Inheriting the family business, Tammy Settlemyer has grown up in the vacuum industry for the last 41 years, continuing a legacy of quality service her father once started.
“My parents started this business when we moved from Oklahoma to Waxahachie and I was just in junior high,” Settlmyer began. “There are hardly any vacuum shops around, we’re one, if any, in Ellis County.”
“I’ll get vacuums as far as Fort Worth, Dallas, and Hill County, so people comes from all over,” she added.
What began in 1976 on Dallas Highway, later moved to 400 West Jefferson St. in 1987, offering everything from high-quality vacuums to repairs and big company warranties.
“I’m a warranty center for Hoover, Dyson, Simplicity, Miele, and Oreck – the main machines,” Settlemyer confirmed. “There are some vacuums I’ll take apart and rebuild motors but there are other machines you may have to completely replace. A vacuum is like a car - it has a motor, a belt, and you have to maintain it, so we help do that.”
“My biggest downfall is that I want to fix the machine instead of always replacing pieces because I’d rather save my customer money,” she added.
With a passion to work with her hands, Settlemyer’s father taught her the ropes of the business, experiencing nearly anything that can happen to a vacuum.
“The most common mistake I see is that their vacuums get stopped up. I’ve had one where a hair curler got stuck in a vacuum and the lady was like, ‘Well, it’s not mine.’ And I was like, ‘Well, the machine picked it up so where’d it come from?’” Settlemyer laughed.
I’ve had socks toys, animal toys, hairpins, spiders, paperclips, pens, lipstick, shredded paper, dead rodents, marbles – you name it, I’ve dealt with it,” she chuckled. “But I love working with my hands and trying to figure things out, so I enjoy it.”
After her father passed away in 2011, Settlemyer took over the family shop in January 2012, buying it from her mother.
“I worked with my parents after I got laid off at the bank in 2009, and came over here and started working with them thinking they could take some time off and have some vacation because my dad never would go,” Settlemyer recalled.
“Well, at the end of March in 2011 my dad took a week long vacation and went fishing. He then had a heart attack that next week and passed away in April. So I took over with my mom for the whole year, and then I fully took over in 2012 and have been here ever since,” she expounded.
Receiving practically ten vacuums a day, nearly 70 vacuums a week, and almost 300 a month, Settlemyer reveals her secret to the business’ lasting success.
“I always try to be kind,” Settlemyer recognized. “Because you never know who you’re going to run into and they’re going to recognize you, so you always need to be kind.”
Also inspiring future women business owners, Settlemyer gives a piece of advice that has served her well.
“To the women who want to be their own boss, you have to be dedicated to want to achieve, to grow, and to always, always be kind to others,” Settlemyer encouraged. “Always work hard and be kind to people because you want them to come back and that’s what’ll bring them back to your business.”
“You don’t want to be the business in town known for being, ‘Oh, look, that mean lady over there.’ I don’t want to ever be known as mean to anybody, I want to be known as, ‘Hey, that’s that kind lady over there,’” she smiled.
As for the future of The Vacuum Shop, Settlemyer invites the community to stop by whether or not a vacuum is in need of repair.
“Bring your vacuums in or come by and see me and talk,” Settlemyer affirmed. “I do try to save good people from bad vacuums and that’s on my sign outside, so come by and see me.”
To connect with The Vacuum Shop, visit vacuumshoponline.com or call (9720-937-3900