PlanetLaundry and Supplements Southeast Supplement Spring 2016 : Page 1

Supplement to the PlanetLaundry Magazine BUSINESS PROFILE BY STEVEN GOULD Spring 2016 | planetlaundry.com | coinlaundry.org Focused on the Community Georgia Owners Build Their Laundry Business While Impacting Customers’ Lives Yvette Morton Williams and her husband, Wade, own and operate Wash & Spin Coin Laundry in Conyers, Ga., which is a community located about 20 miles east of Atlanta. Yvette spent 17 years in pharmaceutical sales and marketing, as well as clinical trial marketing, in the New York/New Jersey area. In addition, she ran her own side businesses in consulting, interior design and realty. Wade spent his career in education within the New York public school system, involved in everything from teaching to coaching to administration. “Teaching is such an awesome profession,” Yvette said. “I feel so lucky to sit on his shoulders and see all of the people’s lives that he’s touched – it’s amazing. If you want to affect somebody, that’s where you need to go. He gets cards and letters and Facebook contacts from people years later, telling him about the influence he made on their lives.” With a laugh, Yvette also acknowledged Wade’s great schedule, with all of the time off that teachers receive. By ADVERTISERS Coin Laundry Insurance | 15 Commercial & Coin Laundry Equipment | 09 Electrolux | 05 Laundrylux | Back Cover SaveMore Commercial Laundry Equipment | Inside Front Cover Statewide | 08 T&L Equipment Sales Company Inc | 11 Wholesale Commercial Laundry Equipment SE LLC | 06 continued on page 3

Business Profile

Steven Gould


Focused on the Community

Georgia Owners Build Their Laundry Business While Impacting Customers’ Lives

Yvette Morton Williams and her husband, Wade, own and operate Wash & Spin Coin Laundry in Conyers, Ga., which is a community located about 20 miles east of Atlanta.

Yvette spent 17 years in pharmaceutical sales and marketing, as well as clinical trial marketing, in the New York/New Jersey area. In addition, she ran her own side businesses in consulting, interior design and realty.

Wade spent his career in education within the New York public school system, involved in everything from teaching to coaching to administration.

“Teaching is such an awesome profession,” Yvette said. “I feel so lucky to sit on his shoulders and see all of the people’s lives that he’s touched – it’s amazing. If you want to affect somebody, that’s where you need to go. He gets cards and letters and Facebook contacts from people years later, telling him about the influence he made on their lives.”

With a laugh, Yvette also acknowledged Wade’s great schedule, with all of the time off that teachers receive. By contrast, while her husband’s profession allowed him to have some flexibility, Yvette wasn’t as fortunate.

“The pharmaceutical industry requires a lot of travel, and it was just so much,” she explained. “I thought that a laundry business would allow me the flexibility to be present for our two children. We looked at a lot of different businesses – including franchises, retail stores and car washes – before we honed in on the laundry industry.”

Aside from the schedule flexibility, there were two other points that attracted Yvette to the laundry business.

“I was drawn to the opportunity for customer interaction – I just love that – as well as the lack of required travel and meetings,” she said. “Owning a laundry would give me the chance to not miss a game or a school conference or anything like that for my children.”

After deciding on a self-service laundry business for their future and making the decision to leave New York for Atlanta, Yvette and Wade found the perfect opportunity.

“This store is a large facility in a busy shopping plaza, and we thought the demographics of the neighborhood would work well,” Yvette explained. “It became available just as we were looking to move to Atlanta, so the timing worked out well.”

Everything came together over a whirlwind three-month period. And, in February 2010, Yvette and Wade became the new owners of Wash & Spin Coin Laundry.

Although the purchase itself went smoothly, the couple did run into a bit of a surprise once they finally opened their doors.

“Our biggest surprise was that, at the start, it really wasn’t profitable,” Yvette admitted. “That was a big, ugly, nasty surprise. So, we operated with a negative cash flow for a long time, and that’s really tough to do. We were thankful we had some savings, so we were able to support the business until it was able to support itself.”

Wash & Spin attracts customers from several diverse neighborhoods around Atlanta and its southwest suburbs.

“Our immediate neighborhood is mostly young, urban families with multiple children, and there are a lot of apartment complexes within walking distance,” Yvette said.

There also are quite a few businesses around the store, which creates strong foot traffic. The laundry is located in a busy shopping plaza, so it’s surrounded by restaurants, a grocery store, a small department store, a hair salon, an insurance agency and a tax preparation business.

The owners have made certain that the store has a healthy presence on Facebook and Google. However, Yvette and Wade are not above using some of the oldschool marketing techniques such as door hangers. They also wisely have placed the Wash & Spin logo on their laundry bags, which get noticed all around town.

What’s more, aside from being a laundromat, the location also is a U-Haul dealer, which gives the store an added promotional jolt.

“People come to pick up or drop off a vehicle, and they notice the laundromat,” Yvette noted.

Yvette and Wade try to set their laundry business apart from any competing laundries in the marketplace by being extremely focused on the community and their customers.

“We hold an annual customer appreciation event,” Yvette explained. “This year, we gave away a 40-inch television, as well as a tablet and laundry supplies. We’ll give away a free dry or laundry soap. And we have very friendly, uniformed attendants.”

Along those same lines, Wash & Spin recently added something new this year that Yvette is extremely excited about – the store is going to sponsor a scholarship, in conjunction with a local non-profit daycare center. The scholarship was inspired by a family member who had become a teenage mother.

“She had two children as a teenager,” Yvette said. “Fast forward 20 years, her children our now adults. And what’s so wonderful about her is that she finished high school, earned her bachelor’s degree and is now a registered nurse. It’s an awesome story, and I love her to death. It inspired us to partner with Gate City Day Nursery Association as the sponsor of the Camille Hope Fairman Scholarship for Teenage Mothers.”

The scholarship was created to help other teenage mothers further their education – and it’s an effort that Yvette and Wade want to be a part of for years to come, Yvette stated.

Wash & Spin Coin Laundry also is closely involved with a local church in providing free laundry days at the store for those in the community who are less fortunate.

The store also offers a wash-dry-fold service for $1.25 per pound, with a 10-pound minimum. What’s more, the laundromat features arcade games, soda and snack vending, a massage chair, fax and copy services, an ATM, and computers for customer use.

The 5,000-square-foot laundry is open from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., with last wash at 9:00 p.m. The business employs one full-time staffer and six part-time attendants.

Yvette admitted that she’s always on the lookout for creative solutions to improve Wash & Spin’s business.

“I tend to recognize that inspiration for a great idea can come from almost anywhere,” she said.

Yvette and Wade have enjoyed building and growing their first laundry business so much that they’re currently looking for a second store.

Steven Gould is a freelance writer based in the Chicago area.

Read the full article at http://digitaleditions.walsworthprintgroup.com/article/Business+Profile/2403366/291415/article.html.

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