Q Laundry, “the laundromat for busy people”, plans to open its doors to the public on Thursday, June 20th. The new Bellingham-based business is located at 810 Alabama Street in Sunnyland Square (near Trader Joe’s).
The idea of opening an eco-friendly laundromat initially evolved from a personal feeling that something as basic and necessary as doing laundry was long overdue for improvement.
As owner of Q Laundry, Unema spent more than 2 years researching commercial laundry trends and working towards opening her state-of-the-art laundromat. Along the way she received product advice from national laundry experts and local business tips from consultants and mentors at Northwest Innovation Resource Center, Small Business Development Center and SCORE.
“From the start our goal was to erase old school laundromat images from people’s minds and show them smarter, cleaner, faster, and better ways to do their laundry. We want people to come in to Q Laundry and be amazed,” shares Unema.
With that goal in mind, Unema says she is launching her start-up business based on four principles:
- Time is precious. State-of-art technology allows customers to do laundry faster than ever before. Instead of spending a whole day doing one load after another, it is possible to do all their laundry in about one hour.
- Make it pleasant. Laundry has to be done, but it doesn’t have to be dull, noisy, or scary. A clean and safe environment, comfortable seating, free Wi-Fi, helpful attendants, and a host of custom options add up to creating a pleasant experience from start to finish.
- Provide real and lasting value. Properly laundered clothing looks better and lasts longer. State-of-the-art techniques like perpetual rotation, automatic temperature adjustments and customized drying options keep garments and adventure equipment looking good longer.
- Environmental responsibility. The old approach of wasting water, electricity, and gas is simply not sustainable–or justifiable when better options exist. High efficiency machines, sustainable practices and environmentally-friendly products are used whenever possible.
Sustainability was top of mind when it came to designing and renovating Q Laundry’s new commercial space (formerly a national bank call center).
“It was a dream come true to join Sustainable Connections as a business owner and to incorporate many sustainable elements into the newly renovated space. Our design/build team worked hard to be efficient and make eco-smart and environmentally sensitive choices whenever possible.”
CDK Interiors, Marcus M. Johnson Architects and The Franklin Corporation helped Unema design and build the commercial space to be open and inviting while taking advantage of natural light. They also helped select products like 100% VOC-free paint, Energy Star lighting, flooring made entirely of recycled materials, 95% efficient hot water tanks, and recirculating hot water pumps. Unema believes the use of these products will greatly reduce operating costs over time and be safer and healthier for Q Laundry employees and customers.
In addition to building a sustainable facility, Unema has sourced an assortment of eco-friendly laundry products to offer for sale including bio-safe soaps, custom crafted garment covers, and locally produced totes and satchels. Customers that purchase a reusable Q Laundry Box ($10) will receive free laundry soap – every time, every load.
“Commercial laundry machines have changed significantly over the years. We think people are going to be impressed by how fast, efficient and smart they are.”
Q Laundry features highly efficient Electrolux machines that lock for security and send text messages to customers when cycles are complete – the machines are some of the highest rated on the market today.
The washing machines weigh each load and only use an appropriate amount of water. They are programmed to handle everyday laundry items as well as outdoor gear, tech fabrics, down filled items, wet suits, and even tents. Special odor removing settings for athletic equipment and items that have been exposed to smoke are options.
Three washer/dryer combination machines will be available at Q Laundry. These machines lock for security and text customers when the cycle is complete – they allow users to load one machine, walk away for 75 minutes and return to clean, dry laundry.
45 pound capacity dryers use reverse spin technology throughout their dry cycle. This feature prevents items from rolling or wadding and significantly decreases dry time by increasing air flow.
One additional feature Unema is particularly excited about is a custom drying booth she added for large items like tents and sporting equipment. Onsite attendants will be available to help customers launder large, bulky items and set them up for air drying using the booth’s unique pulley and oscillating fan system.
The public is invited to Q Laundry’s Grand Opening celebration on Tuesday, July 9th in Bellingham WA.
KAFE Radio will be onsite for a live broadcast on July 9th from 4 – 8 p.m. There will be door prizes and refreshments during that time; a ribbon cutting will take place at 6 p.m.
“We hope community members will stop by to check the laundromat out during the Open House or before so they can see first-hand how fun doing laundry can be.”
Beginning June 20th, Q Laundry’s operating hours will be from 7 a.m.–11 p.m. daily. The laundromat employs 8 people, offers free WiFi, comfortable seating areas and the added security of onsite laundry attendants during all open hours. Machines accept credit and debit cards, coin and Google Wallet. Visit http://q-laundry.com for additional information.