A former Eagle’s new playing field is a state-of-the-art laundry in Lawndale
James Betterson is a former professional football player who spent two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles under the legendary Coach Dick Vermeil. His new playing field in Northeast Philadelphia is Betterclean Laundry, a state-of-the-art facility dressed in beloved Eagles Kelly green. James is bullish on both his business and his membership in the GNPCC. He spent some time recently with Don Brennan, GNPCC director of marketing, talking about his playing days and what he brings to his business from those gritty days on the gridiron.
Tell us about your business. What do you do, and how can people contact you?
I opened a new state of the art laundry called Betterclean Laundry in March 2016 in the Lawndale Shoprite Plaza at Oxford Avenue and Levick Street just across the street from the Naval Depot. The laundry is very spacious and has 85 brand new High Efficiency washers and dryers. Betterclean Laundry is marketed as being owned by a former Philadelphia Eagle, and has the old Kelly green and gray décor. There are pictures on the wall of former teammates Bill Bergey, Harold Carmichael and Coach Dick Vermeil who have visited the laundry.
The laundry equipment works with an Internet-based card system which negates the need to bring stacks of quarters to operate the washers. We also offer “Free Dry” with every wash.
People can reach us online at www.bettercleanlaundry.com or on Facebook at Betterclean Laundry. Our website is currently being upgraded. Our address is 6391 Oxford Ave A-3, Philadelphia 19111. We can be reached by telephone at 215 821-3143 or my email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you hope to accomplish by being a member of the Northeast Chamber?
I joined the Chamber to network with other small business owners and to learn more about the Northeast community and ways to reach my target audience. I’ve already partnered with some Chamber members to use their services for my business and to help each other out. The Chamber also has great educational and informative seminars to help small businesses grow and learn the latest trends for business owners.
You played for the Philadelphia Eagles under Coach Dick Vermeil. Tell us about that experience.
I was fortunate to play briefly for the Philadelphia Eagles during the 1977 and 1978 seasons under Coach Vermeil. Coach Vermeil was a great coach but also a leader of men. After getting drafted by the Denver Broncos in 1976 from the University of North Carolina Tarheels and then released without being given much of a chance, it was refreshing to come to Philadelphia in Coach Vermeil’s second year and given a fair chance to make the team without all the politics I experienced in Denver.
In 1977, I play backup fullback and all special teams including kickoff return. I started a couple games and was honored to receive three game balls for my contributions in games. I was the third leading rusher that year, and in 1978 switched to halfback behind Wilbert Montgomery but also considered an emergency fullback since I had played that position as well. As fate would have it, I sustained a career ending knee injury in 1978 and never was the same player after that. I retired in 1980.
What did you learn in your pro football experience that you use in your business today?
Playing football at the college and professional level took a lot of hard work. Lots of hours practicing and getting good at the fundamentals. You have to study your traits and give yourself a chance to excel. My year and half in the laundry business has been challenging but having a background in pro football has help me weather the tough times and get up every day to give it my all. I try to lead my team of employees by example and not make excuses or point fingers. I learned to take responsibility and even if you make a mistake, try to learn from it and get better. I don’t ask them to do a job I won’t do and try to navigate a balance of being the boss but also a teammate.
Tell us about yourself, your hobbies, personal life and family, so we can know you better as a person.
I’m originally from North Carolina but have had a love affair with Philadelphia over the years. I have relocated here four different times for career moves. In addition to my first move here to play for the Eagles, I’ve also had stints with Wade Cablevision in 1988, Philadelphia Inquirer in 2002 and Betterclean Laundry 2016.
I have three adult children and two beautiful granddaughters who reside in South Jersey. I was married for 24 years, but lost my spouse in 2016. My hobbies are going to the gym, traveling domestically and abroad and attending concerts and plays. I look forward to networking with other Chamber members to share ideas and to support each other.
I just recently was accepted for the January 2018 “Power Up Your Business” mentoring class that I was introduced to at a Chamber-sponsored event at Community College of Philadelphia Northeast Regional Center. I look forward to learning new and exciting information to help me take Betterclean Laundry to the next level.