Cathie Anderson

Anderson: 2 women tackle toughest kitchen job, removing old appliances, around Sacramento

Customers can’t believe their eyes when a pair of Olive Oyls – Rachel and Gina Mozingo, owners of Eco Appliance Recycling – show up to pick up and dispose of their heavy household castoffs.

The Mozingos opened their recycling business six months ago in North Highlands and have caught men and women alike peeking out the door in search of Popeye after they arrive.

“We had a lady call us for a TV pickup,” said Rachel Mozingo. “And she said, ‘I had to bring three guys over here to get this into my house.’ She had it sitting in the garage, and she said, ‘I don’t know that you’re going to be able to do it. You should bring some guys.’ So Gina and I showed up and we went in and did our thing. She just stood there and then said, ‘I can’t believe you guys just did that.’ She said, ‘I’m going to tell everybody.’ ”

Typically, Rachel Mozingo concludes most pickups, even side-by-side refrigerators, on her own in 20 minutes. If men are at home, the Mozingos told me, they invariably insist on helping. That’s why the two partners developed The Speech: “We understand we’re girls, but we can handle it, and if we couldn’t handle it, we would tell you. And if you choose to help, please sign this waiver.”

The two willowy women, partners in life and in business, have insurance that covers any mishaps they cause but not those precipitated by volunteer assistants. In six months of business, they have requested help only once, to remove a commercial washer for a hotel. In that case, they called a business associate who owned a truck with a floor that lowers to the ground. He used a pallet jack to raise the appliance and roll it onto the truck floor.

The Mozingos don’t charge anything for pickup. They make their money by selling any inoperable appliances to scrap metal dealers and by wholesaling the working machines to used-appliance dealers. Both partners already are earning a salary and close to recouping the capital they used to start Eco Appliance. Their startup money came from the sale of Rachel Mozingo’s beloved Camaro.

Besides individual consumers, they also contract with hotels, apartment complexes and assisted living facilities within an hour’s drive of Sacramento. To see the range of items they pick up, visit The business owners had to pass a background check and be fingerprinted before they could get the special business license required to run such an enterprise. They compete, however, with many individuals who operate without a county license.

It’s something that troubles Gina Mozingo: “We have some clients, elderly people, who if they can’t get something out of their house, they invite us into their homes, ‘Oh, you need to come get this out of our bedroom.’ We go into some nice houses, and all I can think, ‘What if they had called someone who was not insured or licensed?’”

Yeah, he’s an exhibitionist

After receiving words of encouragement from two business associates, Stage Nine Exhibit Design owner Troy Carlson is shipping his trade show booth to Seattle, where next week he’ll try to crack into the museum world.

“We’re going to our first expo with the American Alliance of Museums’ annual convention,” said Carlson, whose West Sacramento team constructs themed exhibits on animation, superheroes, toys, candy and other topics.

Carlson hadn’t thought of trying to get his exhibits into museums until he met staff from the Turtle Bay Museum, near the Sundial Bridge in Redding.

“They actually came to our open house, and they were really impressed with our exhibits,” Carlson said, “and the director said, ‘You know, I’ve never done this before, but I want to sign a four-exhibit deal with you guys.’”

Later, a representative from a global events company scheduled a meeting with Carlson to look over his exhibit designs.

“I’d just met him through an email, and he works for a big company called GES,” Carlson said, “and they produce the touring Harry Potter exhibit. They do really large-scale exhibits, and he came up and said, ‘You know, you need to go to the MuseumExpo. Your content is fresh and interesting. I think you’d do well there.’

Carlson said he doesn’t know what it means to ‘do well,’ but he has to try. He got his start years ago at the California State Fair, where this summer he will open an exhibit called “Sweet: A Tasty Journey,” but these days Stage Nine’s shows are leased by fairs around the country and in Canada.

Miyamoto gets a cameo

The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., enlisted West Sacramento businessman Kit Miyamoto for a new exhibit that explains how engineering can help mitigate the impact of natural disasters. The CEO of Miyamoto International, who also sits on the California Seismic Safety Commission, talks in an exhibit video about how new technology and know-how can make the world safer. He uses his company’s work on the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank as an example: “This new transportation structure is designed to be able to be sustainable after a magnitude 8 (earthquake) event. We used next-generation technology called base isolation. This building is used for not only for a transportation facility but will be used as emergency response for FEMA, LAPD and others.” The exhibit opened a week ago at 401 F St. NW and will be up until Aug. 2, 2015.