Life Lessons and Laundry: Avon Cleaners Built on Family Values

Buffet. Wash. Iron. Repeat. So goes the story of Stacy Godo.

The Dallas native and owner of Avon Cleaners got engaged to the love of his life; then his father died from cancer. Ten years later, Stacy’s wife and business partner, Michelle, was diagnosed with cancer and then died in 2016, leaving him and two school-age children behind. Along the way, his mother developed dementia.

(ABOVE: Stacy, Karoly, and Callie in San Fransisco)

And yet, Stacy remained resilient, having dusted off deterrents while running a successful dry cleaning business for decades.

Resilience is nothing new to the Godo family. Stacy’s father, Karoly, escaped Russian-occupied Hungary by commandeering a sightseeing ship moored on the Danube. Karoly sped the vessel past armed guards on bridges, so the story went and fled down the river into Austria – All that before emigrating to the United States without speaking a word of English.

Stacy and Karoly

“He already had that (hard working) spirit because he’d grown up with it,” Stacy said.

Like his parents, Stacy would eventually come to work with his spouse at Avon. Along the way, teenage Michelle started working there after school.

“She kind of grew up in the cleaners,” Stacy said.

In 1993, the younger couple took the reins. In 1998, Avon bought routes from Fishburn Cleaners, then acquired Daniel cleaners and centralized their operations to their Lovers Lane location.

“The guy that brought us to the table, he left. But, we don’t have to leave the house,” Stacy said. “His passing kind of helped solidify some concepts and philosophies inside our company and bound people together in a way that didn’t really exist before.”

Stacy said he feels grounded in what his father taught him about life.

“Karoly had a vision of ‘together we can accomplish things,’” he said. “Growing up I just took to him. He kept a levity to it. What really counts is how you live today.”

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