The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - ORDINARY PEOPLE - Demet Yal­cin

In 2007, Qweekend met Yal­cin, an iron­ing lady who had found suc­cess own­ing three iron­ing stores in Bris­bane with her hus­band, Mark. The cou­ple, of Fig Tree Pocket in Bris­bane’s river­side west, had im­mi­grated to Aus­tralia from Turkey in 1992 and at the time were start­ing to fran­chise their busi­nesses.

Yal­cin, now 49, and her hus­band, 53, have gone from suc­cess to suc­cess. At their peak, they owned 15 out­lets of The Iron­ing Shop be­fore turn­ing their at­ten­tion to dry-clean­ing stores about five years ago.

“In 2011, our house was flooded,” Yal­cin says. “We lost ev­ery­thing on the first floor of our house. It re­ally had an im­pact and some­thing changed in our minds.

“We had a dry-cleaner’s then and we of­fered to clean all the blan­kets and doonas of peo­ple we knew in Bris­bane who were af­fected by the floods. We cleaned hun­dreds of them for free. We also de­cided we wanted our busi­ness to be more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly and re­cy­clable, so we fo­cused on mak­ing a green dryclean­ing busi­ness.

“We now have nine stores [The Green Dry Clean­ers] across Bris­bane and the Gold Coast. Over the past few years, we have been sell­ing the iron­ing shops and have five left.

“Mark and I still work six days a week but dry-clean­ing is eas­ier for us than iron­ing. I’m gen­eral man­ager with Mark and our daugh­ter [Brigitte, 25] works in the busi­ness also.

“My next goal is to be in­volved in the eth­i­cal pro­duc­tion of chicken eggs. Chick­ens are very clever and I have about 20 in my gar­den. I’m re­ally pas­sion­ate about en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues and an­i­mal rights.

“Aus­tralia is a won­der­ful coun­try. You can make your ideas and dreams come true.’’

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