The dry-cleaning industry and environmental sustainability have a bigger link than you think, and the Santa Barbara husband-and-wife team of Greg and Samantha Eatwell are right in the middle of it with their Eco Friendly Cleaners.
The couple is part of a vanguard of innovative Santa Barbara entrepreneurs changing the local business landscape with an emphasis on environmental responsibility.
Married in 2014, the Eatwells’ journey began when they met in Australia. Greg, a New Zealand native, was attending the University of Melbourne and Samantha, a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo graduate living in Santa Barbara, was traveling in the Land Down Under.
They embarked on an RV trip to national parks around the American West and, while driving though small towns, hatched a dream to become business owners.
Their criteria was to live in a city of around 200,000 people, small enough to be a close-knit community but big enough that it would have plenty of amenities.
They decided to try to purchase a business instead of starting one, and looked for one that was underperforming but had a good product, offered strong customer service to differentiate from competitors, and was protected from Internet threats.
Another objective: A business in a “tired” — or you could say starched-shirt — industry that would give them an opportunity to unleash their creativity.
Santa Barbara and Eco Friendly Cleaners checked off all the boxes and they