As featured in the Oyster Pointer!
Wayne Edwards’ deep, melodious voice has a hint of his Jamaican background. He was born there and moved to the U.S. when he was six years old. He grew up in New Jersey and started working his paper route at age 12. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy after high school, serving in Desert Storm. His working career began as a car salesman but quickly transitioned to driving 18-wheel trucks. After five years, in Atlanta GA, he started a moving business. When the recession ended that venture, Edwards moved back to New Jersey.
Monarch Movers was founded in December 2016. Edwards had moved to Virginia, where his wife has relatives. As a veteran with disabilities, he wanted to help others. Where possible, he gives preference to employing veterans and military spouses.
Edwards has a combined experience of more than 20 years in the moving business. His many personal moves, with negative experiences, made him want to change how moving is done. “Professionalism and customer comfort are a priorities to me,” he says. “We promise unmatched service with ‘white glove’ treatment. Our goal is to provide stress-free service for our customers.”
No job is too big or too small. “We are versatile,” says Edwards. “We can handle relocations across town or overseas. Every move adheres to the same standard of excellence. We wrap and protect the customer’s belongings to ensure a safe arrival at its destination.”
Edwards carefully trains his employees. “Moving is a skill,” he says. Employees must learn to maneuver all kind of objects, with no injury to themselves, the house or the furniture. “Yes, accidents can happen and we are insured. We respond swiftly to any problem and persist until the customer is happy. We have one of the lowest claims percentages in the country,” he says. Employees are required to revisit the “Movers University” for continuing instruction throughout the year.
Monarch Movers is A-rated with the Better Business Bureau. The company is a member of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and Newport News Rotary. “We are also licensed with the Department of Motor Vehicles,” adds Edwards.
Why is the moving business a good choice? “Because it won’t be replaced by technology!” says Edwards. “There will always be a demand because no one likes to do it. A good way to lose a friend is to ask for help moving,” he adds with a grin. “Most people do not have the proper equipment or training and are willing to pay for the service. We are a one-stop shop and we will clean your house when the move is completed.”
A fascinating offshoot of the moving business is leftover unwanted items. “We are able to supply used furniture and even clothes and food to homeless shelters and other charities. Many of those who move leave useful items behind. We are a socially conscious business,” says Edwards.
Monarch Movers will move pianos and pool tables—a special skill. “We are aware of all of the disasters shown online. We have not had any problems,” says Edwards.
In addition to basic moving services, Monarch Movers offers his customers use of a storage facility (a few days or a few years), boxes and packing supplies and moving “kits.” Any move is possible: local, regional, national or international. The customer can rent a truck and we will help with the loading.
“We want to provide whatever services the customer needs to make the move as stress free as possible,” says Edwards. “We want to earn our customers’ trust and hope they recommend us to their friends. We are affordable; there are no hidden fees. Most of our business comes from referrals.”
As owner, Edwards wears many hats. He may be in the office in meetings or doing paperwork; he may be driving a truck. “Our season parallels the real estate market. We are busiest from April to August. We can have four or five moves in one day. I have worked 27 days of 12 to 14 hours in a row in the spring. We average about 10 employees. Most are part-time,” says Edwards. He promotes a family environment and offers bonuses.
Edwards’ wife is an obstetrician/gynecologist in Newport News. They have a three-year-old son. “We both have busy work schedules so we have to make time for family,” says Edwards.
“In January or February I can come home early. My wife and I schedule dates. Right now I am planning a bowling party with friends. If we stay home we will fall asleep!” says Edwards, with a laugh.
“I would like my child to experience the U.S., especially the National Parks,” he adds. “I do visit New Jersey and Jamaica. I miss the food!”
Though his life is hectic, Edwards is proud of his business and the services he provides. “I want to be an example for those who have a lot to overcome,” he says.