Our crowdfunding press release
Innovative Sustainable Laundry Startup
Launches Crowdfunding Campaign on Indiegogo
Taos, NM: Beyond Laundry, LLC is a company with a vision to go far beyond a regular laundromat with a franchise of eco-friendly “community laundry centers.” From July 21st to August 30th, they're running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise funds for their first location in Taos, New Mexico.
Founder Susan Carpenter Sims, a single mother of four, had been a patron of laundromats for many years when she came up with the idea to create a self-service laundry facility that not only incorporates solar power, rainwater harvesting, and greywater recycling, but also offers a snack bar, kids' area, and WiFi in a pleasant environment, making it a place people actually look forward to visiting. “As my vision evolved, I realized this was really about having a true community center,” said Sims, “with the basic human activity of doing laundry at its core.” She later added a meeting room to the plan so that gatherings and events can be held there.
An attached greenhouse will provide a beautiful seating area, with cafe-style tables and chairs. Both the greenhouse and a community garden on the property will be food-producing and irrigated by greywater (water that has passed through the washing machines). “People will be able to volunteer in the garden in exchange for produce and/or use of the washers and dryers,” said Sims. Produce will also be for sale on-site.
The environmental and social impacts will be impressive. By harvesting rainwater from the roof, utilizing solar power, and recycling greywater, Beyond Laundry's carbon and water footprints will be negligible.
Sims and her international team also intend to eventually franchise in North America and use 10% of profits to partner with NGOs in bringing this model to developing countries. “Many NGOs work with villages to dig a well and install toilets,” said Sims. “If we can then bring washing machines that use solar power, rainwater harvesting, and greywater irrigation for food production, it's a logical next step for such communities.”
The Indiegogo campaign is focused on raising $160,000 to buy a 1-acre lot currently for sale in Taos. As she developed her business plan, Sims shared about Beyond Laundry on social media, and it was the overwhelmingly positive response she received that made her consider crowdfunding. “I posted a draft of our pitch video on Facebook to get feedback on it, and was shocked when I had people saying, 'Where can I donate?' This made me realize that a crowdfunding campaign right at the beginning could help us build momentum and traction, and have an asset in place to leverage further funding.”
Crowdfunding makes sense for someone like Sims, who, as a single mother, doesn't have high net worth or a lot of savings. “What I do have is a clear vision, great team, thorough business plan, and heaps of resourcefulness, commitment, and perseverance,” said Sims, who has been an entrepreneur since 1991. “Since my kids were little, I've always had side businesses to supplement my income, but now I'm ready to launch the big one, the passion project I've had in mind for years.”