August is known to host some of the hottest days of the season, and thoughts of school and fall weather associated with it seem to be many weeks away. But Tarleton students are moving back into Stephenville, and preparations have to be made to accommodate them. Enter Ben Kirklen, owner of Pro Carpet Care, who has been hired to prepare local apartments popular with the university crowd.

Kirklen is the first to admit he doesn’t like to talk about himself, but E-T was hoping to prevail upon his reticence and to inspire him to open up about the incredible success of a business that is usually the afterthought of housekeeping in the midst of a stumbling economy.

Question: Your business is a relative newcomer to the industry. How did it all fall into place?

Answer: “It became available. I purchased it from another individual who had it. I initially had a janitorial business. We did commercial janitorial contracts. We did some carpet cleaning. So it was something I was familiar with. When the opportunity came up to purchase this business, I needed a change and thought this was the way I wanted to go.”

Question: What exactly can a prospective customer expect from your business?

Answer: “Well, of course, carpet cleaning. But we do tile and grout cleaning and upholstery cleaning. We do the vinyl composition tile, which is the tile you see in commercial businesses. We are providing a local apartment complex with complete 'make ready' service on their apartments, including painting and repair. For a few customers, we do janitorial services - we clean whatever they need cleaned.”

Question: We live in a “do it yourself” culture. Why do they pay you when they can rent equipment and do the work themselves?

Answer: “Our equipment is considerably more powerful than what you can rent. And I think people are holding onto their carpet longer. Instead of replacing it, they are having it cleaned and taking care of it more.”