My name is Dan Barlau, I've lived in Phoenix for 15 years now, but still consider myself a small town guy from Wisconsin. I grew up about 45 minutes east of the twin cities, right on the St. Croix River, on the Wisconsin side. It was perfect. I forever will tell you, it's the best place in the country to grow up. I moved down to Phoenix when I was 21, my dad and siblings were here, it was a great opportunity for me to connect with all of them. In 2008, I started working with a family friend who owned a carpet cleaning business. He hired me because he was having a hard time completing jobs, as he had recently been in a car accident and had major surgeries which he was recovering from. A couple months later, the economy tanked, he could no longer afford to pay me but was still not healed from the accident. It would have been near impossible to get another job during that time, so we worked out a deal. I would continue to work with him for free and in return he would let me use his machine when not in use, after all, he didn't need it. I was trying to build a business for myself, to be my own boss. When I wasn't working with him, I got a lot of cardio in by going to nearly every house in North Phoenix. Everywhere from Cave Creek Rd. to 75th Ave, from Thunderbird Rd. all the way to Anthem, door to door, to introduce myself to people and share my story and my business plan, in hopes they would give this small town guy a chance. I did this for four years and finally worked with this guy long enough and put in the hours for this machine to be mine. It was hard. I didn't know how trying it would be to start something like this, I never wanted to advertise. Call me old fashioned, but I wanted my work and my work ethic to speak for itself. My significant other and I struggled for a long time. Some days I would be gone the entire day and get no jobs, other days it seemed as though I spoke with all the right people at all the right times. Flash forward 11 years later, and I finally got my small business and am working for myself. Now however, I have two amazing boys with that same woman who supported me from day one, even if the long hours drove her crazy. My career has allowed us to always be in control of our kids. She works now as a restaurant manager with the same long hours I used to work so many years ago. We manage our time together, with our jobs and with our kids, so we don't have to pay for childcare out of home. It really is a blessing to have the both us there and get to be so involved in our childrens' lives'. This year, the boys had a great Christmas, we spent it with family and it seemed like 'one for the books'. We got home Christmas day after a great dinner with my Dad and siblings, cousins and friends, to find that my Carpet Cleaning Trailer was gone. The machine and trailer that I worked so hard for, for so long, was stolen. I had no words, was in complete shock, still in shock. I still expect to see it when I open the garage. I spent countless hours, repainting, staining and modernizing the trailer and equipment, that it's gut wrenching to think someone would take that from me. The last 11 years of my life, gone, in one day. It's how I provide for my family, it was my project since the beginning of my Arizona adventure. I have grown my business from the ground up and very rarely do I ask for help. This time though friends, help is what I need. A new trailer and machine are no where in our budget and I have no business without it. The point of this GoFundMe is the same mantra I started with years ago, and still holds true today. Take a chance on this small town guy and if you're able to help, you won't be disappointed. Any donation over $100 and I will do the equivalent price in cleaning, whether that be, carpet, tile or upholstery. I pride myself on doing the best and helping when I can, this time around though, I need the help.
Thanks, Dan 6236068948