A need in his own home inspired a Mercer University alumnus to create a business that’s making life a little easier for Macon residents.
With two small children, Mitchell Perry saw how quickly the laundry was piling up, and he wanted to find an easier way to keep up with the chore.
With a background in technology and service, he started exploring an app-driven laundry delivery service and before long had launched Independent Laundry Company. It has been a Company in Residence at the Mercer Innovation Center since fall 2019.
“This is not a franchise,” said Perry, who earned a Master of Business Administration from Mercer in 2006. “This is an idea we had and built here locally. I’m glad to be able to say that. We’ve had great support from Mercer, the Mercer Innovation Center and NewTown Macon. We really like being around campus and downtown.”
Perry’s original idea was to have big boxes around town where customers could leave their laundry, and that evolved into lockers installed at local businesses. He found a business in Atlanta that provided similar services and reached out to the owner for advice.
Customers can opt for home pickup and delivery of their clothes or leave them in one of Independent Laundry’s secure lockers, which will prompt them to create a four-digit code to lock. Public lockers can be found at Macon’s two Z Beans stores, in Mercer Village and downtown at 311 Cotton Ave. Perry said he connected with Z Beans owner Shane Buerster through the Mercer Innovation Center, and Z Beans and Mercer have been extremely helpful partners.
Several other businesses in downtown Macon have private Independent Laundry lockers set up for use by their residents or employees.
Customers then use the Independent Laundry website or app to select their service — wash/fold or dry clean. Perry works with local partners to clean the items, and the clothes are delivered back to the customer’s locker or home within 48 hours. Text notifications are sent when the clothes are ready.
“We’re very cautious of cleaning and what it means during this COVID age,” Perry said. “This is a contactless business. You can place an order and drop off your items without having to interact with anyone.”
Perry said the goal now is to expand the company’s footprint and increase its customer base. He hopes to be able to build his team and provide additional services in the future.
“We have hundreds of customers around town,” Perry said. “We support a good many residents and businesses in downtown. We have been getting a lot of great feedback. The main job now is to let people know that we’re here and open for business.”