If you have ever moved, whether across the street or across the country, you know how stressful the process can be. In fact, moving comes in third behind the death of a loved one and divorce, in situations that cause us the most stress in our lifetime. Choosing the right moving company can make all the difference in your next move being a positive or a negative experience. Since 2005, Amy Cushman, owner of American Moving and Hauling in Winston-Salem, NC, has been helping her customers with residential and commercial moves, going the extra mile with scheduling, planning, coordinating and everything needed for a good move. While being a woman in a male-dominated industry has its challenges, Amy has embraced her role of business owner and her responsibilities of making American Moving and Hauling into a well-respected and top-notch moving and hauling resource.
Necessity IS the Mother of Invention
Amy Cushman learned her business the old-fashioned way… by trial and error with hard work after seeing a need.
“I was the manager of a storage facility and helped people move and store their possessions. I saw people who needed help, mostly ‘labor only,’ unloading and storing their things. I saw a need and did my best to fill it, starting with renting trucks and hiring good help. The business grew from seeing that initial need and acting upon it to help customers in their moving and hauling,” recalled Amy. Her ‘best’ led to American Moving and Hauling with a ‘learn as you go’ path to becoming a successful business.
“It’s not been an easy business to learn, especially as a woman, to get to the point where we are now. I didn’t have a business model to follow, and I am sure people questioned what a young woman knew about the moving business. I set out to exceed people’s expectations so that I would be taken seriously in my business. We are now a full-service moving company, with four trucks and 25 employees, assisting our customers with local moves with a 900-mile radius for longer distances.
The Right People in the Right Places
I truly believe there’s a right way to do things and to be successful you have to have the right people in place in all areas of your business,” Amy said.
In the first few years of her business, Amy, like many women, tried to do it all, putting in an 80 hour week regularly. She realized that delegating responsibilities to her staff would not only help her have a more balanced home and work life, but allow her business to grow due to increased organization and efficiency, so Amy brought her family on board. “Knowing when to hire and finding the right people was a revelation and the best move I’ve ever made,” commented Amy. “American Moving and Hauling truly is a family business. My mother, Donna Young, cousin, Tiffany Cottingham, and fiancé, Habib Jah, manage the office, crews, and moves, and I couldn’t do any of this without them. On occasion, I do still micromanage, but they remind me to let them do what they do best. It was very hard to turn over the day to day operations, but since then I have been able to focus on making the business better and growing it each year. My staff care about me and the business, and know that attention to details for our customers sets us apart in our industry. I believe that because we are a small, local, woman-owned business, we have a little different perspective on moving. Many of our customers are women moving on their own, whether that be due to divorce or changes in their lives. Because I am a small business, I can be selective about who I hire, and my employees are good, quality people with character. I recently hired two female movers who have been excellent additions to my team. My movers love their work and understand the importance of taking pride in what they do and how doing their job right in the end makes our customers happy. Packing and moving someone’s belongings is not something we take lightly. I believe it is important to follow up with any questions or concerns a customer may have in a timely manner.”
Services to Make Life’s Transitions Easier
“Although we specialize in moving and hauling, there’s more to what we can offer our customers,” commented Amy. American Moving and Hauling provides more than their name implies and those other services only add to making life a little easier. In addition to their original location in Winston-Salem, NC, last fall a second location was opened in Lexington, NC with a climate-controlled storage facility. “With our business, we can pack, unpack, move locally and long distances, help with ‘labor only’ moves and provide cleaning services, too. Sometimes when you move, decluttering your life is part of that move, so if you need items taken away and donated or disposed of, we can help with that also. I like things to be organized and clean because it makes life, and especially moving, easier,” Amy stated. As a mom of two, a 20-year-old daughter and a three-month-old son, Amy knows the challenges of keeping life ‘decluttered’ and balanced.
“Like most women, I believe I can do it all and sometimes all at the same time, but having my second child has helped me to see the strengths of my staff and to realize just how fortunate I am to have each employee, from the office to the movers. Each of us is dedicated to developing and maintaining the most professionalism and attention to detail that all of our customers desire and deserve. Every day we are rewarded by knowing our customers are happy and satisfied with what we do and nothing is better than that,” said Amy.
American Moving and Hauling is located at 535 East Clemmonsville Road, Suite D, Winston-Salem, NC. For more information on their services, call 336-765-3499 or visit americanmovingandhauling.com. Hours of operation: Mon-Fri 8-5pm. Packing materials are available for purchase at the office.