Londonderry business owner gets national contest surprise
LONDONDERRY — The past several years have been trying ones for business owner Jason Stanley, but Thursday was his lucky day.
The longtime owner of Divine Linen Rentals was working inside his Harvey Road shop when a Daniel’s Equipment Co. delivery truck pulling into the parking lot caught him unaware.
Stanley hadn’t placed any orders in quite a while, but he’d soon learn that someone else had.
As part of their “Own Your Summer” initiative, staff at Infusionsoft, an Arizona-based firm specializing in marketing and sales software for small businesses, have been hitting the road and surprising deserving business owners around the nation.
Stanley was presented with a brand new, Uni-Mac high performance washing machine, which retails for about $5,000.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” he said, shaking his head in disbelief as Infusionsoft staffer June Brockmeyer informed him he’d won.
Brockmeyer, accompanied by coworkers Matt Peterson and Jared Foster, flew in from the company’s Chandler, Ariz., headquarters late Wednesday evening to present Thursday’s surprise in a manner best described as “Publisher’s Clearing House style.”
Divine Linen Rentals is the second business to receive a random visit from the orange-shirted Infusionsoft team members.
Earlier this summer, Jake MacWilliams, owner of Dance Studio Heroes in Arizona, was surprised with new Apple computer and video equipment.
Two more companies will receive their so-called “Act of Delight” prizes, aimed at improving business owners’ quality of life,” before September is here.
Throughout the summer, the company has been contacting business owners to encourage them to enter the contest online, with regular giveaways of smaller prizes like Kindle Fires and Xbox game systems.
“They called me shortly after I entered online,” Stanley said. “I thought that was a little fishy, but I’d expected to win a gift card or something smaller.”
The Londonderry business owner is still eligible to win the contest’s grand prize, which includes a trip for two to Maui and a private consultation with celebrity entrepreneur Daymond John from the television show “Shark Tank.”
Company officials noted that more than 30 percent of their clients reported a summer month stall in overall business, but despite that find themselves left with little time to enjoy the sunshine with their families.
“While some areas of the country are thriving, business can get a little slow in Arizona when it’s 120 degrees outside,” Brockmeyer said.
With nine weddings planned for the coming weekend, Stanley said his new 1,300-pound piece of equipment would make day-to-day business a whole lot easier.
Stanley and his wife, Dee, have been in the linen business for more than 17 years.
The Goffstown residents moved their shop from Manchester to Londonderry about five years ago, and since them they’ve coped with the economy’s — and life’s — ups and downs.
Dee was diagnosed with cancer several years ago. Though she’s now fully recovered, the couple have been struggling to shift their focus back on their business.
During that time, the Stanleys were forced to downsize operations, and they no longer have any employees to help them out.
“We haven’t had as many weddings as we once had, but the economy seems to be perking up,” Jason Stanley said.
And while they’re not quite sure where they’ll put a machine capable of washing 60 pounds of tablecloths and napkins at a time, it will certainly come in handy well beyond the summer wedding season.
“We’ve been spending a lot of our time washing linens in our regular-sized machines. It took us forever,” Jason said.