The Vac Shop’s new owners know value of customer service
Becoming the new owners of The Vac Shop was an opportunity for Paige Quillen and Thirza Peevey to own a Versailles business that takes pride in customer service. “I love local, small-town businesses that are unique; where you can get what you really need,” says Quillen. She and Peevey are genuinely excited about being able to continue what former owner Steve Jackson started. The business partners say The Vac Shop will continue to specialize in new vacuum sales and parts as well as full-service repairs and maintenance. And they’ll rely on different backgrounds to serve their customers well. Quillen has owned a retail business so she understands sales and the importance of customer service. She describes her business partner as “mechanically gifted.” Quillen and Peevey officially became the new owners of The Vac Shop on Jan. 3, but Peevey started learning the ins and outs of repairing vacuum cleaners during the last week of October. It was an opportunity to see if fixing vacuums and helping customers was “a good fit” for Peevey, says Quillen. “In a small-family business like this,” explains Peevey, “you earn your living by serving other people. And that’s where I want to be. I want to serve other people. I want to solve their problems.” She seemingly has always had a knack for using her hands to fix what was broken, but credits “a knowledge base” built on years of wanting to know how things work. Peevey learned how to fix her own car about 30 years ago when she was delivering pizzas for a living. “And ever since then I’ve just kind of enjoyed taking things apart and figuring out how they work ... and making them work again,” she says. Instead of watching TV, Peevey prefers to watch YouTube videos showing how engineers, mechanics and machinists “fix things.” “I don’t want to watch junk (on television) that just makes me laugh,” she explains. “I want to watch stuff that’s going to make me learn.” Watching videos about rebuilding old engines gave her knowledge that allowed her to fix a customer’s vacuum recently. “She’s unlike any woman I’ve ever met,” says Quillen. Yet, she and Peevey also share many similar interests that led to a friendship before their business partnership. Jackson, who relocated The Vac Shop from Georgetown to Versailles in 2000, said he feels good about selling the business to Peevey and Quillen. “You want somebody that’s going to come in and actually care about your customers. Service – that’s 99.9 percent of it,” says Jackson. Since he began making plans to retire and sell his business more than a year ago, Jackson says he’s remained “very optimistic” that he’d find a new owner who had a desire to run a customer-oriented business. To ensure a smooth transition, Jackson remains “only a phone call away,” while being a familiar face at The Vac Shop when he’s needed by the new owners. The Vac Shop, located in the Crossfield Plaza shops on Crossfield Drive, is now open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Asked about new product lines and services in the works at The Vac Shop, Peevey says she’d eventually like to take courses on sewing machine repair so she can broaden her skills of knowing how to fix what’s broken.