Good luck to him.The Western Mail (quoted on the FSB site) said:Ex-soldier's eye for detail will press you into shape
David Williamson Western Mail
A former member of The Parachute Regiment has brought together military discipline and entrepreneurship to launch Prestige Ironing. Ian Ambrose's new company provides busy professionals with ironed clothes which would pass muster in an Army inspection.
The father-of-three from Swansea anticipates the service proving popular with men and women for whom making a good first impression is crucial.
Mr Ambrose, 31, spent much of his 12 years with the regiment wearing ceremonial dress as a trumpeter.
He said, 'It was hard work because a lot of the time you were on tour. It was important you were smart and well-dressed because people expect that from the British Army.'
Well-ironed clothes, he is convinced, are a inspire confidence in the wearer.
'Wearing crisply ironed attire, rather than an old crinkled shirt you picked up from the bottom of the wardrobe makes you feel good and gives other people a positive impression of you,' he said.
Mr Ambrose, originally from Fforestfach, joined the Army at 16 and was given a crash course by his corporal in perfect ironing.
He said, 'Then came the inspection and if it wasn't up to standard it would be chucked out the window. It was a bit daunting, but most soldiers would say it was worth it.'
In military life, the pursuit of perfect ironing can verge on the obsessional.
Mr Ambrose said, 'Each regiment has a particular way of ironing a shirt. Some regiments would even have a particular crease across the back.'
This attention to detail was intended to force soldiers to take similar care with equipment and resources, he said.
'It's all about having personal pride about your kit. If it's not right on the battlefield, that's when things go wrong.'
As well as giving clients confidence in interviews and presentations, Mr Ambrose hopes that it will enable people to spend more time with their families. A major motivation for launching the venture was the flexibility it would give him to look after his children while his wife Ruth pursues social work qualifications.
He said, 'People spend up to three hours a day on household chores, of which ironing is the least popular activity. In today's busy world, people are looking for ways to spend more quality time with friends and family and on leisure activities, but chores like ironing often get in the way.
'I aim to provide a personal service that people can trust.'
Before starting his own business Mr Ambrose worked with the Salvation Army in Swansea as a community services manager.
'I have always had a desire to be self-employed, and after taking some professional advice I decided to take the plunge,' he said. 'From the outset, I wanted Prestige Ironing to be an ethical and environmentally responsible business.
'Our service has steered away from the 'bin-bag full of ironing method', and instead makes use of sturdy reusable storage boxes, hangers and garment covers to transport customers' ironing.
'I make evening collections to avoid the rush-hour traffic and to avoid adding to congestion on Swansea's already busy roads, and to ensure the pick-up is done when the customer is home from work and available.'
He has launched a website () and joined the Federation of Small Businesses, and has received start-up assistance from the Business Centre in Swansea. He said, 'It is so important for anyone wishing to start out on their own to seek professional advice and support; it has certainly been invaluable to know that help is there when I need it and most of the time the advice and support is free.'
January 24, 2007