Increased Profits By Adding a Social Spin to Your Laundromat

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!

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    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 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
    50 plus channels
    created specifically for businesses with
    everything from
    uh sports clips hilarious fail videos
    draw dropping videos from all over the
    world there’s automobile channels
    there’s a ton of stuff my kids love love
    love it and my customers love it
    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
    with positive videos that bring positive
    vibes to your customers with atmosphere
    tv and if you use the code word the
    keyword the
    promo code i don’t know resource promo
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    waive your setup fee and now everything
    is going to be free there’s no monthly
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    you can use it for free in your
    laundromat and it’s going to survive to
    your atmosphere so check out 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 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
    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 show
    79. all right see you guys peace