Thursday, 11 October 2012

The Laundry Problems Began...

Location: New York, NY, USA

My first exposure to New York's less than accommodating dry cleaning industry was as a summer analyst in 2007 with Lehman Brothers. I never seemed to leave the office, and when I did there were few errands to take care of because just about everyone was closed.

With a schedule that routinely kept me at the office through midnight, I found dry cleaning was a constant problem. There wasn't a cleaner in my neighborhood open past 7:00pm.

I took to doing dry cleaning on Saturdays during the limited weekend dry cleaning hours. That meant dropping off on Saturday and waiting a whole week to pick up those clothes and drop off more the next Saturday. Since I didn't have much of a life, this really wasn't an issue until travel kept me busy on Saturday - throwing the whole schedule off. Eventually a job in banking turned into a job at a hedge fund in Connecticut - my hours improved, but handling dry cleaning didn't get any easier.

One day I had enough. I was sick of arranging my schedule around my dry cleaner—this is New York City, after all! Isn’t everything open 24 hours? I knew that if I was suffering from inconvenient cleaners, other people must be, too. So I dedicated myself to finding a solution.

I learned the ins and outs of laundry, and the kinks of the processing cycle most clothes go through. I learned that having a 24/7 dry cleaning operation was unprofitable because of the cost of hiring employees to man storefronts, and I also learned that most cleaners are happy with the status-quo of 7-7.

And I decided to disrupt the system. Enter Lockergistics, the locker-based dry cleaning concept that allows for 24/7 accessibility. People who work late hours can drop off and pick up at any time—after 9pm, after 10pm, after 2am! Finally, a dry cleaning company for the 21st century! 

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