Customers help to keep a local dry cleaners stay open

For more than a decade, James Han has been living the American dream. A Korean immigrant, he worked his way up from being a taxi driver to owning his own business, Spencer Cleaners in Clarkston.

“Everybody loves James,” said longtime customer Matthew Petterson. “It took a while for everyone to understand him with his language barrier, but I was amazed at how everyone truly accepted him.”

Melissa Jenzen is Han’s only employee. She worked at Spencer Cleaners for nearly 20 years, and when James took it over 10 years ago he kept her on.

“We’re a good team together, just him and I. It works,” Jenzen said. “He’s worked hard and I’ve watched him do it.”

However once the pandemic hit in March, Jenzen was laid off. With their customers mostly now working from home in their PJs, James fell behind in rent. Last week, he got a letter saying he had 7 days to either pay up, or close down.

“I have no choice, I lose everything,” Han said.

Hearing this news, Melissa and Petterson started a GoFundMe, hoping to raise enough money to keep the doors open.

“Everybody’s like a big family around here,” Petterson said. “They look out for each other and i hope they take James under their wing just like they would any other business.”

“I’ve been here 18 years, so my whole life has been this dry cleaners,” Jenzen said. “I care for it very very much, and I want it to stay.”

According to the eviction letter, James owes more than $16,000 in rent.

This link will take you to James’ GoFundMe page. Anything helps.