Moving spaces, whether residential or commercial, takes a lot of time, preparation, and care. Valuable items are removed from walls, heirlooms are wrapped carefully, and every last item is placed in a box and sealed up — all to be undone again later. Without attention to detail and caution, special items can easily be damaged or misplaced during the process. That’s why for moving and storage companies, it’s important not to cut any corners.
Mother-daughter duo Evelyn and Ellen Middleton and family friend RD Foster saw the need for a luxury, white-glove service in Dallas that could move and store clients’ most valuable items, from fine art to fragile antiques to handmade rugs, with the utmost care. In November 2020, the Dallasites opened Avancé Moving & Storage, a company that has transformed moving and storage for homeowners, interior designers, and developers with the latest technology.
Foster, co-owner and general manager of Avancé, has three-plus decades of experience in the moving and storage industry. Since moving to Dallas from Amarillo, Texas, in the 1980s, Foster has worked at two of the most prestigious moving companies in the city, with clientele including Troy Aikman and Ross Perot.
Evelyn Middleton, co-owner and president, has also lived in Dallas since the 1980s. Before co-founding Avancé, she was a third-generation business owner with her brothers. She also currently owns Blue Spruce Properties, a local real estate investment company that flips houses in the metroplex alongside her daughter, Ellen. Ellen Middleton, COO and co-owner, was born in Dallas and recently graduated from Texas State University. She’s a licensed real estate agent and the lead interior designer for all Blue Spruce properties.
“Dallas is not only our home, but also the place that we want to be able to provide excellent customer service to our friends and neighbors,” Ellen says.
With Foster’s experience in the moving and storage industry, Evelyn’s entrepreneurial spirit, and Ellen’s expertise in interior design and real estate — the trio is able to successfully set Avancé apart from other services in the area.
“The biggest thing that sets us apart from other moving and storage companies is our employees. Our employees have the utmost care for our customers’ belongings, homes, and privacy; and they train and work very diligently to provide our customers with the best possible service,” Ellen says. “Avancé’s decision to implement the very best technology in our business was not only to provide our customers with the best experience possible, but also to allow our employees to work as efficiently as possible.”
Thanks to Avancé’s technology, gone are the days of rummaging through boxes looking for items. The family-operated business has an interactive photo system that gives customers easier access to their things.
“When Avancé receives items for customers, they are carefully unpackaged, checked for damage, photographed, measured, and repackaged in more appropriate storage packing materials. All this information is input immediately into our online inventory system using iPads,” Ellen explains. “After the information is entered, the customer receives an email notification with all the details … including photos of the item. This is particularly important for our interior designer customers because it is critical that they know when specific items arrive for their own projects.”
In addition to moving services and a photo inventory system, Avancé offers storage facilities with a 24/7 viewing portal online, art installation and storage, national and international shipping, and paperless operations. The company is currently in the process of creating an all-inclusive system that will allow customers to access account details, pay current invoices, and view estimates online.
“From the beginning, [we] knew it would be important for Avancé to be a paperless operation because it was something that RD knew was a pressure point for a lot of other moving and storage companies in Dallas. Since the 80s, he’s seen it all — from customers’ items being damaged, misplaced, or even stolen from a company’s warehouse,” Ellen says. “To mitigate these issues, we knew we had to be a paperless operation.”
For those with luxury items, it only makes sense to trust a luxury moving and storage facility. The biggest piece of advice Avancé can give to potential customers is this: You get what you pay for.
“While that may seem obvious, it is especially important in the moving and storage industry,” Ellen says. “It is easy for companies to quote low prices and do low quality work, but in the end, it is the customer that pays the ultimate price when their most precious items are damaged, lost, or destroyed.”
Whether you’re preparing for a big move, a client installation, or wanting to store seasonal items, the team at Avancé is prepared to help — with a nitro cold brew waiting for you at their office.
For more information, visit avancemovingstorage.com.