It's official: With the arrival of summer, moving season has begun. Open the Yellow Pages or check online, and you'll find endless moving options, some with more fanciful names than others. Among them:
* Founded in 1973 by a pair of Fairfax High School students, Starving Students was, a quarter century ago, staffed by starving, or at least hungry, students in its early days, according to President Steve Levan. Founder Ethan Margalith, Levan says, had just graduated from high school when he opened the company with a few fellow students. Today, the company has grown to 600 employees in more than 45 offices across the United States.
"We don't monitor how many students we have on staff, but we will hire them," Levan says. "We kept the name because it means 'no frills' and 'cost competitive.' "
* Why the name Elephant Moving? Because it can move anything, including elephants? No, says owner Don Tonty. The Los Angeles company has never been asked to move elephants, and it uses the name because "elephants are strong and gentle, both good qualities for a moving company," Tonty says.
* What do you find at Father & Son? An actual father and son, according to Michael Porcaro, the son. His father, Louis, was one of several brothers who founded the company in Florida. He opened the Los Angeles office in 1983, and it could more accurately be called "Father, Mother, Son, Daughter & Cousin," as all those family members work together.
* The Los Angeles office of Nice Jewish Boy Movers currently has no Jewish employees, but the original East Coast company was, in fact, staffed by nice Jewish boys, according to a manager in the local office.
* Now that you have moved, do you need a painter? How about Educated Painters?
Why "educated," and what does that have to do with painting? The small Pasadena-based company was founded a dozen years ago by four grad school buddies as a stop-gap measure to pay the bills, including student loans. Mark Harris, the sole remaining founder, says he and his friends first attended Westmont College, a private Christian liberal arts school in Montecito, and then the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, where they all earned master's degrees in theology and related fields.
"The other guys grew up and got real jobs," Harris says with a laugh, listing their occupations as psychologist, systems analyst and missionary, while he continues to run the company. Although he's the only one there now with multiple degrees, he's kept the name because it reflects his personal story and because it's catchy. He and his crews work mostly on historic homes in Pasadena, Hollywood and Hancock Park.