upholstered furniture, such as couches and chairs, and leather furniture. Solomon also cleans tile and grout, concrete and garage floors. Besides Glenview, he has clients all over the North Shore.
Solomon said having top-of-the-line equipment is important. Plus, he’s constantly educating himself to keep up with trends in the business, most recently taking a class on water damage restoration.
“He’s gotten stains out that other services told me they couldn’t get out,” said client, Amy Kwit. “Stains that have been there for years.”
“We have two dogs and I’ve called Simon at 6 a.m. because one of the dogs threw up,” said Fine, “The guy is booked solid but no matter what, he finds time to come over and help. That’s the kind of relationship and reliability I really value.”
Solomon said his job requires long hours and a lot of physical work, but that it’s rewarding and humbling.
“It still shocks me when I go into someone’s home for the first time and after five minutes the lady says, ‘Okay, bye!’ and just leaves,” said Solomon, “It’s because I’ve been referred by someone, and I have a good reputation as being trustworthy, and that makes me feel good.”
“The carpeting in my home is the original carpeting and it is ridiculously clean and looks new,” said Kwit, “He doesn’t charge an arm and a leg and he’ll just come and do one spot if I need that.”
“All I did was put it out there,” said Hart, “Beyond that first email, it’s all word of mouth. He’s the one who grew his business.”