How I Got Here: Hilary Taylor

Current Position: Hilary Taylor, 35, has been working in the dry cleaning industry for twenty years; the last five as general manager of Continental Cleaners in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Company: Continental Cleaners is a full-service establishment providing a broad range of services to their loyal and ever-growing clientele. Many citizens in the greater Salt Lake City area regard Continental Cleaners to be the premiere garment care provider for its community.

In addition to hanging its hat on outstanding customer service and unparalleled quality, Continental Cleaners is committed to operating a business that is innovative and environmentally conscious by using energy efficient machinery as well as non-toxic solutions.

Family Business: When Dee Taylor (Hilary’s father) was looking for a way out his life-long career as a banker twenty years ago, he set his sights on the dry cleaning and laundry industry. The Taylor Family purchased Continental Cleaners through one of Dee’s contacts in the banking field.

Shana Taylor (Hilary’s mother) is still very much involved with Continental Cleaners and checks into the plant on a daily basis. The bulk of Dee’s involvement occurs from home where he manages the books. This leaves Hilary as the “go to person” and a key player in the day-to-day operations.

Hilary is one of five children, and they all worked at Continental Cleaners at some point doing whatever was needed to assist mom and dad in their new business endeavor. Two of Hilary’s older brothers and an older sister no longer work in the family business. However, she is excited that younger brother Michael recently moved back to The Beehive State from New Jersey to lock arms with her and keep the family business thriving.

Career Choices: Although Taylor held various part-time jobs all through college to help bring clarity to what career path she might choose after graduation, she always had at least one foot in the door at Continental Cleaners. “I loved working the cleaners,” remembered Taylor. “I’ve always had a drive and ambition there to make it better.”

Many of the college classes she enrolled in pointed to a career in nursing. However, after graduating from The University of Utah with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies, the magnetic pull from the family business was too keen to shake off.

Fulfillment: One of the things that get Taylor fired up in her dry cleaning career is customer acquisition and retention. “I build relationships with these people that come in, and they become my friends, and that’s really important to me.” Taylor continued, “That’s part of why I enjoy it as much as I do; is building these relationships and building trust with customers, so they continue to come back.”

Industry Related: Taylor’s company is a part of Rocky Mountain Fabricare Association (RMFA), the regional affiliate in conjunction with Dry Cleaning and Laundry Institute (DLI).
She is currently a District Committee Member (District Seven) for the DLI Board of Directors. Her term comes to a conclusion next year.

Goals and Milestones: As the twentieth anniversary of her family owning and operating Continental Cleaners arrives in December, Taylor has steadfast ambitions of increasing the profile and expanding the reach of the business. Opening a second store remains one of her objectives.

Recreational: When Taylor clocks out, her active lifestyle is conducive to the beautiful outdoors of her home state. She tries to go hiking once a week. “In Utah, I am really close to the mountains so in the summer time there’s a lot of hikes all over the place.” Taylor rounds out her affinity for the outdoors by spending time with friends and family, watching movies and cooking.

Jet Setter: Business success has afforded Taylor the luxury of getting far away from the hustle by traveling to various international destinations. She counts her treks to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Machu Picchu in Peru among the highlights. She has also been to China, Turkey, Egypt, and even the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. “I love to travel. Traveling is my most favorite thing on the planet,” exclaimed Taylor. Next on Taylor’s wish list are India and Jerusalem. “It’s my passion. I love seeing different cultures and learning more about people.”

Personal: Taylor is single and resides in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.

About John Leano

John Leano can be reached by e-mail: Leano@BryansCleaners.com or Twitter: @JohnLeano or www.facebook.com/johngleano