Two Alterations By Sarah and Millers Dry Cleaners to add Golden Tuxedo rentals

WICHITA — Alterations by Sarah and Millers Dry Cleaners partners Abdul Arif and Craig Miller, who share locations, are expanding two of their businesses to include tuxedo rentals as well.

“The dynamics of having the tux business as part of the dry cleaners and the alterations is a perfect fit,” Arif says.

They’re partnering with Gary Golden who has Topeka-based Golden Tuxedo and Hygienic Golden Touch Cleaners.

“The dry cleaning business has had its ups and downs,” says JD Deines, who is with both Topeka companies.

Pairing with the tuxedo business can help the bottom line, he says.

Deines says he used to think the businesses are related like distant cousins.

“They’re actually more brothers and sisters,” he says. “It’s just worked really well.”

Deines says it’s important to measure a tuxedo correctly.

“That’s where … we found that this makes a lot of sense.”

Also, he says once a tuxedo has been rented, it has to go to a dry cleaners to be cleaned.

“It’s a good combination.”

Deines says the companies decided to share their story with other dry cleaners to expand the concept.

“So our first market that we chose is actually Wichita.”

Arif and Miller will renovate their stores at 1210 S. Rock Road and 10555 W. 21st St. to include a Golden Tuxedo at each shop.

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Alterations By Sarah opens in Lawrence

WICHITA — Samir Arif wasn’t yet born when his parents first started Alterations By Sarah in 1982, but now he and his wife are opening a branch of the Wichita company in Lawrence with plans to one day take over the entire business.

“It was always sort of something we thought about doing, spreading the business into other parts of Kansas,” Samir Arif says.

His parents opened locations in Oklahoma City in the 1990s but then sold them.

His father has six of the shops in Wichita still.

His mother, Sarah Lockwood — the shop’s original Sarah — is now divorced from his father and is out of the business.

“It’s kind of funny because my wife’s name is also Sara, without the ‘h,’” Arif says.

He is former deputy director of communications for the governor, and Sara Arif is the former director of public affairs for the state Department on Aging.

Their shop is at Sixth Street and Wakarusa on the west side of Lawrence. Samir Arif says even just a couple of years ago, that area was considered rural.

“The last couple of years, there’s just been an explosion of new development,” he says. “We’re pretty hopeful.”

He and his wife, who are having what he calls a gradual store opening this week, haven’t decided where they’ll open next.

“At this point, we haven’t really made any plans going forward,” he says. “It’s just a matter of getting this one up and going.”

Arif says he’s happy to be following in the footsteps of his parents, who immigrated from India.

“They’re really very much the story of the American dream,” he says. “I’m just very much looking forward to carrying on the tradition.”