79. Increased Profits By Adding a Social Spin to Your Laundromat With Christy Moore

Christy Moore, founder of Social Spin, is a powerhouse for social causes! After having a bad experience in a laundromat 4 years ago, she decided she was going to take matters into her own hands and make a real difference in her community. She bought a laundromat using some creative techniques and is now building a business and altruistic empire that is transforming Phoenix.

This episode is for anyone who wants to make a difference in their community with their laundromats. In it, Jordan and Christy discuss:

  • Christy’s background in social work
  • Conscious capitalism
  • Purpose-driven initiatives she runs through her laundromat
  • How she bought her first laundromat
  • How she  funds weekly free wash days
  • The logistics of running a free wash day
  • Hiring employees with a barrier to employment
  • How to use crowdfunding to purchase a laundromat
  • Social programs she runs through her laundromats
  • Utilizing college interns in her business
  • Finding grants
  • First steps for laundromat owners to implement social services in your business model
  • Shifting business ownership to employees

And a WHOLE LOT more!

Watch The Podcast Here

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AtmosphereTV– We’re brought to you today by my friends at AtmosphereTV! 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] for more information!

Episode Transcript

hey what’s up guys it’s jordan with the
laundromat resource podcast this is show
79 and i’m pumped that you’re here today
because today is
legitimately an incredible episode i
mean i know i say that a lot but
seriously i left this interview like
super jazz in fact i bumped it up in
front of all the other uh podcasts to
get this thing out as soon as possible i
just got super excited uh about our
guest today who’s christy moore out of
phoenix and she is doing some incredible
things with her laundromat i think
you’re gonna leave this thing super
inspired whether you own one or more
laundromats now or you’re planning on
owning one i think uh man what she is
doing it’s truly remarkable like in all
seriousness it’s truly remarkable and uh
inspirational i just left this interview
super jazz we’re definitely gonna have
her back on
uh talking more with us about the things
that she’s doing how she’s doing it how
we can uh you know follow in her
footsteps to one degree or another and
she talks a lot about that today
but you’re definitely in for a treat so
i don’t want to take up too much time
but i just want to say welcome to all
the new
members over at laundromat resource
there’s like so many people signing up
every day it’s crazy and i want to just
take a second i’ve never done this
before i want to take a second to just
special shout out to all the pro members
out there i don’t really promote that
there’s a pro membership uh almost ever
i’m not sure if i ever really have but
if i have it’s not very often at all but
a lot of you guys find your way over
there that pro membership
and have signed up and it dude i i just
love love love having that community
there of pro members and i just want to
i wanted to say this a special thank you
what you know i think like 75 you guys
signed up in like the last month and a
half or something it’s crazy blows my
mind but uh man
what that has uh awakened my eyes to
is how much more we can be doing with
laundromat resource and so uh i am just
super excited there’s a whole bunch of
stuff that we’ve been working on behind
the scenes over the last six months i’ve
kind of put together a little team uh
over here that we’ve been working on a
bunch of stuff so
uh starting in the new year we’re gonna
roll out a bunch of very very cool stuff
that i think you’re gonna be excited
about so it was a special thank you you
guys made that happen by signing up with
that pro membership over there special
thanks to you guys uh for that and look
forward to uh
some of the stuff that’s coming out as a
direct result of that so awesome uh real
quick i mean while we’re on the field
goods over here i just wanted to
just i don’t express gratitude to
everybody and a little bit of awe
as well
i got a notification a couple weeks ago
from youtube saying you know we crossed
30 000 watch time hours on the channel
30 000 hours
people have sat and watched uh videos
about laundromats from our guests and
you know videos that we put out uh which
to me is just
incredible like it just blows my mind
30 000 hours of education that weren’t
there before
uh are out there now and people tell me
all the time just you know how grateful
they are
uh you know and a lot of times it’s
directed towards me but really that’s
directed towards us you know so you know
the guests obviously who’ve come on and
shared their experiences shared their
lessons they’ve learned the wisdom the
knowledge they’ve gained um and helping
each other out that’s what this whole
thing is about um you know laundromat
resource you’ll see it all over the
uh all over everywhere it’s four
laundromat owners or by laundromat
owners four laundromat owners that’s uh
you know you’ll see that everywhere and
that’s really kind of the heart of what
we’re doing and so
uh you know i i wanted to share that you
know not as like some kind of weird flex
or anything but as like
hey you guys are making a difference
whether you’ve you know come on
yourselves and done you know been on the
podcast or contributed in one way or
another um or just by you know coming on
and learning with us uh that really it
does help spread that word you know to
to other people so you know with that
said keep the train rolling really just
want to express gratitude for
you know those of you guys who are
following along with the podcast or the
videos or the blog or you know the
website all the stuff that’s going on um
and and those of you guys who have
participated as guests and is you know
writing articles and and all that stuff
and want to invite you guys to continue
to do more come be a guest on the
podcast you know if you if you have
something you know you want to write
about about this industry let me know
i’ll help you get your message out there
and you know
whatever i’m i’m always open for new
ideas so
again this whole platform is by
laundromat owners for laundromat owners
and i just
want to keep that train rolling so thank
you guys that’s a shared
milestone and speaking of milestones
just another one
that is kind of an interesting one last
week uh we
sent out episode 78 of the podcast and
it was also our
uh 70 we crossed 78 000 downloads uh
last week of the podcast which is
like it just blows my mind that’s not
counting any of the youtube stuff that’s
straight podcasting i you know again
that’s a shared milestone by all of us
not only does that help you know propel
me to keep doing this stuff because if i
feel like if people are spending that
much time
listening to the guests and and all the
stuff going on that there’s some value
there and hopefully you’re finding tons
of value there
so that’s a shared milestone not just to
keep me going which it does so thank you
guys for that but also um hey let’s keep
us going as an industry let’s keep us
uh you know taking it to the next level
and uh man pushing things forward
because you know when we’re doing stuff
together big things can happen okay so
anyway shared milestone uh i’m super
grateful personally but also you know
just super grateful for everybody’s
contributed and everybody who’s
consuming okay enough of the like
lovey-dovey feel good stuff over here uh
let’s jump into it with christy moore uh
there’s more feel good coming your way
so i hope you’re just in a good mood
today i hope you’re feeling good because
if you’re not
you’re going to be by the end of this
episode because this is just it
legitimately is an incredible incredible
episode and super inspiring so
let’s jump into it with christy moore
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 listened to it show 34
landmarkresource.com show 34 go check it
out it’s incredible a ton of value there
one of the things we talked about is
just the importance of creating a good
positive atmosphere in your laundromat
and i was just rereading the book by
simon sinek start with why
and one of the things that really stands
out to me is that people
don’t make purchase decisions based on
you know the logic of you know any
decision that they’re making to spend
their money it’s more based on a feeling
and an association and so it’s really
important to
create a positive feeling a positive
atmosphere no pun intended
in your laundromat to help people
associate this chore that most people
don’t like doing with something positive
atmosphere tv is an incredible way to
help improve the atmosphere of your
laundromat and basically if you haven’t
heard of it what it is is it has
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draw dropping videos from all over the
world there’s automobile channels
there’s a ton of stuff my kids love love
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atmosphere tv can be a great way to
either supplement your cable or a lot of
us laundromat owners are cutting our
cable bill completely and running
atmosphere tv they’re designed to be
used with no audio but they also do have
an audio option that way you can kind of
design the atmosphere of your laundromat
the way that you want it so get rid of
cable get rid of those news channels
that are bringing negativity into your
laundromat and fill your laundry mat
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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 dot
kelly atmosphere dot tv
christy thank you for coming on the show
how are you doing today
so good thanks so much for having me oh
my goodness well i’m very excited i saw
a little bit about just like a tiny bit
about what you got going on on i think
on linkedin
and uh
reached out to you and i was like hey
you gotta come share what you’re doing
so i’m super excited about this uh this
episode and hearing your story and what
you’re doing but before we get into that
can you just give us a little bit of
background like who are you who are you
and tell us
kind of how you got into this
so i think most important
is that i’m a social worker by
and i had a challenging experience at my
neighborhood laundromat about four years
and in that moment realize that
laundromats have the potential to
serve as
vibrant social hubs
that celebrate arts culture
and community
that night i came home i told my husband
i’m quitting my job and i’m going to
open some kind of laundromat that has a
social spin to it
and he was eating a hamburger at the
and the scene was very dramatic we had
just moved into our tiny home so when i
flung open the door
um all attention was on me
and he just calmly finished his bite and
said call it that social spin
and open a chain not just one location
so i gave my previous employer a
four-month transition notice while i was
learning about the industry the tactical
components and also thinking through
how can we
build in
a purpose-driven
business model
into the laundry industry
so we
very thoughtfully the tenants of
conscious capitalism
and operate
our laundromat and laundry service to be
and so what that means
specifically is that we connect
our customers to care
through community events
and hire
only individuals that have barriers to
so our signature event is free laundry
every wednesday
to our neighbors in need
we have two locations one in phoenix and
one in mesa
and over a four hour period the
neighbors could come and drop off their
laundry at our phoenix location
or do it themselves at our mesa location
and that’s when we have
a high volume of customers with really
needs that we’re able to meet
so at our events we have not only free
but we have hot meals available
personal hygiene items
we have a dj that spends music
each week
and then we also have a service provider
on site
specific to the neighborhood’s needs
so we’ve had
coveted vaccines provided
hiv aids testing
access to
free internet services and tablets
behavioral health service providers
early education programs and services
ged preparation
and so forth
we even have our congressman and his
office come out
with their social workers
to help
identify and triage the supports
our customers need so that’s something
we do every week
in addition to other special events
throughout the year yeah holy cow okay i
mean you just threw a whole lot of stuff
out there and that is
awesome for one and we’ve got to dig a
little more into all of that and how
you’re putting this years i mean it
sounds like you’re
basically still just doing social work
you just change the platform
of it
absolutely yeah so all right so let’s
back it up for a second i want to hear
okay so you’re flinging open the doors
to your house and saying i’m i’m
starting a laundromat
yeah starting a laundromat i mean first
of all your husband seemed like he took
it pretty well and didn’t think that you
were crazy
yeah i mean like my
my life partner our biggest champion our
biggest funder his job is to keep his
job so that we could build this business
he’s been phenomenal he does have a
non-negotiable which is i will not work
on machines like no anything else he’ll
do we’re like that’s cool yeah we got a
great team helping with that
yeah that’s awesome
all right so i mean that’s that’s good
you know i mean is it did anybody else
look at you and
think that you were crazy for this idea
because i mean listen it sounds like an
awesome idea but it is a little crazy
especially just like all right i’m gonna
quit my job and i’m gonna open a
laundromat and i’m gonna
you know try to
you know do all i mean it sounds like
you’re doing a ton of things at your
to help your community which is awesome
but i mean that’s
it’s a lot right it’s a lot i mean did
anybody look at you and say
you’re crazy or are they just everybody
on board
i had
met with individually in that four month
over a hundred people one-on-one
connections from my previous work
getting their thoughts and helping me
think through
resources opportunities and those
conversations went really well
in addition before we opened our first
the actual brick and mortar we started
operating a wash and fold service
and our goal was to register a hundred
customers before we opened
our first laundromat
and in
in that process we were going to
existing laundromats and talking to
customers about what they liked at that
space what they would change pitching
them our idea and
revising it with each conversation
so i didn’t get a lot of
pushback i got a lot of
new insights and resources
and excitement and so when we launched
our first
crowdfunding campaign
we raised
thirty thousand dollars
within less than a month
um from our community which allowed us
to help purchase our first location so
when you take the social service
component yes that’s beautiful
it makes a lot of sense because it’s a
high volume
and typically a heightened neighborhood
so that makes a lot of sense
um and then when you look at the laundry
and the potential performance that also
makes a lot of sense right so it is
capital intensive which i think leads to
inequity in the industry but that’s a
whole other conversation
but once you have a well-run
it makes a lot of business sense so when
you combine the fact that you
diversifying revenues
by having a
high volume
matched with grants and donations you’re
actually able to do a lot of good
yeah i mean you just keep throwing out a
whole lot of stuff although and i have
like a thousand million questions all
right so i mean i want to hear obviously
i want to hear the social spin to your
social spin here in a second
um and get into just a little bit about
more how you’re like setting this up and
all that but
can you take us back and just go kind of
the boring stuff nuts and bolts
what was the process like of actually
buying that first
laundromat how did you
i mean did you buy an existing location
how did you find it it sounds like you
did some crowdfunding can you give us a
little bit of a
background on how you actually bought
that first one and when
it took us from august to may
so what is that
nine months of being on the market
before we felt comfortable making a
transaction so
i have gone to just about every single
laundromat in this community we were
connected to
distribution of equipment who also
served as a broker on the side
he introduced us to an individual who
owns seven locations
sold us his worst performing location
so it was an existing building only a
thousand square feet all the equipment
as you would expect very old and broken
um he was turning one time per day
in that space
so we bought it
with the thirty thousand dollars that we
and then we
invited existing customers and
volunteers to help clean up the space
it was horrible there was like mold on
the walls where kids could like you know
touch and put in their
mouths the bathroom was so moldy that
when we went to
do something a renovation in there it
just crumbled the walls just like
just bad
um so we spent four weeks
focused on
cleaning that space up
and within six months we went from one
turn per day to seven turns per day
and maintain that volume
throughout the three years that we were
unbelievable so this first location
because we were still like is this going
to be a thing
would i like it does it make some of the
community like it would customers even
we just signed a three lease three year
lease on our pilot project to see if it
was something that
made sense
about halfway through
that experience we saw that it was
something and started negotiating a
10-year lease for our second location
and that location was a former
laundromat that had been vacant for
about 10 years so it had all of the
hvac plumbing electrical
intact we just needed to update that so
we negotiated an amazing
lease with our landlord
we have anchor rates
which is unbelievable
10-year lease they managed all the
tenant improvements and so all we needed
was the equipment essentially
so we did a loan on the equipment
and open that
right at the peak of the pandemic
unfortunately oh geez
all right uh
i i’ve been like so jazzed right now and
then that was just like oh no okay like
we’re surviving and
like when this is over
because there’s not only the pandemic
but there’s um construction heavy
construction right on the corner yeah um
that’s been going on for a year and a
half so we feel like once those two
things clear up we’ll be rocking it
yeah well it sounds like you have a good
kind of system
that you are implementing so i’m sure
it’ll i mean if you can go from one to
seven turns a day any location anything
that’s insanity it’s amazing yeah
um okay so
can you uh real quick uh are you
operating this as a non-profit or for
for-profit how are you
how’s it structured
so we incorporated as a benefit
corporation here in arizona which is a
c-corp we’re a business
and we operated that way up until
2021 and then we separated the business
from the social good component so i own
and operate the business
social spin
and then we have a separate 501c3
that operates the social good components
they have a
ceo we call her the chief change maker
and a board of directors like that so
we’re two separate entities i make the
money they spend it
well i mean uh
i had a couple more questions but i
actually i since you brought it up i
want to get to that like how are you
you’re doing
free washes every week how are you
funding that is the
is the business doing well enough it can
support that are you how is is the
uh the 501c3
funding that and if so how is the 501c3
being funded
how are you pulling all this off i mean
you’re doing a lot of stuff how are you
doing it
yeah so the business um
was covering the cost of free laundry we
consider it part of our marketing budget
so for us it’s simply shifting what we
would spend in google ads for example to
love on our community
knowing that word of mouth is the
biggest and best advertisement you could
buy so the free laundry has always from
a business perspective been our
marketing and promotion line item budget
and then when people see what we’re
even before we had the non-profit status
they were contributing to
the purpose because they understood
through our storytelling and our
exposure to the need that everyone
deserves access to clean clothes it’s
something that we often overlook if you
been dependent on the laundromat it’s
out of mind out of sight and so for us
it’s really educating
our community
who have disposable incomes about the
challenges our neighbors face
especially unsheltered with having
access to clean clothes so yes the
business could support free laundry it’s
part of our marketing and promotion
and with our new foundation we’re
a lot more grants and donations to
support the free laundry services so
essentially the foundation has a
contract with the business the business
provides the laundry service and the
foundations covering the cost and that
money is being donated by the community
very very cool and i think that’s a
really smart structure to
pull them out and separate them and and
run them separately like that uh for a
lot of reasons
um okay so
uh the
you got these free washes going on did
are there qualifications that people
need to show or can anybody go and do
these free washes how are you setting
that up just logistically speaking
yeah i mean i think everything
is evolving as we grow we say we’re a
small but mighty team
and also our growth is um
certainly at a tipping point right now
everything has been
very informal if you’re walking into
laundromat and letting us know that free
laundry would help lighten your load
where all we’re going to ask for is your
first name
and how many people are in your
household that’s all we ask
um because for me it takes you know it
takes a lot of courage to ask for help
and if you’re showing up in a laundromat
asking for
free wash and dry and laundry products
i’m going to assume you need help
and if you’re able to pay for it and you
still want it for free
no biggie
do you feel like that has
detracted from
the other paid days or
or the option
no because we know that so we provide
two loads of laundry
each week
um that typically isn’t enough to get
someone through so they’re coming back
we’re their preferred laundromat they’re
telling their friends they’re telling
their family members so we definitely
see our free laundry customers repeat
and again we see that word of mouth
really accelerating our customer volume
yeah yeah that’s really interesting
uh okay so
uh man i just have so i’m like
normally i like
yeah we also have a robust wash and fold
service no that’s on my to-do list to
ask you about so let’s talk about it you
brought it up let’s talk about it yeah
because we provide free laundry again
with this this knowledge that when we do
good good comes to us
we have people who could afford laundry
service access our laundry service so we
have what we call conscious consumers
we have
over 400
individual and commercial
wash and fold customers
we have most of the non-profit laundry
contracts so we provide laundry services
to the homeless shelter to the science
center to
any other
co-sharing spaces and others so we
provide laundry services based on their
need which is typically weekly on some
daily and then we have individuals and
families that also use our service
and so that is priced at market rate we
charge a dollar 75 per pound for laundry
service we have a membership-based
program pick-up and delivery service
and then who’s processing the laundry
are our employees who all have a various
barrier to employment so we work with
various non-profit organizations that
trainees to
the business
and after
their training session is done if it’s a
good fit for them
and vice versa they could join our team
as a permanent employee if it’s not a
good fit for them we connect them to one
of our commercial contracts who’s hiring
so it becomes a job and training and
placement program so we have individuals
intellectual and developmental
youth who have transitioned out of the
foster care system
and individuals who
formerly incarcerated as part of our
i mean yeah when did when did you when
did you start this
well the idea came august of 2017 we
bought our first location
of 2018
and opened our our second location
january 2020.
i mean it really hasn’t been that long
it failed i feel like you’ve like built
pretty cool
infrastructure and set up for uh in like
a very short amount of time very
impressive it feels like forever though
i know i mean
when you’re in doing it i mean you go
fast enough sounds like hard yeah yeah
and that’s really how we’re feeling
because the
the big project we’re working on which i
think is what triggered you to reach out
is um that we’re opening a new location
so we were
i call it displaced from our original
location when we went to renew that
three-year lease the landlord doubled
our rent and would only sign another
three-year contract which didn’t make
fiscal sense because we were going to
have to bring in all new equipment
we had a month to move out which was
extremely traumatizing for all of our
team members and customers in the
we had all of our employees shift over
to our mesa location which is about a 20
to 30 minute drive for them
um so we did some substantial pay
increases transportation
support so that we could keep the team
intact during the transition
and then you know we said we never want
to be kicked out again so we bought
a piece of property that has
plans to
build our new purpose-driven laundromat
to include also a community kitchen and
barista station operated by like-minded
dozens of affordable housing units
for our employees and our customers as
so it’s about a 10 to 12 million dollar
construction project
that we’re tackling in phases so there’s
an existing building on the property now
that we’re activating so we’re we’ve
opened we’re providing free laundry from
that space with the food truck and the
dj in the shower the whole thing
um while we we work on building the
laundromat and building the housing
holy cow i mean you just
you’re right like you can’t go fast
enough and
it i mean you got
i love i love all of that i mean i think
it’s very cool and you know i think a
lot of people get into this business
because you have an opportunity to make
an impact even with just a simple
uh you know and without doing all the
other things that you’re
you have going on
you have the ability to make an impact
in the community even just taking that
one little
moldy laundromat and cleaning it up
you know made an impact in the community
before you did any of the other stuff
right and
you’re taking it to like whole new
levels obviously
but i think a lot of people like that
about this business um
what you’re doing is pretty cool and
pretty incredible uh what’s the what’s
the timeline look like for that
10 to 12 million dollar project to be
so we have already activated the space
um and we should have the new laundromat
fall of next year and housing ready and
move-in ready by fall of 2023.
yeah so that’s not two years
but what’s heartbreaking is you know we
um had a regular customer asked to be
put on the waiting list for housing it’s
like i want to live here is there a
waiting list i could get on and i’m like
we don’t even have a waiting list
we know especially here in phoenix and
across the nation like affordable
is such a big
we’ll have those units at full capacity
in no time right
yeah you’re right it’s not going to be
an issue filling those up it’s going to
be you have the opposite problem
having to
put people on really long waiting lists
or turn them away that’s
a good problem to have but
still a tough one to have
um okay can we go back i mean i want to
hear more about that there’s so much to
talk about uh can we go back for a
second to that first one that you bought
um and you mentioned you crowdfunded can
you just tell us a little bit about the
logistics of how did you did you go
you know gofundme or how did you
crowdfund to help you get that one off
the ground
we went through indiegogo okay and we
had a very generous um five thousand
dollar seed
uh donor and this is all um so with
indiegogo it’s not a loan it’s a
and there’s no
tax write-off
for the donors because at that time we
didn’t have a 501c3
everyone who contributed
contributed in
in the belief that everyone should have
access to clean clothes so we did um
indiegogo we did a video
i think we had just the 30 days to get
the funding through
with indiegogo you set up like packages
if you sponsor at this level you get
these benefits so we were offering
laundry service and t-shirts and
stickers as part of the benefits
but that was just cash directly
deposited into the business account
which we used
during escrow to close the deal it was
certainly um
my family
you know we always friends and family is
your first circle of funders and that
was true in our case too like my family
really stepped up and provided financial
support for the business as part of that
30 000 too
and then certainly
other you know friends were contributing
and once we’ve grown it’s just going to
this sphere of influence
we don’t have direct connections to
which is a crazy beautiful thing like
we’ll get donations through and i don’t
know who these
generous people are and that’s when
validated that okay like this is
resonating not just for me because it’s
my passion and my ego but this really
makes a lot of sense to other people and
they get it
yeah and i think too because i mean
i mean we all know like homelessness is
a growing issue i mean that’s tied into
a whole lot of things including the
affordable housing thing i mean there’s
a whole lot that goes into that and i
think a lot of people
are frustrated with homelessness uh
kind of on multiple levels uh i think
a lot of lawn man owners are
frustrated with homeless people
destroying their laundry mats
but also i mean i think
that i know at least is like this
there’s got to be some kind of solution
to this
issue and what i like about what you’re
doing is that i think the solution is
we have to do something like we have to
get together and fix the problem like as
nobody else is going to come to the
rescue i don’t think the government can
fix the problem
in any kind of permanent way so it takes
the community coming together and say
hey let’s let’s offer solutions to this
problem let’s offer affordable housing
let’s make sure people have clean
clothes to where they have clean clothes
to wear in an address that are way more
likely to be able to get a job and you
know yada yada and if they’re fed they
have a hot meal
you know they’re gonna be healthier and
they’re gonna you know all of that stuff
is all tied together and i what i love
about what you’re doing is that
you’re just kind of doing it right it’s
like all right this needs to be fixed so
i’m just gonna go do my part to fix it
and see if anybody else will join me and
are which is very very cool
yeah this certainly was not in any of
our plans to you know shift into
affordable housing i mean i’ve as a
social worker i’ve helped construct
domestic violence shelters reproductive
health centers certainly our own
laundromats but we i’ve never done
something on this scale i had thought
that it would be super cool to have a
social spin location as an anchor to
affordable housing that would be like
the dream but i never thought that we
would be leading the initiative to have
both our laundromat and our housing
um and
and it wasn’t really my thought like i
bought this land and i was like oh this
is going to be so cool we’ll have the
laundromat up here and then there’s an
existing building we’ll convert that
into like three or four housing units
maybe six to nine
if we’re being super aggressive and i
took the plans to
a funder
and they’re like you’ve got to dream
bigger like no
this is a piece of land that you have
the potential to go four stories up and
add multiple housing units like we
we need more
from you so
live in a space of lack of abundance
and so pushing myself to dream bigger is
i can and it takes a lot of energy
but being surrounded by people that have
that natural thinking has been
super helpful
um additionally you know we
although we’ve made a lot of progress
we’re still a new company so getting the
to buy
this piece of land was
unbelievably challenging and actually
what i had to do was turn to three
to lend the entity
with a commitment that we would have it
paid back in two years
and there’s no monthly payment
but this acknowledgement to be paid back
within two years which is allowing us to
run a capital campaign
uh to get the money to pay them back
within the two years but even if it
weren’t for those three individuals who
the wealth and the passion
it wouldn’t even be a thing
there was no bank that was going to give
me money to to build this
yeah okay
i’ve got something for you i’m gonna
cure your natural
uh abundance yeah non-abundance mindset
here’s what you need to do
when this comes out you just need to
listen to it and look at all the things
you’ve done in the last three years and
there’s no way that
you cannot feel that there is abundance
because i mean just
the amount that you have accomplished in
three years is i mean it’s truly
remarkable you’ve got a lot going on
you know your
obviously you know you that’s where your
passion is your purpose is
uh even before all of this as you know
as a social worker and stuff but
my goodness i mean just the
you you went like on and on about the
programs that you’ve had running through
your your laundromat which i want to
talk about here in a second too
and get a little more details on that
and what you find working and actually
being a help and stuff um because i
think that there’s going to be a lot of
laundromat owners listening to this who
are interested in what you’re doing and
might want to implement
you know pieces of it
uh with what they’re doing too
which again is another sort of part of
the legacy of what you’re doing is
hoping to spread this so
anyways go back and listen to this after
you’re done into what you’re saying
because it’s it’s a lot it’s good
good stuff
okay so talk to me about
some of these
programs i mean well let me just start
let’s start easy let’s throw a little
softball pitch at you
how are you doing the hot meals are you
you’re bringing in food trucks is that
in in the laundromats just or the 501c3
is just funding that or how is that
how’s that working actually the business
has that grant so we got funding through
um which is a national initiative with
local offices
and they are committed to
helping business owners and community
so if
you’re in you know look up your list
they got money from the city of phoenix
who got money from the cares act and so
it funneled through to
businesses and organizations that have
unique models to reaching out to the
underserved so the money allows us to
purchase have a food truck on site
um have
prepared meals
the next day
ready for when they come and pick up
their laundry we have a coffee shop on
site too
um and then we have carrying cases which
are backpacks filled with snacks that
last on the street they don’t require
refrigeration so anything with a food
element is covered through this france
which is amazing
our criteria as a business and a
foundation for our vendors is local
woman-owned ideally woman of color owned
so when we look at scheduling our food
trucks or caterers that’s the lens that
we use to book that service as well as
any service that we get done
at the laundromat that’s our ideal
okay i mean even that’s just like i’m
like overwhelmed just by
i just wanted to know if you brought
food trucks and you got
meals coming the next day and you got a
coffee shop and you got
backpacks with non-perishable snacks and
you’re you know focusing on
you know using
there’s like layers upon layers of like
every little
detail of all of this which is awesome i
mean it’s very thoughtful and very
intentional and very purpose driven
you’ve used that you know multiple times
and that is coming through uh crystal
uh so how are you how are you
doing all this how are you setting this
up is it because you have this
background in social work that you have
the the connections to be able to do
this is this how are you how are you how
are you getting all these details and
and put them all together into
one awesome
program for the community
yeah i mean
certainly my lens is a social worker so
you know professionally we look at the
person in their environment and so what
are those challenges those barriers that
we could help address or eliminate for a
person to be successful
very basic concept like you are homeless
because of why and then we connect you
to those resources to help eliminate
those barriers
and that’s certainly one we have social
work interns so we have two to three
interns each
semester that helps support our purpose
so they’re doing a lot of the tactical
work which is amazing yeah we’ve hired
one of our did you get those how did you
get interns account how did
i mean that even i mean like all of this
is possible you just reach out to the
school of social work so mine’s unique
because as a social worker i could
supervise social workers
um but any college marketing
communication human services they all
internship requirements as a social
worker you’re required to do 16 hours a
for 20 weeks each semester unpaid
and so it becomes this a tremendous
in school just partner with your
community college or your school
they’re like dying for good placements
yeah but it’s just super
super cool that you got all this
i mean there’s the more i’m not even i
feel like i’m not even like peeling back
layers but they just keep unpeeling and
there’s more behind what you’re doing
every time it’s very very
inspiring and very cool
and then you know a lot i see a lot of
chatter on facebook for laundromat
owners around the issue you brought up
our unsheltered neighbors that comes up
all the time
but also um labor like how do i find
good labor well this intern social work
intern is now a permanent employee for
our foundation and she’s just crushing
um the feeding initiative phenomenal
talent is coming through when we partner
to help support you transition our
foster care adults with intellectual and
developmental disabilities those are all
potential employees like throughout this
we have maintained the original
the og team
like we have not lost any team member
during this camdemic but also transition
for us
we’ve added team members i posted a job
for a driver
on thursday and she starts today
after shadowing me on friday like if you
create a strong business and a good
and have these unique partnerships
you’ll you’ll find the talent you need
yeah and i feel like too i mean people
want to be a part of something so if
you’re actually doing something that’s
good for
other people
uh i mean people want to be a part of
that so you’re right you’re right about
uh where are you finding all of these
grants and
you know
oh we’re in donation i mean where are
you finding all these things
i mean to be really clear like your
is your net worth
i have been extremely fortunate to be in
positions that have connected me to
amazing people
um and i’ve had relationships with
funders for
if you’re new to the space there’s tons
of phenomenal resources like each state
will have a non-profit alliance
which has grant registries
and we apply for grants
but typically those grants are coming to
us through a relationship and it’s
someone’s saying hey we think that your
fits this funding model really well and
then we go for it we don’t do a lot of
like blind brands it’s all about
yeah which i think is a great way to do
things because i mean whether it’s
non-profit stuff or business i mean
that’s just where
the magic happens is when you’re dealing
with people that you have relationships
with and
you get
more opportunity that way for sure i
think it’s a great
business slash nonprofit model to be
working from
uh okay so
talk to me about this let’s say
let’s say i’m a laundromat owner who
want who’s inspired i think there’s
gonna be a lot of them
right and wants to kind of get started
sort of
trying to
implement some of this stuff and and
move in the direction that you’re going
you know maybe on your level maybe not
quite on your level uh but wants to
move more in that direction can you can
he give us like
what are some good first steps that a
lot of med owners should take if they
want to kind of implement some of this
i think the first step would be
familiarize yourself with the tenants of
conscious capitalism this notion that
when you treat people good your business
benefits and those people include your
employees your stakeholders your
customers to really
begin to understand the mindset of doing
good brings good
we have a lot of super successful
in this country that have
shown us how this could be done
so that’s one step the second step is
you know everything we do
is also
customer driven
um some tactical examples we have
chalkboard from
ceiling to floor that’s titled we want
to have a conversation about
and our customers let us know
what we could be doing better
what challenges they’re faced with and
we broker those partnerships based on
what our customers are telling us or
we’re making adjustments into the space
based on what customers are telling us
and it could be as simple as the type of
snacks that they want brought into that
um hey i’m really struggling because i
became homeless
last week and i need some help
get to know your customers i mean these
these are people that are
keeping you in business and we know that
they come in every single week and
they’re there for about an hour and a
half to two hours you have a real
opportunity to develop authentic
relationships with your customers and
help support them while they’re
supporting your business
we’ve had a lot of success in the local
movement so i would say another thing
would be
get to know your local
first movement which is typically a
non-profit in your community
that helps elevate all of the local
businesses in that area
and they’ll help connect you to funding
resources and training
potential contracts
um but also help
communicate the narrative that when you
shop local when you do business local
everyone this benefits in the economy
so those are three things that i think
are doable right conscious capitalism
customer driven and the local movement
yeah absolutely i mean
yeah absolutely i think that’s great and
i think you know the specifics of that
is good generally sounds like hey get
you know and
what identify the issues you know in in
the community and then
look for existing
resources that you can partner with and
network with and and go for it so i mean
i think that’s a good
framework to to get started so anybody
who’s interested in
uh you know implementing some of this a
little bit more social
element to their uh to their laundromat
i think that’s great direction to go
um okay you mentioned earlier and i
don’t want to get too
far down this rabbit hole but you
mentioned earlier equity in the industry
yeah and then chat about that just
briefly and what you meant by that
i mean
the basic understanding is that rarely
laundromat owners or customers
or customers or laundromat owners like
if my husband and i
did not have
assets to contribute towards this
there’s no way we would be running this
thing the equipment alone for one
laundromat is 250 000 so you need access
to collateral or good credit or people
and i think that what that creates is
this structure where
owners are highly disengaged from their
customer base
and customers are in a space where it’s
difficult for them to ever attain
so long term um you know our why is to
shift ownership
of our laundromats to our employees
um who are often customers
of the laundromats and so thinking
through how could we
equity in our business
help model for the industry
what this could look like i mean we
haven’t tackled that other than
at a very basic level giving our
customers a lot of feedback like
customer driven employee driven autonomy
for our employees livable wages for our
but at some point we would love to be
able to shift that ownership to them as
yeah that is
awesome also i mean just everything that
you are saying is very awesome uh i mean
i have like a thousand more questions i
know we’re a little bit short on time
for this so here’s here’s the thing is
that we’re gonna have to have you back
on at some point
and uh chatting about what you got going
on i’m a little scared that even if we
had you back on next week
there would be so many things that you
have done in the last week that we
wouldn’t even have time to talk about
oh and it might not be me but maybe one
of our team members oh yeah i mean i
think that would be great or even like a
both and you know having having a couple
of you guys on and and chatting about
what it’s been like and what you’re
doing i’m sure you’ve got tons of
stories both on the
you know on the whole back inside where
you’re building actually up the business
and on the front end side where you’re
interacting with customers and employees
and experiences around that because i
just know that you know you’re when
you’re doing stuff you’re collecting
stories and you’re collecting experience
uh and you know both good and bad and
and it’s all kind of helpful to
propelling you to your next level so
question for you i get a lot of people
talking to me about
wanting to buy their first laundromat
and i get a lot of people who want to
buy their first laundromat who just want
to buy it as like an investment and
that’s okay that’s something different
but i get a lot of people who also
are intrigued by the
uh you know by the social potential of
owning a laundromat
we have a little section called pro tips
tips and that is you know advice for
people buying their first laundromat but
maybe you have
some advice for somebody who hasn’t
bought a laundromat yet
who wants to buy a laundromat and who
wants to
uh implement you know a social side to
it you know so obviously the three kind
of steps that you mentioned earlier but
i was wondering do you have any
any other kind of tips or advice for
somebody who hasn’t started yet who
doesn’t know a laundromat who wants to
own a laundromat
the social spin
trademark patent pending a lot yeah
it’s a lot more than i thought it would
be and
i had really educated myself before
purchasing that laundromat um so i
would suggest
that as you’re thinking through your
budget because i had all sorts of crazy
budgets mapped out like oh my god we’re
going to be so rich
goodness it just all happened that way
it doesn’t happen that way so when you
have a budget in your mind cut it in
half when you have expenses double it
like expect it to take so much longer
and you have to have
a super long runway
um before
you know of cash
because that all goes back into the
there’s so many unexpected expenses
that aren’t cheap so it could be um a
eroded so ten thousand dollars or maybe
the previous owner didn’t have a
backflow and it’s not up to city code or
you need a new boiler
there’s a lot of
unanticipated expenses if you’re buying
um one of your first ones
yeah i think that’s good advice and i
think that’s good advice just for
somebody who wants to buy one as an
investment too i mean either way
you know you do need a runway of cash
and there’s more expenses than you
you know
and treat your vendors like gold and
again this goes back to the conscious
capitalism model like our vendors are
part of our team
no doubt like if i need if we’re flooded
i need to feel extremely comfortable and
reaching out to our contractor to come
fix it same day and they’re going to
because that relationship has so much
trust and respect
your vendors are everything to the
success of your business as are your
yeah yeah i i mean i think that’s great
advice too and i i want to say uh
oh man i’m probably gonna butcher but i
think southwest airline was basically
like hey we’re gonna we’re gonna go
employee first not customer first an
employee vendor kind of that that model
first because if we’re taking care of
our vendors we’re taking care of our
they’re going to take better care of our
customers and we’re naturally going to
get that
you know great customer experience
and so i think that’s great
a great model to go off of i think
that’s awesome advice for anybody
looking to buy their first
uh laundromat with a little bit of a
social spin
uh to it and this has been
awesome like i really want to just sit
and chat for like another four hours but
uh you know we can’t do that now but
you know over some time let’s do that
and and keep talking about that because
i think that there’s a lot of
opportunity for a lot of laundromat
owners to be able to implement some of
this stuff into their business
and my guess is that this episode will
awaken some of those creative juices and
inspire some people uh to do more with
their laundromats so thank you for
coming on and sharing uh all about that
i have having me
oh man it’s yeah my honor and my
pleasure genuinely uh so yeah thank you
i have one more ques well it’s kind of
two questions it may be the same answer
but uh
if people want to
talk to you a little more about what
you’re doing
um either as an upcoming laundromat
owner as a current laundromator maybe
they have some questions or something
like that what’s the best way they can
get a hold of you
um so our website is a social spin
dot com
the general contact information is on
there or they could feel free to reach
out to me email’s the best until we can
make a connection and it’s christy
at socialspin
laundromat dot com
awesome and then
this might be the same answer but
if anybody here is listening and is just
inspired by what you’re doing and wants
to contribute what’s the best way they
can contribute to
you know the cost to to social spend
um slightly different they could
certainly get a hold of me through that
way um i serve as the board chair of the
foundation but again we have a separate
the foundation’s contact information is
at socialspinfoundation.org
but if you hunt me down i could
certainly point you in the right
direction for making that contribution
so i will have i was just writing all
that down sorry i can’t do two things at
i will have all of that information the
links the email addresses all of that
stuff will be in the show notes
that you can find or if you’re on
watching this then you can check that
down below and get a hold of christy ask
her questions tell her how awesome she
is what a rock star and maybe give her a
little bit of encouragement because i do
know number one being a business owner
can be very isolating and it can be very
difficult and i don’t know about you but
i’m like pretty much
you know up to the mountains one minute
and down in the valleys the next minute
and all up and down all the time so
getting a bit of encouragement is always
good but also
i know that the work that you’re engaged
with on the social side of things
is you know a whole lot of ups and downs
to issues coming up all the time
you know you see
the highs of people actually changing
their lives and you see the lows of
people that you know and you care about
making bad decisions and hurting
themselves and the people around them
and so
it’s very draining and it’s very
difficult so make sure you also give
some words of encouragement because you
know that always helps kind of get
through some of those load times so
thank you so much for coming on really
really awesome and can’t wait to have
you back on again awesome episode i mean
she the stuff that she has done in the
last three years it blows me away that
she has ab been able to set that up
um and do that and it but this whole
time during this whole interview with
chrissy and this is my first interaction
with her
this whole interview i was just thinking
you know what i have a laundromat
uh you know in an urban area in an area
that could use
you know some of these services and some
of this stuff so i was going through in
my mind you know what are some of the
things that i personally can implement
with my laundromat so that’s my takeaway
you know every week i want you to find
something in here that you’re going to
take some action on
and mine is i need to figure out
how i can do more with what i have you
know i have
the ability i’m in the location where i
can be you know make doing some real
good with my laundromat and i do believe
i have been doing good with my
laundromat and helping people but i
think there’s more to be done and so she
just really genuinely inspired me to
look a little deeper and dig a little
deeper and do a little bit more with my
laundry mat so hopefully you have a
takeaway too whether you’re on your
journey to getting your first one or you
already own one or multiple
pick something one thing from this
and uh and
get going with it put it into action
because action is what paves the way to
success learning 30 000 hours of youtube
learning and
78 000
podcast downloads really awesome
they don’t mean anything if you don’t
put it into action okay so put something
into action this week let’s do it every
week and when we look back down the line
we’re gonna see that all those actions
compounded into some greatness all right
bring a little greatness into your life
how about that all right we’ll see you
next week on the podcast or on the
webinar or
uh on the blogs or in the forums or
wherever links to everything
are in the show notes a lot about
resource.com show
79. all right see you guys peace

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