[SUCCESS STORY] Drip & Dry Wants to Change the Way We See Laundry

A lot of lessons can be learned from the laundry industry. In this new section “Success Stories”, I will feature people, brands and businesses in the industry – many of whom are longtime friends, students and clients – to ask about their entrepreneurial journey: birth pains, challenges, growth and success.

Of the many fast-growing laundry shops in Metro Manila, Drip & Dry Professional Laundry & Cleaning Services is among those worth remembering.

Launched in 2015, this full-service laundry opened its first branch in Sta. Mesa, Manila by owners Joan Ravello and Noelle Jose while having full-time jobs during weekdays. They opened the second branch on its second year at SM Cherry Shaw and a third one just last year at One Eastwood Avenue Condominium.

Joan and Noelle were my students before and it has been incredible to witness their business grow. Is It Clean? approached them to ask five questions about their laundry and tips in making a successful venture in the business.

Describe your business/company and what is your role here?

I’m Joan Ravello, one of the managing partners of Drip & Dry Professional Laundry & Dry Cleaning Services. I’m currently overseeing the administrative roles from human resource, accounting & marketing of Drip & Dry.

How did you start in the cleaning, sanitation and laundry industry?

We started the concept of Drip & Dry way back in 2015. We saw that there was an opportunity to introduce a full-service laundry business that will provide laundry services in a more professional way. Back then, the laundry business was seen as a backyard industry. Our company decided to stand out to take it to the next level and serve better.

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Drip & Dry’s Sta. Mesa branch – its first store. Photo courtesy of Drip & Dry

What were the primary challenges you faced in the business in the early days and how did you overcome these?

The primary challenge in the laundry business is sharing your passion with your staff. Since there was a backyard impression on the laundry business, we decided to train all our employees to adopt and implement standard operating procedures. We did this together with Mr. Romeo Apolega who is well-known in the laundry industry for his contributions, helpful professional advice and training for laundry owners. We wouldn’t be confident enough to overcome our challenges without his help. Mr. Apolega was our mentor since the first day of our business operations.

What’s the No. 1 business advice that entrepreneurs and managers need to survive and succeed in the industry?

If you know you provide the best service available, do not be afraid to set the right value and price for it. Setting your price too low to compete will not only hurt your business but also the industry itself. Cost your services at the right price, but make sure to give customers the value for their money.

“We saw that there was an opportunity to introduce a full-service laundry business that will provide laundry services in a more professional way. Back then, the laundry business was seen as a backyard industry.” – Joan Ravello, Drip & Dry

What’s next for the cleaning, sanitation and laundry industry?

If you will read articles on the laundry industry, there are now a lot of innovative ways to do one’s own laundry. There is even a bicycle laundry where you do both the exercise and the chore simultaneously. On the market side, we understand that clients today are smarter thanks to technology. With all the increase of prices everywhere, they are more discriminating to where they put their hard-earned money in. Given that, I think the laundry industry should look at the business beyond just a washing-machine rental. I think we should also think of providing the service our clients deserve.

 

If you have questions on the story or about putting up a laundry business, email me at rhapolega@yahoo.com.

 

Featured image shows Drip & Dry’s Eastwood branch.

Tagaytay is the New Growth Area for Laundry. Before You Invest, Consider These 4 Challenges First.

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Real estate development in Tagaytay City. Wikipedia image courtesy of Manilaspirit

Like many cities, Tagaytay is experiencing a boom in tourism and business activities, which is good news for the laundry industry.

With huge demand for hotel rooms, restaurant services, wedding caterers and other hospitality services, these businesses are relying on a growing number of laundry shops to wash and provide their daily linen and uniform requirements.

On top of these, the hundreds of units of condominiums and houses that mushroomed over the last decade means a large client base for retail laundry services.

But putting up a new laundry in Tagaytay can also be a challenging endeavor – especially if you have not considered some location-specific challenges.

Here are 4 of them:

Supply and Quality of Water

It is known within the industry of Tagaytay’s – and the greater Cavite’s – water supply challenges. Read an article here by the Business Mirror.

Some in Tagaytay also rely on hard water (deep well), which I mentioned in past articles are not the preferred kind of water for laundry as it requires more amount of chemicals to wash off dirt.

Cost of Electricity

Cost of electricity and LPG are the most expensive portion of laundry. In a place like Tagaytay where relative humidity is higher than Manila, clothes dry longer due to higher amount of water vapor in the air relative to water vapor in saturation. This means laundry shops in Tagaytay (and Baguio as well) need extra heat to dry clothes and therefore use up more power.

Technical Education

Laundry is an industry that heavily relies on innovation and technology. It requires constant education on new techniques and skills enhancement for owners and employees. Owners and employees have to maximize the very few laundry-specific seminars and training available in the area in Tagaytay – or travel to Manila to attend some.

Suppliers

The low number of suppliers of chemicals for laundry, kitchen sanitation and other cleaning services has kept prices a bit up north.

 

Despite these challenges, Tagaytay is still the new hotbed of opportunities for the laundry industry. Laundry operators, owners and employees need to find solutions, be smart and get the right partners.

If you’re thinking of building your own laundry shop in Tagaytay, ask and plan your next venture by reaching Romy Apolega at rhapolega@yahoo.com.

READ NEXT: 3 Common Headaches in Commercial Laundry

 

Featured image by Steven Rascoe