Following a father's footsteps
When he was a kid in Prineville, Bryan Housley wanted nothing to do with his father's Cascade Carpet Cleaning business.
It was his younger brother, Jason, who worked with their dad during the summers, cleaning homes and businesses throughout Central Oregon.
The brothers ended up in Portland for college, and word got out that they knew how to clean carpets. Using one of their dad's machines, they were soon cleaning for friends.
In 2003, the two had enough work to go into business together as Sons Carpet Cleaning and were based in Vancouver, Washington. Jason eventually left the partnership for a career in education, but Bryan continued to expand his cleaning business.
This summer, Bryan and his family moved to Prineville so he could take over the family business.
Bryan's father, Steve Housley, says Bryan is a son after a man's own heart.
"He gained the same kind of love for the cleaning business that I did," Steve said. "It's been a love affair with this work, and I still enjoy doing it. Fortunate for me, Bryan inherited my joy of doing it, and I guess you might call the talent to do it."
The summer after graduating from high school in 1965, Steve got hired on with a maintenance and cleaning company in Sacramento, California.
"About six months later, I was going into a room, and the manager had this machine — it's called a shampooer — I didn't know what it was at the time. He handed it to me and walked out of the room," Steve recalled. "That was my early training."
He took a liking to cleaning carpets and by age 19 had started his own business in Sacramento.
Then, he got drafted into the U.S. Army. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division from September of 1967 to September of 1969. He worked in heavy drop, preparing vehicles, ammunition and supplies.
When he got out of the service, the shampooer was out of date — the cleaning industry had changed to steam cleaning.
Following discharge from the Army, Steve spent the next five years attending Columbia Christian College in Portland and obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1975. Having family already in Prineville and a desire to raise his family in a small town, he and his wife, Patsy, moved to Prineville following graduation.
In February of 1977, he invested in new portable cleaning equipment and started Cascade Carpet Cleaning in Prineville. In 1985, he got his first truck mount.
Steve has had the occasional employee over the years, but Patsy has been his main co-worker as well as the bookkeeper. They service homes, restaurants, hotels, businesses and organizations and travel all over Central Oregon.
"Every day is different — similar in ways — but it's different," Steve said. "But you never get tired of the compliments."
He was pleased when Bryan developed the same love for the business.
"He's done all kinds of work over there — big jobs, small jobs, and he's done quite well just on his own," Steve said. "I taught him the basics, but the last 17 to 20 years, he's been learning on his own."
As Steve and Patsy neared retirement, Bryan and his wife, Tiffany, thought of moving to Prineville to take over the family business.
"It's been a five-year plan for my wife and I," Bryan said, adding that they wanted to wait until their two oldest children were graduated from high school. "It was a good transition time for us to make that move over here."
He remembers that he couldn't wait to leave town after high school. More recently, he couldn't wait to come back.
"It's worked out ideally for us, and it's the right time for Mom and Dad to start slowing things down as well."
Bryan's step-son, Bailey Thomason, who recently graduated from college, is overseeing the labor side of Sons Carpet Cleaning while Bryan continues to take care of the scheduling and bookkeeping. By 2021, they hope to rename the Vancouver-based business Cascade Carpet Cleaning.
Bryan has rebranded the local business, creating a new logo that resembles a soccer team logo. He played soccer while a Crook County High School student in the 1990s and coached soccer in the Valley for many years. He plans to support Crook County athletics and his two younger children's activities.
Cascade Carpet Cleaning also has a new website, is now on social media, and accepts credit cards. They have three vans between the two companies and have new graphics on the main rig.
Bryan continues to provide cleaning services for carpets and upholstered furniture, but he has added tile cleaning to the Central Oregon business.
"I've been cleaning tile the last 10 years over there," he said. "Maybe in the future we'll branch out into other hard-surface cleaning features."
From now on, you'll see Bryan at the wheel of their cleaning van. But for the next few months, you'll see his father riding shotgun with a big smile.
"The community is gaining a really top-notch carpet cleaner," Steve said of Bryan. "If they love me, they're going to love him."
Cascade Carpet Cleaning
Owner: Bryan Housley
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