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Mother-daughter duo tackle business of moving the Crossroads (w/video)

By Jessica Rodrigo
March 29, 2014 at midnight
Updated March 28, 2014 at 10:29 p.m.

Susan Foster-Teinert, 46, schedules a move for a customer at Crossroads Movers Inc. in Victoria.

Tips on moving

Empty out your dresser drawers

Pack all the smaller items into boxes

Take apart larger furniture items, including beds or tables

Source: Joe Williams, Crossroads Movers

Two women gave Crossroads Movers Inc. a second chance at life in 1996.

Joyce Foster and her daughter, Susan Foster-Teinert, bought the business from Ken Campbell and Walley Wallace and have kept the wheels turning now for 18 years.

"It's been a roller coaster," said Foster-Teinert, 46, of Victoria. "We've had our good days and our bad days, too."

Day in and day out, the mother-daughter team work together to make sure people in the Crossroads have a smooth transition from an old house to a new location.

They believe their attention to detail and ability to empathize with movers has helped keep them in business for so long.

"They do good work," said Joe Williams, a longtime Crossroads Movers employee.

He has been working with the women for about 15 years and said the key to the business' success is having relationships with the community.

Williams, 61, of Victoria, built such a strong reputation with the company's customers that he said people will ask for him by name.

"There are a lot of repeat customers," he said.

He and his team - made up of his brothers and friends - will move a family and continue to work with them when their children go to school, too.

Williams said he has had the pleasure of moving students out of dorms in town or as far as Austin and College Station.

"Sometimes, there's a small amount of things to move," he said. "But the stairs are the worst."

During most moves, he can be found stacking and sorting items in the back of the company's moving trucks. To get the job done, the company owns three moving trucks, and the business also has space to hold customers' belongings until their new home is ready for them to move in.

"You'd be surprised how many people move on a regular basis," said Foster-Teinert from behind a large wooden desk in her office. She said there are customers who have moved every six months or every year when their leases expire.

Like most businesses, there are spikes and lulls every year, Foster, 69, explained. Families and students often relocate when the school year ends and before the new year begins.

But before the movers arrive at any home or office, Foster-Teinert will do a walk-through or over-the-phone estimate to avoid any surprises.

Sometimes, homeowners will forget to mention items that can't be moved by Williams and the other men, she said. Gun safes and fireproof filing cabinets are a few examples of items she has had to contract out because they're too heavy to move with just elbow grease and need a dolly.

The moving business has also moved every baby grand piano in Victoria, she said.

"The more info they give, the better we can move them," she said.

On top of Foster-Teinert's desk lays a daily planner in which moves are scheduled and details are jotted down in neat columns and lists. Major appliances and furniture will make it onto her list, and from there, she can give the client an estimate of how long the move will take.

None of the other employees can schedule moves in the planner, she said. This way they can avoid mishaps or double-booking the movers. Over 18 years, she said the company has only double-booked a move twice.

"I write everything down," she said. "I have it down to a routine on the phone, too."

Though she said she's only moved enough times to count on one hand, she knows what it's like to relocate.

She said most women are the ones tasked with moving a household, so that's why Crossroads Movers is the most capable business for the job.

And if there's a big move scheduled, the mother-daughter team is willing to drive the trucks or help move boxes.

"We do whatever we can to help everyone out," Foster-Teinert said.

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