Married couple Erin and John Carpenter are renovating the premises. They recently bought a laundromat in their hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, and decided to radically change it inside.
Erin said John is a talented entrepreneur and has always been interested in the laundry concept. “When we traveled, we worked remotely, sometimes being in laundromats. We took pictures of them,” John recalled, “just some were cozy and comfortable.”
The couple bought a self-service laundromat that had been in operation for 10 years. They didn’t change anything for a few months and just got to know the locals. The couple wanted to find out what customers wanted and what could be improved. Then they closed for renovations.
“The first thing we did was get rid of a lot of old stuff,” John said. The spouses were inspired by the interiors of laundromats in Tokyo and Amsterdam. They looked like cafes.
During the renovation, the couple repaired and repainted the machines and refinished the walls and floor. Locals helped them, and a former laundry owner taught the couple how to operate the machines.
Erin and John modernized the room. They installed tables and a vending machine. In addition, they installed washing machines with QR codes, so you can do your laundry even when the owners aren’t in the room.
The couple made sure the laundry room had a place to relax and entertain. “Customers spend a lot of time in the room, so it’s important to make it comfortable, clean and safe,” John says. The couple also thought about families with children. “The moms are tired, they’re waiting, so we put a comfortable couch for them instead of a hard bench. We want kids to have something to do and a place to play,” he added.
Before the laundromat was relaunched, Erin and John announced a free laundry day. Local residents came to the grand opening to support the couple. People brought food and had fun. John said that not only is success in business important to him but also taking care of people.
Erin shared that she and John plan to offer laundry delivery and drop-off services and start a network of such establishments. They also want to have free laundry days every month.