Ariana Roviello joins us on the show today to talk about her experience building a laundromat in San Francisco and buying a second one. She has some hard-earned wisdom that she generously shares on building a laundromat from scratch, scaling into multiple laundromats, and running a successful business.

Ariana is also utilizing gig economy drivers to expand the radius of her laundromat business through offering pick-up and delivery through the DoorDash platform. To that effect, she is a panelist in a webinar hosted by Cents that is happening on August 24, 1pm pst/4pm est entitled Pickup & Delivery: The Truth About the Gig Economy. You can sign up to join that webinar here.

In today’s interview with Ariana, we discuss:

  • Ariana’s background in fashion and marketing
  • Building a laundromat from scratch in a major metropolitan
  • Laundry as habit
  • Advice for new construction of a laundromat
  • Lease negotiations
  • Why she bought a second laundromat
  • Branding concepts for your laundromat
  • Systems to help you manage your laundromat
  • Promotions to drive traffic
  • The power of networking

And so much more!

Listen To The Podcast Here

Watch The Podcast Here

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By Laundromat Owners.
For Laundromat Owners.

Today's Sponsors

AtmosphereTV We’re brought to you today by my friends at AtmoshereTV! Now You may have heard my interview a few months back with Mike Kelly from AtmosphereTV where we talked about what a simple change in content on your TVs can do for your laundromat by getting depressing news stations OFF and something much more fun, entertaining, and family-friendly ON.  Since then, Atmosphere has grown to 50+ channels included in their service with everything from Surfing Dogs to Extreme sports, hilarious fails, and jaw-dropping videos from all over the world built specifically for business use. Atmosphere can be used to supplement your cable or you can completely cut your expensive cable bill and use Atmosphere 100% FREE saving thousands a year! Use my code RESOURCE when you check out or click the link or image to have your setup fee waived or contact [email protected]Atmosphere.tv for more information!

Laundromat Resource Marketing If you need help building or managing a website for your laundromats, let the experts at Laundromat Resource Marketing help you design and build a custom, professional website for you! As experts in the laundromat industry AND in web design and online marketing, we at Laundromat Resource Marketing are able to provide you with a professional website at an affordable price. We’re always transparent so there are no hidden fees. What we quote you is what you pay. Satisfaction and performance guaranteed! With no contracts to sign and guarantees like that, why not let us take care of your online presence while you focus on welcoming all of your new laundry customers? Click the logo or link above to find out more information. 

Ariana's Bio

Ariana is a two store operator in San Francisco and has been in the industry for about 5 years. With her stores, she focuses on improving space, service and sustainability to help modernize the laundromat experience.

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    Episode Transcript

    hey what’s up guys it’s jordan with the
    laundromat resource podcast this is show
    67
    and i’m pumped you’re here today because
    today we’re going to talk with ariana
    who owns a couple laundromats in the san
    francisco bay area and this is a super
    fun conversation and not only that but
    she shares a ton of really great and
    hard-earned wisdom that she has gained
    over the last five years or so of owning
    laundry masks this is an awesome awesome
    conversation she has a lot of really
    good input and a lot of really good
    advice for
    you know anyone looking to build a
    laundromat from scratch anyone who
    owns one or multiple
    laundromats or anyone who’s looking to
    buy their very first laundromat this
    episode is going to have something
    pretty much for everybody so
    plus she’s a lot of fun to chat with
    you’re going to really really enjoy it
    so definitely tune in for this one a
    couple quick things before we jump into
    it with ariana is number one
    uh she mentions at the end here that
    there is a webinar next week that she’s
    being a part of and actually i just got
    asked to host this webinar super fun
    it’s with sense and uh they are talking
    about
    uh the gig economy and how that is
    influencing
    our industry the laundromat industry
    super fascinating conversation
    interesting stuff happening in that
    space uh
    for us for the laundromat industry so
    definitely join that webinar the link to
    that webinar as well as the link to
    everything else that we talk about in
    the show today is going to be at the
    show notes which is laundromat resource
    dot com show 67 to show six seven um or
    if you’re on youtube i’ll put all that
    stuff down below in the description so
    make sure you check that out um and uh
    man join us for
    the webinar it’s going to be a lot of
    fun i think i’ll be talking to a couple
    owners
    about their experience um doing pick up
    and delivery with uh doordash actually
    which since just rolled out so it’s kind
    of interesting
    business model and i’m really really
    curious to hear how their experience has
    been so far uh using that could be
    really cool thing for those of you want
    to jump into the pickup and delivery
    space but don’t want to necessarily jump
    right into buying a truck and figuring
    out the logistics and all that stuff so
    fascinating even if you’re not uh
    looking to go into that space it might
    be a really interesting webinar to jump
    into and join uh just to kind of hear
    what’s going on in the industry and what
    different people are doing to find
    success so anyways that link will be in
    the show notes lot of my resource.com
    show 67 and also down below if you’re on
    youtube so check that out uh a couple
    quick
    things well
    here like last thing that i want to say
    before we jump into with ariana i don’t
    want to take too much time uh but i just
    wanted to say a huge welcome to
    everybody who’s been joining the
    membership at laundromat resource.com
    lately there is a ton of you guys like a
    lot a lot have been joining lately and i
    haven’t really taken the time to
    just
    take a second and welcome everybody uh
    who’s joining over there make sure that
    you go introduce yourself in the
    new member introduction forums a lot of
    cool introductions happening over there
    and then jump into the laundromat forums
    the commercial real estate or the repair
    farm i mean there’s a lot of different
    forums going on over there go join the
    conversation with other owners i say
    this all the time and i genuinely mean
    it we are all better when we’re working
    together helping each other out not only
    are we going to reach higher heights of
    success in our businesses but also we’re
    going to do it a lot faster when we’re
    working together so head over to the
    forumslaughtermyresource.com forums
    check those out uh and again a huge
    welcome to all of you guys who have been
    joining the membership over there um i
    didn’t i forgot to check the number but
    i mean it’s just been
    a lot of people joining every day uh for
    a while now so pretty cool uh pretty
    cool community we got going on here and
    just appreciative for all of you guys
    who are part of it either as the
    membership or just listening here on the
    podcast or watching on youtube um
    whatever the case may be all right let’s
    jump into it with aureonic this is a
    cool conversation right after this all
    right guys today’s episode is brought to
    you by atmosphere tv you may remember
    back in episode 34 when atmosphere tv’s
    mike kelly joined me on the podcast it
    was an epic epic episode if you haven’t
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    it’s incredible ton of value there one
    of the things we talked about is just
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    simon sinek start with why
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    atmosphere.tv i’ll put a link down in
    the description on youtube or in the
    show notes check it out there make sure
    you use the keyword resource that way
    you can get that thing for free
    and or if you’d like email mike
    mike.kelly
    atmosphere.tv ariana thank you for
    coming on the podcast how are you doing
    i’m good how are you thanks for having
    me yeah oh it’s my pleasure thanks for
    being on i am doing well
    although there’s construction going on
    over here so hopefully it’ll be too loud
    but we’re getting air conditioning into
    our house finally that is excited about
    that very important i’m happy for you
    thank you thank you um all right so
    listen
    i am excited to hear about your
    laundromat ownership experience i know
    you own a couple and want to hear about
    those but before we jump into them can
    you tell us a little bit about you and
    who you are and then i want to get into
    how did you get into this random
    business
    yeah
    yeah i know it does feel random at times
    um
    yeah
    my name is ariana i live in san
    francisco that’s where i have um both of
    my stores um
    have been
    here for about 10 years but grew up in
    the bay area so you know familiar
    with the bay area generally um and i
    moved here for college and you know
    never left and
    kind of
    to kind of parlay that into how i got
    into laundry was um kind of
    strange um
    i actually went to fashion school here
    in the city and i studied like
    retail um in branding
    like like marketing within a retail
    setting so it does apply sometimes it’s
    still a retail space but um one of the
    projects that we had to do is create
    like a sustainable business model um
    and for some for some reason i think
    probably it was because like i started
    using laundromats like when i moved to
    san francisco so that was kind of like
    top of mind and i figured kind of have
    to wash your fashion so maybe there’s
    something there and so um
    i created just kind of this whole
    business plan on how you could create
    like a sustainable
    um potentially like
    have like
    like a just like a modern version of
    what
    most people
    kind of experience um and especially for
    me like being catapulted into using
    laundromats and generally it was like an
    unclean unsafe
    uh environment like a lot of machines
    were not down it was unattended so i was
    like how can like we make this better
    um
    and
    i went like after school i went on to
    like work in fashion for a bit but the
    idea kind of kept tugging at me
    and so i thought i’m just gonna
    give it a try and so i quit my job and
    then
    i actually drove for lyft for like two
    years while i like got the money
    together and
    built out the space and like all this
    stuff um so our first location was in
    the mission district of san francisco um
    and what’s cool about that space is that
    we were the first like brand new
    laundromat from an infrastructure
    perspective in san francisco in like 15
    years which was really cool a lot of
    people would like take over existing and
    then um but we did everything from
    scratch which was an incredibly
    awesome learning experience i would
    never do it again but
    it was um
    but it was great um so that one’s been
    open about four years and then um we
    just opened the one behind me
    which is kind of in like the western
    edition area of san francisco um last
    october
    um
    and yeah i’m here
    five years later like well seems like
    100 years but here we are
    it hasn’t aged you yet so you’re good
    yeah
    okay i mean okay very cool story so
    first of all you’re you come out of the
    fashion industry with marketing and
    branding which is i mean there there’s
    some over i mean you know i’m looking at
    you now and zoom if you’re watching on
    youtube you can see that’s actually one
    of your stores right
    yeah i’ll duck so you can see yeah get
    out of there
    that looks good
    if you’re listening on the podcast it’s
    it’s super fashionable
    and then you were driving for a lift
    right that’s
    awesome
    yeah it was great it like provided the
    flexibility to be able to like meet with
    people check out spaces work on my
    business plan um i think
    i started like i decided to start doing
    this in 2014 and then the first location
    opened in 2017. so it took me almost
    like three years on the dot to like get
    the information build a business plan
    figure out how we were going to make it
    different um and you know
    but kind of the three core things that i
    try to focus on is like how do you make
    the space different how do you make the
    service different and then how do you
    make sus like the sustainable options
    you know different um
    that’s kind of how i tried to modernize
    the experience as much as possible
    yeah very cool well i want to get more
    into that and how you did that in a
    second
    yeah i mean
    the first thing that jumps out of me is
    holy cow you built from scratch in san
    francisco how did you
    how did you decide to do that and then
    how did you actually do that yeah
    um
    again not recommended
    sometimes it’s kind of good to be naive
    um and
    well ultimately like
    i needed the space to feel really
    different like not like a laundromat and
    so
    that’s why i chose a space that wasn’t
    um
    and then
    ultimately like
    you know the whole process from start to
    finish as far as like the build-out went
    was like a year so it took a really long
    time because permitting in san francisco
    is a challenge we had to get upgraded
    like gas service we had to get upgraded
    water service all of which are like not
    only time consuming but like very costly
    so that’s like
    again not recommended um but you know
    with that i got to learn a ton my dad
    was actually the gc on the project so
    that was like actually a really kind of
    special time we got to spend a whole
    year like working on this thing together
    um
    and
    and yeah i mean i could probably tell
    you more about plumbing and gas lines
    than i would ever care to know but um uh
    but yeah it’s really cool and um i’m
    definitely proud of it um that is not
    what we did for the second one we
    definitely took over in existing and
    then cosmetically kind of upgraded what
    needed to be upgraded
    yeah we’ll give you uh an excuse for
    being naive on the first one
    [Music]
    yeah as soon as you see like your bank
    account hemorrhaging you’re like i’m not
    going to do that again so
    yeah exactly all right so what uh
    i mean tell me about this
    build out period how
    like
    what was going on during that time what
    was getting the permits like what was
    i mean
    all that stuff is
    incredibly difficult to navigate in any
    city but when you get into a large metro
    area that is
    quite
    you know quite the chore most often so
    tell me a little bit about that
    experience yeah it was definitely a
    full-time job i
    was down at city hall the building
    planning department kind of
    all the time
    we didn’t have like
    enough funds to like hire an expediter
    or like do anything like that so
    it became very familiar honestly
    probably a lot of it i blacked out
    because it was like so stressful but um
    you know it you know for example like
    the water meter it was interesting
    actually because we were so new from an
    infrastructure
    yeah they
    so
    because we were so new um
    like they didn’t know how to calculate
    our water capacity the city didn’t like
    the water department and because like
    our machines were really efficient they
    were like we’re not sure to give you
    like a half an inch line an inch line a
    two inch like so it was like this whole
    back and forth and so
    they finally settled on like a two inch
    water meter line and like
    the difference in an inch was something
    like
    35 000 or like something wild and i
    remember being like oh like
    wow like
    that’s
    that’s really expensive um and
    we had to do it there wasn’t really an
    option not to but like you know that
    like that whole process took
    probably five six months so from the
    start of like application to like them
    cutting up the street putting in like a
    new meter um i have so many photos from
    that day because i was just like
    astounded that we had managed to make it
    happen um
    and
    um yeah like again
    costly time consuming then with our with
    pg e which is what services are gas and
    electric uh you know there’s so many
    btus because we had like a lot of dryers
    um
    the existing meter would not hold that
    capacity so then like pg e had to like
    come and build us like a brand new like
    meter that took like seven months so a
    lot of the time you’re just waiting i’m
    sure like the store could have opened a
    lot sooner but you know you have to wait
    on all these like public services to
    like you know you’re just in line with
    all the rest of them um
    and then
    yeah we had to do change of uses which
    is a really big challenge in san
    francisco um
    community hearings it was like wild so
    yeah i think
    if there’s anything to say on that as
    is if you’re just getting into like the
    industry and and thinking of like doing
    something from scratch like totally get
    it i was there if you find like a really
    cool space like
    it can be a huge incentive and to do it
    um just make sure you know like
    what type of utilities you have and uh
    how long the permit processing takes
    or don’t know because if you know you
    might not do it it’s true yeah yeah i
    know sometimes it’s just good ignorance
    is blessed honestly that’s right yeah
    well until you’re in the middle of it
    yeah
    i just bought a 35 000
    or more than that two inch water line so
    now i’m kind of committed yeah yeah i’m
    very committed yeah tell me i mean
    this this year that all this was going
    on and you’re seeing these numbers come
    across for you know
    how much it’s going to cost to put in
    new meters and this is like before you
    even buy machines and do the finish it
    like all that like you see this stuff
    kind of adding up and you’re seeing how
    long it’s taken
    tell me a little bit about like how are
    you feeling throughout this process are
    you
    scared that you’re not gonna your
    business is not gonna make enough money
    or are you pretty confident about it
    what are you where are you at in this
    during this process like one out of ten
    stress level was like 11 at all times um
    i was very stressed out um
    i kept thinking like and you know we
    just had to make a lot of compromises
    and like pivot and adjust and so like a
    lot of the money went into the
    infrastructure and then the utilities
    and like i had to make a lot of
    compromises on the finishes and how the
    space looked and everything like that
    and you know that’s just kind of how the
    cookie crumbled so to speak and so i was
    it was nice for my second one i had a
    little bit more
    flexibility with that since a we were
    taking over an existing so we just
    replaced the equipment and then like
    added
    like more cosmetic finishes so i just
    was able to do a lot more like what i
    wanted to do um
    but
    uh yeah no it was like there was
    multiple times where i was like oh we’re
    not gonna open like there’s no way like
    we don’t we won’t have enough money and
    i we obviously made it happen but it was
    it was a long it was a long year
    yeah i can imagine well and i know a lot
    of times
    so like uh so i have a um an investment
    group and we partner with investors and
    we’re buying laundromats in real estate
    we were looking to build out a
    store it was 3 500 square feet and we
    got hit
    just killed our deal dead in the water
    but we got hit with an impact fee of 390
    thousand dollars which just
    is a fee to say
    give you permission to connect to the
    water in the sewers before you actually
    bring in the big water lines and all
    that stuff it’s just that we
    say that so i know a lot of times
    building from scratch whether it’s
    different fees or having to do utility
    upgrades or those kinds of things can be
    very cost prohibitive which is probably
    why they’re part of the reason why there
    wasn’t too many new laundromats yeah
    totally i know it’s like there’s
    probably a reason for it i just decided
    not to see that but there’s a reason
    yeah but yeah i mean it’s it’s crazy and
    it’s it’s a shame because
    i know that like especially here in san
    francisco there’s a lot of there are a
    lot of laundromats that are being priced
    out right and then no one wants to
    build them because the city doesn’t
    really give you an incentive but like
    this is a service that’s
    not a luxury it’s a necessity and so you
    need
    you need them and so
    um i’m hoping that the city of san
    francisco kind of
    figures out how to drive people to open
    more or to like keep the ones remaining
    you know open or who knows
    yeah yeah they
    do not make it easy
    no no the bigger the city the worse it
    is that’s for sure
    yeah that there’s a lot of wisdom in
    that for sure
    okay so you go through this year of
    building your laundromat i mean all the
    stress all the nerves all the doubts all
    the money
    going out and
    you know you come time first of all like
    when did you say okay this is actually
    happening when did you believe it was it
    before you were actually opening or was
    it a day of opening you’re like this is
    actually happening or did you was there
    a point in time where you’re like okay
    this is this is going down
    yeah i think like
    the last thing we needed to do i believe
    well you need to get like your health
    and fire
    signed off
    and so i was just like scrambling to
    like get the inspection taken care of
    um
    and when we finally did it was like
    there were probably still a lot of
    things that needed to be done i’m sure
    there were but again it was a while ago
    and some things i’ve kind of just
    decided not to remember but um
    yeah
    but
    i just remember being like we just have
    to open because we have to start making
    money um
    and and we did we opened i think on a
    saturday i want to say um
    and it was slow moving it took a while
    to ramp up that was like also
    kind of a surprise because it’s a really
    you know that neighborhood specifically
    was really dense and um
    but i think what i’ve what i’ve learned
    and
    at least in my experience is that like
    laundry is very habitual so like when
    someone is going to a place to do their
    laundry like sometimes changing that
    habit to try something else can be like
    intimidating or inconvenient even if
    like the service or the experience is
    better
    and so you really have to work hard on
    capturing
    those new customers in like a lot of
    creative ways um
    which is a lot of trial and error
    yeah yeah so we have a
    little marketing company over here in
    laundromat resource marketing and we’re
    telling clients all the time like when
    you’re trying to get new customers what
    you’re trying to do is
    break their habit of doing their laundry
    wherever
    they’re doing it now or however they’re
    doing it now and get them to start a new
    habit of doing it with you and that
    is easier said than done like you said
    it sometimes it doesn’t even matter if
    your laundromat is
    better than the one down the street or
    or the one they go to currently or even
    sometimes closer yeah i don’t still go
    to the other one because that’s what
    they’ve done forever right yeah and
    they’re used to it
    yeah so we talk about how you know you
    have to do something dramatic
    in order to get people to break those
    habits right and so like
    we had
    you know luke luke williford who he
    owned him and his brother lee own you
    know around 40 laundromats
    and they do
    have a card system and they do a huge
    promotion for like a month or maybe
    longer even where you know they’ll
    double your money whatever money you put
    on the card they’ll double it um you
    know dave laundromat millionaire men’s
    he uh is getting ready to open a store
    here pretty quick and he is gonna i
    think he said he’s giving away a month
    of free wash you know it’s just
    something dramatic to snap people out of
    those habits
    so that they can experience your
    score but
    you’ve gotta i mean that’s gotta be in
    your budget you’ve got to have that
    planned out pretty well and there are
    costs to something like that
    but it’s tough like you said
    yeah i mean the first we like when we
    opened the second location we did like a
    full weekend of free um we tried to
    advertise that as much as possible and
    we got a pretty good um
    yeah like a pretty good outcome um
    because you just really what you’re what
    you’re asking for is just for people to
    try you even if it’s at your cost it’s
    like try us like if you don’t like it
    and it’s free then like i gotta fix
    something usually that’s not the case
    but um
    but
    yeah just to get people here but i also
    find that you know even if people know
    that you’re around like
    i have this problem too like uh
    sometimes there’s like a restaurant in
    my neighborhood that’s maybe been up in
    like six eight months and i like you
    know go a different way and see that
    restaurant i’m like oh like is this new
    and they’re like not really and you’re
    like oh come on so you know um i have
    tunnel vision sometimes and like i’m
    sure that’s the case
    for laundromats and you know the second
    one is just under a year old and i think
    it’s also been helpful now that like the
    pandemic isn’t as intense um we
    obviously still have problems but like
    i see like a huge shift in like
    uh revenue like once things kind of
    opened up in like may june um
    so hopefully hoping that continues
    to be the the way it goes yeah i mean
    that’s been a huge curveball for
    everybody right not just laundromat
    owners but like any business i mean
    everybody really and so
    everybody’s kind of trying to make
    adjustments and figure out how to
    you know either weather the storm or
    even try to thrive in the midst of it
    you know but yeah and we’re so lucky
    that you know we’re you know laundromats
    are deemed an essential business and we
    got to stay open and everything but it’s
    it’s still
    super hard and you know a lot of i like
    our commercial accounts like you know we
    got hit there because they’re just not
    operating and so it’s a trickle-down
    effect and um
    i’m grateful like i said that we we got
    to remain open but now it’s kind of
    rebuilding the business and getting
    things back to where that where it was
    yeah so okay so i mean you went through
    this whole
    process of building
    this laundromat from scratch in a major
    metro area and survived
    okay so yeah
    for me when i got into when i got my
    first laundromat i had this horrible
    experience lost a lot of money a lot of
    heartache you know
    stuff but learned a lot of really
    important lessons and ultimately it’s
    kind of what led me to
    starting this podcast doing laundromat
    resource all the stuff we’re doing over
    there
    so i’m curious
    you have learned some hard earned
    lessons through building you know your
    first laundromat do you have any advice
    for anybody who’s either going through
    that process or who’s thinking about it
    or who’s about to go through that
    process of building a laundromat
    yeah for sure i would say
    i would say if you have the option to
    maybe buy an existing do that first i
    mean
    for for comparison’s sake like first one
    took a year second one took two and a
    half months to flip so like
    that’s
    a huge delta of time that you’re saving
    um
    so
    that and then if you do decide that you
    want to build from scratch i would
    really encourage you to make sure that
    the utility capacity is there that’s
    like what’s gonna suck up your money
    like
    a lot and then um also plumbing is very
    expensive i don’t know how it is in in
    other places but san francisco requires
    you to use
    copper for everything and then cast iron
    for everything so you can’t use like
    plastic anything so like the cost is
    just
    pretty astronomical um
    and so
    again all lessons that like were learned
    like when you’re ready when it’s too
    late um
    yeah and then i mean i’m sure like i’m
    not the first one to say this but just
    make sure that you have a strong lease
    and that your terms are
    are good um
    and
    you know negotiate
    you know negotiate as low of a rent as
    you can because you know at least for us
    like you know water is really expensive
    in san francisco so like that’s a high
    cost for us and you know depending like
    whether you have attended or unattended
    stores like obviously that affects like
    what your labor is but like you know
    there can be some like
    good overhead in this business so you
    just want to make sure you’re keeping it
    as low as you possibly can which
    you know easier said than done sometimes
    but um yeah
    yeah
    can you
    you don’t have to if you don’t want to
    i’m kind of putting on a spot here but
    you want can you talk about the lease a
    little bit like how did you guys
    negotiate that did they give you time to
    build out or were you paying rent
    yeah um
    like for our most recent one
    we asked for
    i believe it was three months free rent
    while we were doing the build out i was
    hoping to like turn it around in like
    two months and it i mean we were pretty
    much right on schedule but i just didn’t
    want to be obviously paying while we’re
    fixing it up plus you’re adding value to
    an exist to their building right like
    you’re putting in money um so that
    should kind of be a given but some
    people
    but that i mean it was a it was a
    it took a long time to negotiate and
    there was almost a time for the second
    one where i kind of walked away because
    i felt like
    if i wasn’t gonna get the terms that i
    thought were appropriate then like
    it wouldn’t be worth the headache in the
    future so
    luckily like you know we came to a
    mutually beneficial
    agreement but um but i think the
    negotiations themselves lasted like
    two and a half months so it was a while
    yeah about the amount of time is the
    whole build out yeah exactly i’m like we
    could have done this a lot sooner but um
    but yeah i would i would just say and
    then also like
    please do have a lawyer review it like
    don’t not pay for that because it’ll
    it’ll save you money in the future for
    sure
    yeah what if there’s there’s a saying
    about that it’s like i don’t
    skip over dollars pick up pennies i
    don’t know i can’t remember what the
    saying is but yeah i mean it and i tell
    people this all the time too i mean i
    think that’s great advice right like
    don’t skimp out a lawyer for the lease
    you know if you’re if you’re planning on
    spending
    thousands tens of thousands hundreds of
    thousands of dollars
    don’t skimp out on the things that are
    going to save you right so whether
    that’s a lawyer
    you know to look over a lease or a
    purchase agreement or even a consultant
    who can tell you hey it’s gonna be
    really expensive to build out new
    because you’re gonna have to get all new
    utility things you know utility meters
    and
    copper piping throughout you know if you
    have somebody to tell you that stuff up
    front or hey watch out for these red
    flags if you’re buying an existing store
    from a seller or here’s some of the
    tricks
    that sellers try to do to inflate their
    income or to hide expenses from you you
    know those kinds of things like don’t
    skimp out on those things that are
    relatively inexpensive that can save you
    thousands and thousands and sometimes
    more dollars a hundred percent i mean
    it’s so worth it and sometimes on the
    occasion i do consult for some people
    that are looking to kind of get into it
    because they’re like okay let’s make
    sure that we’re not making mistakes and
    you know i hope i can
    help people
    not do some of the things that i did and
    learn from what i learned and you know i
    i found it really challenging to get um
    information just like a baseline when i
    when i was first interested in in the
    industry to get a sense of like what
    machines cost what like
    baseline rents were like i just couldn’t
    get a lot of information and it was a
    challenge and i don’t really think that
    should be the case because i it you know
    i think the more people like get into
    the industry the more of it it’s going
    to evolve and like
    get more modern and like have just more
    at our fingertips and um and so yeah i’m
    always
    happy to help if i can
    yeah i think that’s awesome and i love
    hearing that i mean i know that about
    you already because you’re on the
    podcast you’re sharing about your
    experience and stuff but i think there’s
    been so long just a culture of not
    sharing that information or not you know
    being open about some of that stuff that
    in our industry
    that
    you know it’s it’s always refreshing
    when there’s people who are
    you know in the industry you’re saying
    hey here’s you know
    here’s kind of what i’m looking at
    baseline rent like you’re paying too
    much or they’re asking way too much or
    you know that’s a good deal
    totally yeah no it’s important i mean if
    you know work work together i mean
    most of the time you know just it’s a
    big country like you’re probably not in
    direct competition with
    you know i maybe i wouldn’t tell all my
    secrets to like the person directly next
    to me but you know there’s there’s some
    wiggle room there and so uh
    yeah happy to happy to share
    i’m not wearing that awesome okay so uh
    so you
    bought or you built your first one you
    said that was like
    four or five years ago what was that uh
    yeah we opened four years ago four years
    ago
    and
    about a year ago you
    open the second got your second one
    what caused you to want to get second
    one
    [Music]
    honestly i
    drove by this laundromat and it had been
    closed for like some time i think like a
    couple of years
    but i noticed there was a release
    sign on it and it’s like four minute
    drive from my house and there’s no other
    laundromats in the vicinity
    so i was just like i’m just gonna like
    call and see like what the rent is like
    i just wanted to like you know i
    i was pretty sure i wasn’t gonna do it
    and then um
    alcoholic walking into a bomb pretty
    sure i’m not gonna take it
    or a tattoo somebody with tattoos
    i’m not getting one yeah i just want to
    check it out talk to my friends and yeah
    yeah and so
    i
    i did that and then i think like pretty
    soon after they i like went in
    to check out the space and you know it
    was definitely outdated but like well
    kept up like you know i didn’t have to
    do anything from an infrastructure
    perspective which was
    very nice um
    and the rent was like very reasonable um
    and i was the only i guess they had had
    like a lot of applicants for like
    different types of uses like cafe or
    something like that but i was the only
    like applicant that like wanted to like
    keep it a laundromat and i think the
    landlords like wanted to wanted to do
    that if possible um
    and so
    yeah again after like two plus months of
    negotiation it ended up working out um
    and then
    yeah we just you know kind of turned it
    into a
    turned it into a lingerie so we have
    like you know card readers and we can go
    into all of that stuff but like how we
    kind of modernize
    the the space a bit
    yeah
    yeah i do want to talk about that in a
    second uh
    your in your whole brand too that’s
    pretty cool that’s your background too
    so
    all of that uh okay but real quick on
    the second one
    um
    how
    how big is it compared to your other one
    is it smaller bigger comparable
    um so ironically it was a bigger space
    but i have less machines in the second
    one um
    you know a lot of learnings
    from the first one so like the first
    store for example we have five size five
    different size washers and i felt like
    there were like there’s a size in there
    that’s like too close too similar to
    like one of the other ones and so it was
    like sort of underutilized and i think
    honestly it was too many options for the
    customer
    um so i kind of decided to go like the
    in and out route for this one where it
    was like you get three options like
    yeah small medium large um
    and
    so the way that that kind of
    formulated it it just was less um i
    think we have
    21 washers at our second location and 23
    at our at our first so not like a huge
    difference um
    and then
    um
    yeah i think like square footage wise
    like the second one is definitely bigger
    and this one has an office so i work out
    of this one primarily um it’s just much
    easier and
    but
    less per square foot which is
    all right
    yeah yeah yeah that’s awesome yeah so
    that worked out
    yeah and that’s that’s one of the
    benefits of you know kind of getting
    your foot in the door is you have a lot
    more like you said baselines for things
    because
    you may not have known beforehand
    that
    pretty decent feel on rent because you
    wouldn’t have had a baseline for it
    having that
    second one you’ve learned lessons you
    learn you know put in
    less options of machine i mean all that
    stuff is you know and i think i talked
    to a lot of people who are nervous to
    get started because they want to make
    all the right decisions
    and uh
    sometimes you just got to make the best
    decisions you can get your foot in the
    door and then then a lot of
    opportunities open up for you for
    learning and also just opportunities in
    general
    yeah the first one is by far the hardest
    and i’m sure you can attest to that um
    it’s yeah you just you don’t know what
    you don’t know and then
    you have to make the best decision with
    the information that you have and hope
    that it works and guess what a lot of
    times it doesn’t and you just have to
    pivot and
    yeah kind of adjust
    accordingly
    yeah okay well can we talk for a second
    about your brand i don’t know if you can
    hear this i can hear a little bit yeah
    it’s crazy loud it’s like right above me
    we talked a little bit about your brand
    he tells what it is and how it kind of
    came about
    yeah i mean it still kind of stemmed
    from my school project uh the name
    changed i think in school it was called
    suds and buds so we kind of made a
    departure from that name um but you know
    i wanted it to kind of be like a simple
    name to the
    to the point i guess people ask me all
    the time if it means like laundry and
    french but it’s just a made-up word um
    and
    it’s lingerie right andre yeah yeah yeah
    um
    and
    yeah accent mark over yeah like on the e
    because i mean a lot of sophisticated
    pinkies up a little bit
    yeah
    um but
    yeah i mean ultimately because my
    experience
    at laundromats was subpar um
    i thought there was a lot of room for
    improvement it felt like the standard
    was kind of mediocre and especially in a
    city like
    san francisco that’s like so innovative
    i was actually surprised that there
    wasn’t
    something
    better and so you know that was my goal
    was just to like try to improve what the
    model was or like what i had experienced
    i know that’s not across the board but
    um and so
    you know
    first of all like you go into some
    laundromats um and
    a lot of the times it’s just like not an
    environment that you want to be in and
    so i was like okay like how can i change
    that and like i really love design i
    love branding i love you know packaging
    so i was like how can i apply those
    things to like this and so
    that’s kind of where i started um
    and just kind of creating like what i
    wanted
    the space to feel like uh
    clean and like bright and crisp and then
    like sort of playful so like a lot of
    our verbiage on like our signage or
    um kind of on our website like i kind of
    wanted to be like you know not so
    serious at the end of the day you’re
    doing laundry so it doesn’t need to be
    like
    uh
    super serious business um
    and so that was kind of step one and
    like i said for the first one i had to
    compromise a lot like aesthetically
    because we just wasn’t in the budget and
    this one i got to have more fun i think
    like um for this one i don’t know you
    can’t really tell but we got like this
    really fun tile that like i’m pretty
    obsessed with and um it just made the
    space like kind of come a lot live it’s
    like a blue tourette so it’s like kind
    of fun and um but still has like
    a calm essence about it so um that’s
    where we started yeah with the space
    that’s kind of like what i
    wanted to do and then service wise like
    both of our stores are fully attended um
    you know we want to make sure like we
    can like
    kind of inform customers on like not
    only how to use the machines or like
    maybe what to do for a stain but just
    like kind of be there as a point of
    reference and i i do know that’s like a
    huge reason why people come to us is
    because like
    you know they can
    if they have a question or if something
    goes wrong or whatever they can just
    talk to someone that’s there um and i
    think that the the people
    like start to identify with like
    the laundry attendants and like they
    form a relationship and it can be really
    fun um
    so yeah both attended we do full fully
    processing like we do wash and fold
    orders and self-service um
    and then third was like sustainability
    um you know it’s it’s it’s a business
    that uses a lot of things right like
    huge amounts of water so
    kind of first order of business was
    finding
    um washers that like used
    the least amount of water um um so we
    use electrolux and it’s been it’s been a
    great brand for us the maintenance is
    low which i appreciate um and
    and um
    has kind of the automatic weigh-in
    system so it kind of saves us a bunch of
    water which is great
    um and then also we provide free soap
    with every wash it’s like an
    eco-friendly
    powder detergent um
    you know it encourages people to try
    something like you know eco-friendly we
    also know like what’s going into our
    washers which is really helpful
    um and then all like
    the like we do like alternative bleaches
    vinegar dryer balls we try to encourage
    people to use that versus kind of the
    more toxic um alternatives and you know
    everyone has a way that they like to do
    their laundry so not here to like
    guilt or shame anybody but just kind of
    show them an alternative if they’re
    interested
    is it uh are you giving them like a
    baggie of powder is it automatically
    uh we like powder right so yeah yeah
    it’s powder so we
    we pre-measured them out in like little
    um jars based on what size washer you’re
    using and then you just like go up to
    the attendant and they’ll give it to you
    um and then everything else we sell for
    like a dollar like the the alternative
    like bleach the oxygen brightener
    um and like vinegar and stuff like that
    yeah yeah you sound very san francisco
    right now
    i’m sure i’m sure
    everybody in the midwest is like oh i
    know they’re like but but tied
    i’m down with it i’m down with it
    uh yeah i know but seriously i think
    that’s pretty awesome and i like you
    know i think a lot of people not
    everybody but a lot of people who are
    owning laundromats are looking for
    ways to
    use their laundry mats for good right
    and so whether that’s you know improving
    it so the community has a better
    experience in helping improve the
    community or helping with the
    environment or both ideally
    you know so i i think that that is
    a pretty cool way to use a very ordinary
    chore right to tap into being able to do
    something bigger than just your chore
    right you’re
    you know contributing to
    you know being more environmentally
    friendly and
    educating people you know
    so i really love that
    um so okay so
    lingerie i mean you know listen as
    somebody who is pretty much overflowing
    with class i’m gonna give that a thumbs
    up
    okay and you can tell i mean it’s yeah
    it’s oozing it’s
    hard not to see it it’s you can’t tell
    right now but i’m like really
    restraining myself from keeping that
    pinkie up just it’s like it’s bad
    just give it up
    um
    so pretty cool how are you
    uh if you don’t mind me asking how are
    you
    kind of managing all of this are you
    using i mean you said you’re doing like
    a a drop off like fluff and fold service
    are you using like a software are you
    what’s the tell me about the logistics
    of
    how you’re putting all that stuff
    together
    yeah um
    so when we opened the second store we
    transitioned from our previous kind of
    laundry pos system um to sense um
    so
    um
    fairly new company uh but they are doing
    really cool things um i think um and
    especially
    since kind of one of my top priorities
    is like
    you know keeping things as modern as
    possible um that’s they’ve been really
    helpful so like they are the they are
    the pos that we use for all of our wash
    and fold processing um
    and um
    and excitingly i mean you’re catching me
    kind of right on the cusp of this but
    they just kind of launched a
    um a partnership with doordash so we can
    now offer like on-demand pickup and
    delivery which is like huge because we
    just didn’t have the infrastructure to
    you know we’re small like to do like
    trucks and
    and other drivers and the logistics of
    that is like pretty crazy right and like
    i applaud the operators that do that
    because that is
    a completely secondary type of job um
    and so
    so it’s been really great i mean it’s
    just launched but we’ve seen some pretty
    great feedback so far and have been able
    to like you know sign additional
    commercial accounts which is like really
    awesome because that’s like revenue that
    you can count on and it’s it’s repeat
    business and so before we just didn’t
    have the key there’s a barrier to entry
    right like no commercial account is
    going to want to like
    do a lot of pickup and drop off um if
    it’s super consistent so we weren’t
    really able to get
    as many as we would have liked so this
    is going to be really helpful um but
    yeah we used them and then um
    yeah that sense
    yeah no awesome i didn’t know that you
    were actually using kind of the door
    dash integration right started trying
    that out so that’s pretty cool yeah i
    think it’s an interesting uh an
    interesting model especially for
    i think it gives a lot of operators who
    don’t want to enter into that logistics
    business which is pick up and delivery
    right yeah
    it gives them a way to expand their
    radius uh a little bit using
    you know a third party driving
    service for that pickup delivery so it
    basically is still a fluff and fold
    business for the owner um you’re just
    able to expand your
    your radio so that’s pretty pretty
    interesting i’ll be interested to see
    how it continues to play out because i
    think
    poor dash uber lit like all these
    you know kind of gig economy
    you know things are are kind of
    penetrating in all kinds of different
    places in our society right now so it’s
    really interesting to see that um finger
    kind of getting into our industry and
    i’ll be interested to see where it goes
    from here
    i mean i’m so excited about it i
    remember like years ago
    chatting actually with someone at
    doordash and being like oh you guys
    should like get into laundry like i
    would love that and it was just like a
    very beautiful surprise that
    sense
    did that for us so i think it’s it’s
    awesome
    yeah that is pretty cool
    um okay so
    your lingerie
    class full of style
    right i mean right on par with me
    side note nobody has ever called me
    classy once
    i’ll be the first
    maybe i should go into your laundromat
    one time and then see
    the comparison
    yeah yeah
    you can kind of judge
    using sense to manage that’s pretty cool
    too
    uh
    talk to me a little bit about
    what it’s like owning two stores mm-hmm
    uh as you know i mean you went from
    building one from scratch
    to running one to now owning two have
    there been any unique challenges has it
    been pretty much the same
    you know
    what’s that been like
    you know i mean there yeah there are
    definitely like
    more challenges it’s it’s more time
    consuming in the sense that i have to
    kind of bought back and forth um
    versus just having to go to one employee
    management can be a bit more challenging
    because now you’re dealing with two
    schedules two stores um
    but there are pros right economies of
    scale like you can buy more of one
    product at a discount split it up like
    stuff like that like our like our
    supplies but um
    you know so far so good um
    yeah it’s it’s good i’m i’m happy to
    have both like i feel i feel good about
    the decision
    um
    but it’s just
    yeah it’s just like double the work
    yeah are there
    i mean are there any plans to
    you know
    number three
    like the place to go in san francisco or
    the world yeah
    um you know i it’s it’s funny i
    i’m open to it for sure i think
    uh like most of us like the last year 18
    months has been like super wild i also
    just had a baby so like that shifted my
    focus a bit and boy or girl girl um yeah
    yeah so she’s she’s still pretty little
    so it’s like you know you got to kind of
    reprioritize a little bit but
    i’m open to it i’m really curious to see
    like
    what happens with our stores in like the
    next year or two and then we’ll probably
    make a decision based on that um but
    i mean i yeah i would be open to it i
    think that
    san francisco could probably use a few
    more if i were up for it
    yeah i mean i definitely could use a
    laundry mogul
    and so
    yeah let me know when you find one
    i think i did i don’t know
    i may be talking one right now and i
    just want to ask like don’t don’t forget
    us little people oh yes no never are you
    kidding you’re what look at this
    platform you got it going on oh my gosh
    yeah great i mean
    not not to simultaneously excite you and
    depress you but this is probably the
    pinnacle of your life
    no i’ve peaked it’s very obvious so okay
    yeah uh awesome okay well i mean this is
    so cool to just kind of hear your story
    and how you got in and
    you know i want to hear a little bit in
    just one second about your actual
    businesses we have a section called down
    to
    [Applause]
    to business
    over and out
    okay that’s where we just talk a little
    bit about
    the business um so you have
    two locations right
    how far how far from each other are they
    it’s a good question maybe two miles
    yeah so i’m talking like a 15 minute
    drive that’s what i don’t know like an
    hour commute
    no no no
    uh yeah it’s like a 15 minute drive it’s
    not bad at all
    and then i live in between them so it’s
    like i can kind of
    talk back and forth
    just throwing this out there very san
    francisco thing to do with free
    for you to ride your bike to and from oh
    yeah no i would not trust myself on a
    bicycle in fact i’ve crashed almost
    every single time so i stick to my
    four wheeled vehicle
    i crashed on my bike not that long ago
    embarrassingly i was going straight
    there’s nobody or nothing else around i
    was on a paved road and i just went down
    oh man that is brutal there’s nothing
    like falling when like fully falling
    when you’re an adult like it doesn’t
    happen very often and it feels very
    disorienting yeah you know what yeah and
    there’s shame associated with that
    100 i’m just gonna put it out there
    there’s shame associated with that so
    yeah yeah yeah so i’m still trying to
    recover both physically and emotionally
    well it’s good that you told everybody
    about it i know it’s out there now and i
    feel like that’s the best way to do it
    right just put it out there
    you know if you’re going to take your
    cracks take your trash i’ll take my
    knobs and then
    somebody else will fall
    yes
    so if somebody out there could do me a
    solid and fall that would be awesome
    uh so all right so you’ve been in the
    business for about
    four years maybe a little bit more than
    that
    i’m gonna give you extra credit because
    you’ve been in the business
    that whole year for sure that you were
    building
    for sure yeah i like to say i’ve been in
    it for
    eternity was it like seven years because
    that’s when i started and it was like
    yeah you’re just learning i mean we
    didn’t open until 2017 but before that
    it was a lot of work for sure yeah i’m
    gonna give you the full seven years
    worth of credit thank you i appreciate
    it yeah and uh
    now you’ve learned a lot i feel like you
    can’t really stop it too i mean i feel
    like there’s probably things you need to
    learn right now
    and managing too but at some point
    you’re going to get bored with you and
    be like
    easy i’m like
    i don’t know what boredom feels like so
    i’m excited yeah yeah it’s like too easy
    so let me just get like eight more real
    quick yeah yeah i mean two eight they’re
    all the same it should be fine it’s like
    kids you know i mean you just had is
    this your first one that you just had
    yeah just had the first one so i can’t
    let me just tell you as a extremely
    embarrassingly
    experienced parent here uh
    with two kids that i mean once
    you know
    once your kids like
    year and a half it’s pretty much just
    easy like just autopilot just like let
    them go wild all right cool well i’m
    excited i’m excited for that
    so you might as well just i have
    neighbors right
    there that have 11 kids yeah it’s it’s
    easy
    11 is that real
    yeah for real they have 11 kids they’re
    awesome they do have eleven kids
    bless them so someone shoot four eleven
    quarter mats and eleven kids perfect
    people can manage a laundromat so and
    maybe that’ll work
    you gotta have somebody to pass them on
    to yeah family business so
    you heard it here first arianna
    coming your way which would also be an
    awesome
    title for a tv show reality show 11
    laundromats eleven kids so yeah call it
    my memoir it’s gonna it’s gonna get wild
    locked in right now on both
    all right
    let’s see how it goes
    uh good
    i don’t know we’re like
    evolving over here but in a really good
    way a lot of fun business plans ahead
    yeah uh talk to us a little bit like how
    much does it cost to do laundry in san
    francisco
    guess that depends on where you go um
    i think you go to the classy
    the classiest place in town
    um so
    i’ll give you this store as an example
    um we second one the one in the back my
    second one yeah second one
    um so we have three size washers we have
    like an 18 pounder a 30 pounder and a 60
    pounder um our
    our
    18 um is starts at 550 and then um
    30 pound is 750 and then our 60 is 12.
    um
    and so
    yeah i think uh it was interesting
    similar prices at our other location as
    well uh people were initially kind of
    had like sticker shock um because i
    don’t think that’s what they’re used to
    they’re used to like the two three
    dollar range for like let’s compare it
    to like an 18
    pounder but um
    ultimately what like i tried to
    it’s kind of like a sort of like a
    re-education i guess and just like
    letting them know like why it is that
    the wash is this much but like guess
    what your dry is going to be like
    probably a third less than what you’re
    used to as well
    um you know
    so kind of at the end of the day
    you’re spending a comparable amount of
    money
    but hoping it’s a better experience for
    you you know that’s also free um
    detergent included in that price we
    offer sanitizing free sanitizing on all
    your washers before you use them so that
    like making sure that the drum and the
    dispensers are cleared out for you and
    then
    um
    and yeah and yeah wi-fi we have
    you know fun music
    i’m talking about it’s all about the
    vibe yeah we set up we try to set up a
    good vibe actually i think our like
    sandwich board sign
    says something about good vibes so
    there you go right on the money
    look at that
    good vibes all right yeah that’s pretty
    uh yeah it sounds
    pretty
    like yeah you know for like a like a
    good
    experience
    totally
    um all right well so i’m assuming
    because you have wash and fold and
    you’re offering sanitizing all that
    stuff are both of your laundry mats
    fully attended yep
    fully attended at all times
    um from eight to ten every day
    have you
    has it been
    like relatively easy making sure you
    have employees and being able to keep
    them have you had any struggles with
    that i know that’s a lot of owners have
    been having problems
    fighting yeah and keeping employees
    lately
    has that been your experience or has
    been pretty smooth
    i mean
    definitely yes i mean i think that’s
    kind of a constant um you know this
    industry can have some high turnover
    for sure um
    we try to you know i want people to
    enjoy coming to work here and so
    we
    we try to like offer like small
    incentives like monthly things or you
    know we do pay
    like above average um because i want to
    like retain those employees um
    and then
    but yeah i mean i think it’s like
    especially right now it’s like a hard
    time for everyone like the work force is
    just
    weird and
    and there’s just not a lot there’s just
    like not a lot of candidates um
    so yeah it’s definitely a struggle i
    like
    knock on wood like we have a pretty good
    team right now and so i’m very grateful
    um
    but yeah for sure it’s it’s it’s
    one of the top stressors as i’m sure it
    is for other operators is like finding
    and
    keeping good employees
    yeah yeah it’s yeah thing has definitely
    been a problem and i think weird is a
    good
    word for yeah
    has been really weird
    yeah you start seeing like the major
    fast food chains
    having banners out in front they’re like
    paying 20 an hour
    totally i was at fedex the other day um
    and they were saying that they were they
    were hiring and that they were giving
    people a thousand dollar sign and
    sign-on bonus geez i was like oh should
    i like go work for fedex no i think i’m
    going to put in an application after we
    get off of this yeah yeah yeah
    yeah i just did yeah yeah everyone knows
    now that fedex is hiring yeah yeah
    exactly
    uh fedex feel free to send your check
    yeah yeah
    we are supported by
    this episode is sponsored by mcdonald’s
    and fedex yeah unfortunately
    yeah unfortunately we cannot offer that
    but we tried to offer other good things
    yeah totally and i think that’s what
    it’s about like you offer what you can
    offer and then just finding like
    creative ways to have good vibes you
    know it’s
    a lot of people are
    working for
    a boss and not a specific amount right
    so if you are able to run
    well there’s a i was just reading this
    on
    reddit or linkedin or something like
    that where you know they’re
    saying that basically it’s like people
    when people quit their job
    almost always people quit
    their bosses not the job not the job
    itself putting their bosses so if you
    can provide
    a good working atmosphere you know
    people are willing to
    you know be able to make a little bit
    less or not i’m not saying that you
    should pay less than you can but you
    know being able to get a higher quality
    higher caliber employee
    when you really focus on and really work
    towards having a good working
    environment yeah it’s important i i
    really i really
    i think that is something that we we do
    well at is just making sure people feel
    comfortable
    and yeah like coming in and um
    i you know i work really closely with
    everyone that works here so like i i
    want to have a nice relationship with
    them too and so um makes makes my day
    easier and my life easier and um yeah
    right now we’re really lucky to have a
    really solid team
    yeah that’s awesome
    so i think i see back there
    a
    card system is that true are you doing
    card coin both hybrid uh we do both um
    yeah we have fast card like cci um
    card readers um
    and we still offer chlorine at both
    locations um
    and we don’t have like a laundry card
    system it’s just like use your card
    directly on the um
    on the reader
    yeah have you ever timed
    how long it takes to put 48 quarters in
    that machine
    i’m always like i’m always shocked when
    people
    do it i’m always like you know like you
    could just
    one swipe and you’re good to go but some
    people prefer preferred the coin that’s
    fine but yeah for the bigger machines
    it’s pretty wild what you should do
    as a promotion you should set up a
    tournament
    where people use your 60 pound washers
    with quarters
    and give the one who puts all the
    quarters in the fastest a free wash
    yeah now you’re getting people to use
    your 60 pound washers
    for only the cost of one wash i mean
    that is genius wow
    good job a bracket that goes like every
    saturday the brackets get smaller
    all right yeah
    i have to i’ll have to see what we can
    do with that
    you might have to be like the mediator
    though
    i’ll do that too
    with bruce buffer let’s get ready to
    rumble yeah yeah we’ll take that yeah as
    soon as you can come up here and do that
    we will definitely do that tournament
    100 in on that and i am not only do i
    not live that far from you uh my family
    all lives right around there so oh great
    all right the jordan berry 60-pound
    tournament tournament that’s what we’ll
    call it
    this oh you’re committed now you’re
    committed i’m i’m 100 in i’m i’m gonna
    make t-shirts for all of us all right
    yeah i’m excited i’m excited
    all right that turned that turned really
    good really fast
    uh so talk to me about
    um
    your specific involvement in the
    business like
    how much are you involved how much are
    these running kind of on their own and
    like maybe how many hours are you
    spending
    businesses or managing them
    yeah um i mean it’s definitely
    changed now i remember when we first
    opened i was working like
    i don’t know 16 hour days like every
    single day
    forever
    um
    and i’m glad to not have to do that
    anymore um
    i usually with the new baby right yeah
    like at a certain point like you just
    can’t you’re like i have a child to take
    care of but um
    i
    yeah i so
    uh i’m just kind of getting back into
    the full swing of things after kind of
    not really taking some time off because
    you kind of can’t but like
    taking a little bit of a step back and i
    have an incredible manager so um she’s
    been with me for a couple of years and
    um was really helpful during during the
    time i needed off um
    so
    really i i think i try to automate as
    many things as i can um right like
    there’s that’s what you want to use
    technology for um and then
    um but i would say
    i don’t know it it fluctuates a little
    bit right like some weeks are like
    really wild and i’m like it’s all day
    every day and other days
    um other weeks it’s a little bit more
    fluid but i would say maybe on average
    like
    what time is it 30 35
    maybe um
    but yeah it kind of yeah it ups and
    flows we have like a lot of systems in
    place now that have been really helpful
    and then
    again like um
    yeah my manager has taken some off my
    plate that so like i can kind of focus
    on more stuff at home or maybe growing
    the big the like the business big
    picture and not having to do as much
    day-to-day which is not my
    forte so um
    i’m a better big picture lady
    you’re just trying to get out of mopping
    i
    [Music]
    oh man
    i’m a pretty good bathroom cleaner i’ll
    tell you that much
    i’ve got four over here
    come on down yeah
    awesome
    uh larry we have another section that i
    think
    people who are listening to this have
    got to be excited about this section if
    they own a laundromat because you’re
    doing some really interesting things you
    have a really cool kind of business plan
    that you’re worth working on right now
    and like or working out like you’re
    implemented
    uh but this is called secret sauce
    listen up it’s the secret sauce
    and this is for current logger mat
    owners do you have maybe something that
    you’re doing that’s working really well
    or or maybe just any tips for other
    laundry bed owners that might help them
    improve their business
    yeah
    um what’s worked really well for us is
    so we do like a free dry wednesday every
    day and that’s actually like one of our
    busiest free dry wednesday every day
    every week
    every day is free dry wednesday yeah
    every day every day is wednesday
    might as well be i don’t know the days
    of the week anymore um but uh yeah so we
    do it every week and we’ve done that
    from the beginning and then implemented
    it at the second location too and it’s a
    very popular day and so i would
    encourage you and the reason i started
    it is because traditionally wednesdays
    are like not great um from a revenue
    perspective for laundromat so
    um it actually sometimes can beat our
    sundays which is
    great
    yeah um and then on tuesdays and
    thursdays we do like a discounted um
    wash and fold rate um like a percentage
    off and so
    that’s been really
    really great again like
    traditionally can be slower days so it
    makes sure that like our um
    our laundry attendants are staying
    active and busy and processing those
    orders um
    and so those kind of those two
    promotions or yeah two promotions
    we’ve done always consistently
    never never skip it never stop it um and
    so people just come to learn that that’s
    that’s the case for those three days um
    and so that’s been really helpful for us
    for sure
    i forgot to ask this earlier but do you
    mind sharing how much it costs to do
    drop uh fluff and fold drop off yeah um
    for a 24 hour turnaround it’s an 180 a
    pound okay yeah and then when you
    discount it how much are you discounting
    it’s 15
    okay yeah
    yeah
    yeah awesome i mean i think that’s
    awesome
    awesome secret sauce uh you know thrown
    in some
    regular promotions
    during the down times to get you know
    more business going those days but also
    create some buzz and you know yeah yeah
    definitely word of mouth has been really
    helpful with those and um yeah people we
    get calls off the tape being like are
    you guys the ones that do free dry on
    wednesdays i’m like heck yeah like come
    on over
    yeah um so yeah that’s been actually
    yeah more so than i kind of wouldn’t
    have anticipated you know i kind of just
    started it to like get some momentum and
    just it yeah like never wanted to take
    it away because it’s been it’s been
    pretty good for us
    can i see a quick
    kind of logistical question about your
    free dry wednesday yeah do your machines
    allow you to program in like wednesday
    midnight to
    wednesday at 3 59 free or do you have to
    manually do that with the machines
    what’s the
    we have to manually do it technically
    like
    there is a way to do it with electrolux
    dryers and then in the fast card but
    like
    every time i’ve tried to sync it like
    the the the card rear and the um
    machine like it it doesn’t quite do it
    and so
    it’s probably something that i have to
    look further into but it would be great
    if like it would be great if like the
    hardware would like automatically just
    like talk to the machine and be like you
    don’t have to do anything so yeah it’s
    manual right now it just you know it’s
    not the best it’s not the worst it’s
    it’s fine yeah that’s just what you do
    yeah part of the team
    uh
    this is a little bit i mean i’m kind of
    pushing the bounds of secret sauce here
    i don’t
    do this but because your laundry mat
    looks so awesome and you have like a
    really cool brand you have any like
    i don’t know i mean so we were talking
    beforehand you were saying how a lot of
    times
    you know people will come in like maybe
    owners like older owners who’ve owned
    businesses for a long time would be like
    why are you doing these things and you
    know
    can you talk to us a little bit about
    you know
    you’ve built it really nicely the
    picture in the background looks really
    nice
    but traditionally our business and i
    think this is changing pretty
    dramatically right now but traditionally
    our business people
    you know have got brown tiles and
    you know
    wood paneling on the wall yeah yeah
    flickering lights and stuff um but
    i don’t i don’t know do you have any
    like
    design tips or or thing or not
    necessarily design tips but like
    atmosphere vibe
    uh tips that
    work well for you that you know maybe
    can spruce up our laundromats
    yeah um totally i think
    first of all it doesn’t have to be this
    like huge overhaul
    um you can do a lot of cosmetic things
    that like are lower cost and and not you
    know
    they’re not gonna
    like hemorrhage from your like money’s
    not gonna hammer from your bank account
    so like that is what i try to go towards
    honestly i think of like
    and this is probably going to sound a
    certain way but like i think of like
    trying to do like a consistent color
    story like kind of have like we like
    we focus on a lot of blue if you can’t
    tell and you know like the machines have
    like the blue the floor like the tile
    over here
    and so like it’s all pretty consistent
    in that way which i think is just really
    helpful and then you know you can you
    can play with that right you could do
    like brighter colors to make it like
    like a really fun environment you can do
    calmer colors like we chose but i think
    like consistency with colors is really
    important um i also think that like
    putting like plants or something that’s
    like
    i don’t know something like
    alive can be like really helpful to just
    do make it feel like yeah sorry sorry
    guys i’m gonna take it off no no but
    just like to make it more
    i don’t know like homey and feel like a
    little bit fresher
    less sterile maybe that’s the way i’m
    i’m
    that’s the word i’m looking for do you
    do
    you do live plants or do fake plants
    live plants this one
    is a ficus but i killed that one so we
    just got a new one this week and uh
    i always try to put vicuses in my stores
    i’m like oh they’re so beautiful but
    like they don’t like
    they need like a lot of light and
    i finally learned my lesson so we got
    like a
    i want to say it’s like a fig tree or
    it’s like a tall fig tree but that just
    got planted this week so i’m pray for me
    that i keep that one alive
    is it in a pot
    no we put like a um
    uh it’s a
    what do you call when you put a planter
    it’s a planter box and there’s like a
    gap in between like the 60 pounders and
    the 30 pounders and it’s like sizable
    and so we built like a proper planter
    with like drainage and everything and so
    that it’s in a it’s in a planter
    you have an indoor planter yeah well it
    feeds right into like you know the pipes
    for the washers so all the water just
    goes off the same same way that’s so
    cool
    you need a you know what you need you
    need a skylight above it we do we have
    one over
    well it’s well it’s not above the tree
    but it’s like right there somewhere oh
    okay yeah oh no wrong side this one nope
    nope
    no it’s this way sorry it’s close
    don’t pretend
    we do have one uh awesome i mean i think
    that’s
    you know i think first of all you did
    sound very fashion designery stay with
    your color story yeah really just like
    feel what you know feels good
    but no i think that’s helpful and then
    like with you know
    you know tile like you can like for
    instance the first location like i
    really wanted tile but we couldn’t
    afford tile so i got like a laminate
    floor but like that was
    i regret
    now because it’s hard to clean
    but like what i tried to do was create
    like
    something
    that would yeah like emulate kind of the
    same color story and all that stuff
    which don’t do don’t do white
    for for future reference try something
    that has like a little bit of like color
    in it but um
    but yeah there are other materials that
    you can use that are like more cost
    effective and stuff like that and then
    you know like these lights i got like a
    pretty
    decent price it’s just like you know
    doing
    doing the research and and you know
    finding
    maybe like not getting the designer
    thing but getting something that’s
    similar or something like that takes a
    little bit of time but i mean i
    personally enjoy doing it so it doesn’t
    it doesn’t feel like work in that sense
    but um
    always yeah if anyone has any questions
    i’m always happy to
    help if you like don’t offer that unless
    you mean it
    we’ll do that and
    people will
    reach out to you yeah uh
    the well there’s i was gonna say oh um
    you know just in case you’re
    you know
    you’re not like ariana and i me and
    ariana and me and you know obviously
    we’re very stylish and
    that i think you take the cake to be
    honest well i mean listen it’s not fair
    to completely make you uncomfortable
    with the compliments but like smoke
    i mean i do feel uncomfortable but i
    understand where it’s coming from
    but no but seriously like if you’re if
    you’re not like
    that’s not your thing necessarily you
    can go online like adobe color there’s a
    lot of places where you can go find
    you know people like ariana who are very
    good at this and put together like color
    schemes
    yeah together and they’ll be like three
    four five colors together that are going
    to look good together and you can go
    find those and see what you what you
    like and use those you don’t have to
    come up with this on your own so
    i also find that like uh you can’t
    really see them because they’re far but
    like the stickers that show you like the
    instructions for like how to use the
    machine are also kind of branded and
    like
    i it’s on the electrolux ones um
    the directions are like they’re simple
    and they’re there but even if you
    recreated what they had and just put it
    in a more vibrant color like it’s a it’s
    a small thing it’s literally a sticker
    that i ordered and i just put them on
    there and it makes everything cohesive
    same with the stickers on the um
    on the soap dispenser so it tells you
    like which goes and which but everything
    is like consistent and and even that i
    think can be can be helpful it’s just
    like small small things that do not cost
    a lot
    yeah yeah those little details are
    really kind of the
    those are the pinky up things right yeah
    it really takes you your pinky from here
    to here yeah for sure detailed and
    that’s what i try to focus on all the
    time i i can tell for sure
    pretty sure about the details
    uh
    that was a
    dare i say an epic secret sauce segment
    thank you and the bars set very high
    for the next section which is pro tips
    pro
    tips
    and pro tips is what advice do you have
    somebody maybe who is either trying to
    build or buy their very first
    laundromat what tips do you have for
    them don’t build got it yeah yeah
    avoid at all cost
    um
    you know i think i mean honestly uh
    i think this is such a great resource
    for people and i wish i had had it when
    i was when i was you know starting out
    um but chat with some different
    operators try to chat with them maybe
    some in your town maybe some not in your
    town but like
    um
    i think it’s helpful just to get other
    people’s experiences to just get a
    baseline and and then
    ultimately
    yeah i would say
    um
    find a place that has good utilities i
    know it’s like not super sexy but like
    it’s important and um
    and like make sure that you’re like
    really good about like negotiating with
    your lease um
    and then you know find equipment that
    that you that you really like you’re
    going to be with it for a long time and
    i feel lucky in that regard i do i do
    really like the brand that we chose um
    especially from like a maintenance
    perspective it’s been pretty good to us
    um
    but uh it does it does take some
    homework for sure but i’m sure um
    i’m sure jordan or i would be happy to
    answer questions if anyone needs to i’m
    by no means like an expert but like i’ve
    learned a few things and i’m happy to
    share that dare volunteer me you
    jordan would be thrilled um his phone
    number is
    i was muted because there’s construction
    and i was like
    oh
    no uh yeah no but seriously i mean i
    think that’s good and super good advice
    uh all the way around and you know that
    the equipment stuff i mean it’s it’s
    interesting because
    there there are nuances
    you know within the different equipment
    so trying to figure out what it is that
    you’re looking for what it is that you
    need and what equipment is going to best
    suit those needs is really important so
    get a hold of ariana and
    yeah
    tell i’m basically your new distributor
    hello
    well listen ariana this has been
    awesome this has been very very cool to
    hear your story but also get all these
    awesome tips and awesome advice thank
    you so much for coming on i have one
    more question okay
    so there’s so much construction
    happening right now
    um
    but before i have a question for you i
    just want to let everybody know you’re
    actually going to be on a webinar
    next week which uh what is august 24th
    right i think
    yes next tuesday next tuesday which is
    at
    uh pacific time if you’re on
    the beast coast that’s 4 p.m if you’re
    somewhere in the middle you got to do
    the math yourself
    yeah no one knows yeah
    but yeah 1 o’clock august 24th i’ll put
    a link to it down below because uh can
    you tell us just a little bit about what
    you’re going to be talking about
    yeah we’re going to be chatting about
    like the gig economy within laundry and
    kind of how that’s you know i think
    revolutionizing like a lot of things for
    operators um we you know touched on it a
    little bit
    during our conversation um but i think
    it’s gonna be it’s really gonna help
    like
    kind of catapult the industry i think um
    and then yeah it’ll be me along with um
    waleed who who owns and operates um
    in new york and yeah you’ll be
    the host mediator
    what would you call yourself
    uh master of ceremonies yes i would
    agree
    accurate
    um but yeah we’re really excited i’m
    excited to chat and um i think it’ll be
    cool so if yeah people are around and
    would love to hear like we’ll be doing
    that at
    1pm on the 24th
    24th which i just realized
    coincidentally is my half birthday so
    that’s a big deal it’s a perfect day
    yeah all right we’ll have to do
    something really special that day i mean
    really special yeah
    all right no but seriously i’m looking
    forward to that it’s going to be a lot
    of fun and i’m glad that we got to do
    this podcast episode yeah thank you
    which is so cool
    plus now i know you a little bit so i
    don’t have any qualms about throwing you
    very difficult curveballs all right
    great yeah come tuesday i’m really in
    for it
    ariana
    no but seriously we’ll be talking about
    you know gig economy and how that’s you
    know
    how that’s going to be influencing our
    industry and you know how maybe some of
    us can take advantage of it or look into
    that at least so looking forward to that
    august 24th one o’clock pacific time
    best coast time
    also known as and four o’clock biscuit
    time
    and again link it will be in the show
    notes or down below if you’re on youtube
    uh last question finally
    uh for you if people really want to talk
    to you about
    equipment
    and maybe whatever else too but no but
    seriously if people want to get a hold
    of you maybe ask you questions hear
    about your experience a little bit more
    uh you know come check out andre or
    whatever what’s the best way to get a
    hold of you
    um so there i know this is gonna sound
    like
    i don’t know but it’s like too standard
    but like i’m i read all of them but um
    our website has like a contact form and
    it’s directed to my email and and i i
    respond
    to those so yeah feel free
    and i’ll again i’ll link that in the
    show notes and on youtube i’ll link that
    down below and basically what i’m taking
    away from this is that you are kind of a
    big deal
    i don’t think proper channels you’re
    missing
    when you talk to people who are a big
    deal um
    laundromat mogul of san francisco
    ariana thank you so so much for being a
    great sport
    but also just sharing your story and
    sharing a lot of hard-earned wisdom
    about this business really really
    appreciate it i know i have a lot to
    take away from personally and i know a
    lot of other people will
    and even if you guys don’t have
    questions about machines
    give her a call anyways and ask her
    questions about machine learning
    as many questions yeah thank you so much
    uh thank you so much
    yeah thank you uh this is great i’ll see
    you next week all right that was an
    awesome conversation with ariana we hung
    up and i was like how do you feel about
    it did you have some fun doing it and i
    i think we both had a lot of fun doing
    that interview hopefully that came
    through but even more important than
    that hopefully you gained a lot of
    a lot of wisdom out of that a lot of new
    knowledge
    a different way of thinking about some
    things uh and again i say this every
    week but
    none of that means anything unless you
    start taking some action towards
    something so this week as in every
    previous week and every week going
    forward pick one thing from this podcast
    episode that you are going to put into
    action so no matter where you’re at on
    the journey uh just pick one thing and
    put it into action that way
    you know as we’re doing that every
    single week we’re taking action and that
    action is what leads us to success
    learning is great and all hearing
    people’s stories is great and all but
    it’s only step one and the
    the the next step which is taking that
    action is the thing that really propels
    us forward towards our goals so pick
    something put it into action this week
    maybe share about it on the forums
    london resource dot com forums and let
    us know what action you’re taking this
    week for me personally one of the things
    that i
    loved talking about actually which is
    kind of surprising to myself uh but one
    of the things i love talking about was
    just you know the aesthetics of her
    laundromats and how she you know
    designed it we talked a little bit about
    that in the secret sauce
    um and you know for me i i think i’m
    going to next time i head over to my
    laundromats i’m going to just kind of
    take a couple minutes to step back and
    re-uh analyze or re-not analyze but re i
    don’t know look again at my laundromats
    and see are there ways that i can
    improve you know the look the feel and
    the vibe of my laundromats um you know
    by making some tweaks so that is my
    action step what is your action step let
    us know over on the forums and we will
    see you again next week don’t forget
    webinar net august 24th from at one
    o’clock pacific time four o’clock
    eastern time so make sure you join that
    link is in the description down below if
    you’re on youtube or at
    montmartreresource.com show64 all right
    let me
    we’ll see you next week uh on the
    podcast and until then we’ll see on the
    forums or in a webinar or something
    we’ll see you around alright peace
    [Music]

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