By Charlene Dean
At 20, Patrick Browning, the owner of Quality Vacuum Superstore, found himself working in a vacuum cleaner repair shop in Florida while awaiting deployment for the Air Force Reserves. He said he really enjoyed working there but the experience made him realize people didn’t know how to clean.
“I was in the Air Force medical reserves and we were more into practicing preventative medicine — something that kept people from getting sick rather than fixing it after the fact,” Browning said. He said most illnesses can be prevented by keeping things clean.
He came to realize that having a clean environment would one day be detremental to his own health. Browning was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis, an immune disorder which causes his body to over-react to any illness, even something as benign as a cold, in a manner which eventually creates scar tissue and causes loss of function.
“After I was deployed for Iraqi Freedom, I started selling cleaning products, refurbished vacuums and accessories in an eBay store,” Browning said. He said the store has been online since 2001, and while deployed, he used drop-shipping services to get the products to his customers.
“We did have an inventory, a small one, and we refurbished the vacuums ourselves.”
When Browning was discharged from the military, he and his wife, Vivian, moved to Pahrump from Las Vegas, and up until recently, the only vacuum cleaner sales have been through the eBay store. Now, at 33, he has a showroom full of equipment and supplies at 2780 Homestead Road, next to El Chero Taco.
The store stocks belts, bags and accessories for the most popular makes of vacuum cleaners and Browning said the inventory will expand with customer demand. “Right now, we have about 250 different bags and belts.”
The store also carries a line of products manufactured by Casabella, a company which makes everything from “cookware to toilet bowl scrubbers,” according to Browning.
“Casabella is more of a green company. For instance, instead of using a cleaner with ammonia to clean a window, they make a rag that cleans the window and you use water. It’s innovation.”
Quality Vacuum Superstore also offers repair service to most cleaning machines including shampooers and buffers.
Browning knows his equipment and said shopping in the store is “different than going to Walmart and reading a box. We can make recommendations tailored to a customer’s needs.”
And he’s willing to let his customers try the equipment in their own homes.
There are more parts to the vacuum shop. Browning said he displays Scentsy products and can take orders for them. He also rents carpet cleaners.
“We handle Thermax carpet cleaning machine rentals. Thermax has been around for 35 years and their equipment is different in that the machine heats the water to 135 degrees versus you pouring hot water in the machine and trying to clean your carpets before the water gets cold.”
He said another reason he likes Thermax is because it’s made in the USA as are half the products the store stocks.
He said at this point, it’s difficult for him to get away from the store. He is currently looking for someone with repair experience who doesn’t mind interacting with customers.
Quality Vacuum Superstore keeps hours suitable for others who have to work. Browning said not having a place of business open when he needed it to be had in the past been frustrating for him.
The hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday; and from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Call 727-8227 or visit vacs-4-u.com for more information.