Pedro Fortineaux has been serving the Gresham community in Chicago for over 15 years. He skipped out of the community for a couple years. However, he returned when he was able to invest in a few storefront properties for his growing business ventures. He now owns 917 – 921 W. 87th Street which includes a restaurant, hair salon, florist, and a dry cleaners that sell name brand clothing.
Providing dry cleaning and clothing alteration services through Del Pedro’s Cleaners was Pedro’s entry into the world of business ownership. Shortly thereafter, he started selling Dobbs Hats. The demand for apparel was so great that his hat business exploded to include clothing, shoes and accessories for men and women. Girbaud, PCI, NY & CO, and Luccini are just a few of the name brands that can be found in his clothing store, Ragz Clothing.
A few years later Pedro opened a flower shop, DeLuxe Florist, right next door. What started as a passion for creative flower designs and arrangements has grown into a one-stop shop for floral and gift needs. In addition to providing floral arrangements for weddings, funerals, business events, and birthdays, a wide variety of gift items and greeting cards can be purchased for reasonable prices.
Business ownership has always been in Pedro’s blood. He gained extensive knowledge about flowers and floral arrangements by working at his family’s flower shop while in high school. This is where the seed of starting his own business was planted. He credits his family for giving him the “strength and knowledge to open his own [biz].” However, his high level of self-motivation, determination, and perseverance helped him to build and keep what he has today.
Pedro’s staying power is evident in his dry cleaning business. It is still thriving despite competition from low cost competitors. He feels that dry cleaners with low cost cleaning specials “really don’t take care of customer clothing like they should” which explains their low prices. Specializing in leather and suede cleaning and repair also makes him a favorite. Moreover, he has a “set” clientele to which he sells clothes; accessorizes their outfits; and dry cleans their garments. They keep the cash flowing and the business growing. But patronage by larger businesses would take him over the top!
Even though Pedro has survived good and not-so-good times, he says that, “People need to come into the community more and support smaller businesses. Without small businesses, communities could not thrive.” Come out and support smaller businesses!
Pedro would love to see your face in his place. Visit Ragz Clothing at 921 W. 87th Street or call 773-723-5190. Don’t forget to go next door and check out his creative floral designs, gifts and greeting cards at Deluxe Florist & Gifts at 919 W. 87th Street or call 773-723-7673. Pedro can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.