After spending years as a stay-at-home mom to her three boys, Emily Hearn decided it was time to “get back out there.” With an all-too-familiar knowledge of the time suck and hassle that separating, washing, drying and folding a family’s worth of laundry can be, she wanted to give people another option. An option Fargo-Moorhead didn’t have.
Overloaded Laundry, a Moorhead-based pick-up and delivery laundry service that Hearn runs with her husband, Jason, was officially born in September 2015, and in less than a year, the couple is so busy that they’re already close to hiring their first full-time employees.
It sounds like you’ve already kind of shifted your focus from who you thought your customers were going to be.
Jason: We were going to mainly concentrate on college campuses and kids living in dorms. And we did the research, thought that was the ticket and it wasn’t. It’s a lot harder to get college kids to part with their money than we ever thought.
Emily: They just don’t have any.
Now we’re focusing on that median family with two jobs, two or three kids, involved in sports and that is just busier. We drop off and pick up, and we can even pick up at their work. They can just open it from inside their office, and we can grab it out of their car.
Was there really nothing like this in town before you guys?
Emily: There was nothing that was pick-up and delivery. There are places that will do your dry cleaning, but that’s going to cost you a fortune. We can pick up big baskets of laundry, and it costs $25-$30 instead of $150. We also provide the bags so it’s nice and easy to hand off. We’ve also partnered with Camelot Cleaners so we can pick up and drop off your dry cleaning as well.
Are you washing different people’s loads together?
Emily: Yes, we have three huge, industrial machines, and they’re just like the ones used in a hospital or hotel. It’s the soaps that make all the difference, and there are more than 100 different settings. There’s no cross-contamination.
Jason: The water gets to 150 degrees so it kills everything. Nothing can survive. You’re not getting your clothes washed in a laundromat washer and dryer. There are other places in town that will do wash-and-fold, but they’re laundromats and you have absolutely no idea what was in there (before).
Emily: They’re not cleaned or disinfected. Ours are always spotless, are always clean and always smell good.
Jason: We’re the ones who control it. We know what’s been in there before and whether it needs to be disinfected. And there’s no laundromat that can get their water as hot as ours. We built these to mirror an industrial laundry so that things could be washed together and (people) could have no worries.
Your niche is a relatively new one. Why do you guys think this trend has emerged and people are willing to outsource more and more of their household chores?
Emily: I think people are just that much busier. And they want to have some free time. I think Americans put in so many more hours than anywhere else and just don’t have any free time when they get home. They want to go out to eat. They want to do something else.
312 Highway 75 N, Moorhead