"All Star was started by my uncle Jim Stewart in the early 1980s as a Truckee-focused company. What started in 2000 as a temporary job with flexible hours while attending University of Nevada Reno, ended up with me buying the company from him two years ago when he decided to retire.
"We are primarily a carpet and upholstery cleaning company. In the winter we focus on water damage restoration related to frozen pipes. About 80 percent of our clientele is in Truckee and 20 percent is North Tahoe. We are trying an expansion into the Reno/Carson communities servicing residential homes with a strong focus on the second home market, and Truckee provides a larger concentration of these vacation homes compared to the other north lake communities.
"The most rewarding project for me has been the transition from technician to manager to owner. It's surprising looking back and seeing the path that lead me to where I am now.
"Then on the other side the greatest challenge for me has been weathering the recession. I bought the company right when the economy tanked. Trying to grow the business when demand is down in a very competitive field means I have to stay on my toes and try new advertising methods. We are moving away from print advertising and trying a stronger focus on the web.
"Networking is key — the credibility and referrals generated by Chamber membership bring the most value to the company financially. By continuing our strategy of providing honest quality service we hope to grow the company back to its pre-recession sales volume of running three cleaning crews, about double our current levels, and to eventually expand regionally."