The Metairie-based company's assorted services run the gamut from cleaning carpets to leather purses, hats and shoes. It also offers laundry and dry cleaning services. The store is perhaps best known for its specialized services, especially its wedding gown and heirloom restoration and cleaning including beaded gowns and other antique items, Bauer says.
Russell's has a full-service area rug cleaning facility the only one like it in the city. The store also cleans drapery in a customer's home or in the store and provides pick-up and delivery services.
Bauer says that her favorite thing about her job is performing antique restoration services.
'I like that we help (customers)," says Bauer of the challenge of restoring items to their former glory. "Because some things are special to people."
Just like the aged keepsakes customers bring to Russell's, the store itself is steeped in history. Bauer's grandfather and the store's namesake, Russell Bauer, opened the business in Mid-City in 1930. Since then, it has been handed down from generation to generation, with Andreé Bauer, her father and brother currently at the helm.
When flooding from the 2005 levee breaches damaged the Mid-City location, the business merged with its warehouse facility near Airline Drive in Metairie, which suffered no damage. Business in the new location has been "totally different," Bauer says.
'We lost most of our walk-in customers," she says, adding that the business made the decision to "diversify more to get more volume."
However, Bauer says the new Airline Drive location is what has secured Russell's as the only shop in the city to offer full-service area rug cleaning, because of the location's specialized equipment. Bauer also wants past customers to know that Russell's is still the same business that cleans almost everything; it's just in a different location.
'We're still here, still doing a great job," she says. "We have a long-standing reputation for quality, honesty and reliability."
- Andre Bauer's family business, Russell's Cleaning Services, specializes in cleaning area rugs, drapes, wedding gowns and more.