NEW ALBANY, Miss. — University of Mississippi alum and former NBA player John Stroud is looking to score in the drycleaning industry by opening a Lapels Dry Cleaning store and plant in the New Albany, Miss., area this spring.
Stroud, owner of John Stroud Insurance Agency, first heard of Lapels when he became “frustrated over the lack of drycleaning options in the area.”
“I’m 6-foot-7 and have a lot of my clothes tailor-made to fit me. When you’re paying more for clothes, you want to take care of them so they last a while. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of dry cleaners around here. That’s when my entrepreneurial instincts kicked in and I began to do some research and that’s how I discovered Lapels Dry Cleaning,” says Stroud. “With its commitment to greener dry cleaning and customer service, I saw an opportunity for a business that would fill a real need in New Albany.”
Stroud points to the company’s business model, and the responsiveness of its corporate team in his decision to purchase a Lapels franchise.
“I’m still going to be running my insurance agency [and] coaching my daughter’s basketball team at the high school, so it was important to find an opportunity where I didn’t have to be on-site 24/7,” says Stroud. “With the training provided by Lapels, and my wife Billye Jean as my partner in the business, I’m very comfortable that this is the perfect business opportunity for us and that the people in my hometown of New Albany are going to love it.”
“John and Billye Jean have been wonderful to work with through these beginning stages and very receptive to coaching, which is rather ironic with John being an actual coach,” says Kevin Dubois, CEO of Lapels Dry Cleaning. “We are very excited about this new location as it represents the first Lapels Dry Cleaning in the state of Mississippi. Something tells me with John and Billye Jean leading the way, it will not be the only one.”
Construction on the Bankhead Street store is under way.