Bob McDonald starts Modernistic out of his garage in Troy, Michigan. The concept was a "Mobile Carpet Cleaning Unit," and his pitch to customers early on was that they should "Demand the Best!" for their homes and businesses. He hires friends and neighbors he trusts to do a great job.
Bob’s secretary goes on maternity leave, and he asks his wife, Kathy, a dental hygienist at the time, to fill in for her for "two weeks." That temporary arrangement lasts for the next 25 years with Kathy spearheading all aspects of appointment scheduling and accounting.
Bob purchases his first (truck-mounted hot water extraction) unit! This investment, paired with his growing reputation for quality work, allows him to achieve many major commercial accounts across Metro Detroit. His first large commercial account is Detroit Edison! Bob continues to focus on relationships and shortly after, brings on The Silverdome, The Palace of Auburn Hills, Joe Louis Arena, Ford Field and most of the major hospitals in Metro Detroit.
Lee and Katie Hitow, good friends of Bob and Kathy, purchase the first Modernistic franchise, and start it out of their garage in Richland, Michigan, serving the West Michigan area. The Hitows believe in the McDonalds commitment to world-class service. Their passion is for delighting customers and they quickly build a base of raving fans.
Loyal customers begin to count on Modernistic in their time of need. All over Michigan, customers begin to think of Modernistic as the go-to for flooded basements, broken pipes, sewage back ups, and more. The powerful suction of the truck-mounted extraction units used for carpet cleaning are a powerful force against water damage. Bob and Lee lead their teams to learn everything they can about the restoration industry so they could offer science-based extraction and drying services to customers with property damage.
Modernistic quickly outgrows Bob's garage and many other commercial rentals around town, so Bob decides to build his first commercial building for Modernistic on Rankin Drive in Troy, Michigan. This 4,000 square foot building, designed by Bob to meet all of our needs, did just that - and two short years later, we outgrew our Rankin building too!
Bob continues to focus on the science and technology behind the service, working with inventors and engineers around the country to ensure Modernistic is utilizing the most advanced equipment and specialized products on the market.
Lee pitches Bob a catchy tune to start incorporating into radio advertising. And thus, the Modernistic jingle was born and has been stuck in the heads of Michiganders ever since! Learn more about the notorious Modernistic Jingle.
Bob and Lee decide to meet in the middle to open up shop in Lansing, Michigan, to serve the State Capital region. Soon after locations open to serve Flint and later, Mt. Pleasant and the Tri-cities area. With these pins popping up on the map, Simple & Quick service is now available across the majority of the lower peninsula.
With concerns about Allergies on the rise, Modernistic onboards a new service to make their customers’ homes & businesses even cleaner and healthier: Air Duct Cleaning! The phones ring off the hook with customers concerned about Indoor Air Quality.
Bob’s daughter Jill and Lee’s daughter Rachel start working in the family business. Jill and Rachel, friends since childhood, find themselves talking into the wee morning hours about their ideas for the business, delighting in each other's shared passion for all things Mod. Until this point, the locations across the state had operated largely independently from each other, but Jill and Rachel begin to see opportunities to collaborate.
Jill and Rachel are inspired by each others’ energy, insight, and perspectives and want to share this spark with their teams. They begin to analyze the business to see where they can pool efforts and get their independent teams working together as one. It starts with marketing, a shared website, unified branding, and eventually custom software.
Jill and Rachel are astounded by the talent of their individual teams and begin to feel that any challenge or opportunity is better met with both teams at the table. They believe in this concept so much, they gather their parents around the table and pitch the concept of a merger.
Believing in the power of a unified Modernistic, Bob and Lee make the merger official! This is just in time for the statewide teams to ban together to weather the storm of the Covid-19 pandemic. Like all family-owned businesses, the company faced many hurdles through this crisis, but pivoted quickly to meet the challenges of the moment.
Traverse City location opens and plans are laid to eventually make this vibrant community by the bay the official headquarters for Modernistic!
Modernistic celebrates 50 years of Simple & Quick!