Doing laundry is a mundane but necessary part of college life.
One entrepreneurial Badger, Chris Portie ’16, had the idea to start an on-campus laundry service, giving students more time to focus on their studies, part-time jobs, and social lives.
Serving as the business’s operations director, Portie approached his classmate Ian Konrad ’16, who took on the role of chief account manager, and together they launched KIP’s Laundry Service in the fall of 2014.
“We complement each other really well and that's what you need to be successful,” Portie said. “You need to surround yourself with people who excel at things that you aren't necessarily good at. It helps not only for creating a well-rounded team but you start to learn a lot of useful things from the other person.”
KIP’s provides fast, reliable laundry and dry cleaning services to Spring Hill College students, including pickup and delivery right to their residence halls. All of the cleaning, however, is left to the professionals. KIP’s team developed partnerships with two local businesses, Port City Cleaners and Spring Hill Cleaners, who professionally wash, dry and fold the laundry.
Portie said they struggled to market to students late in the fall semester, but the KIP’s team eventually found their stride and the business started operating smoothly. In spring 2015, Spring Hill College contracted KIP’s Laundry Services to wash and dry clean students’ clothing that were damaged by an unfortunate flooding situation.
“Because of the college’s quick acting, the students saved a lot of money and had clean clothes within 72 hours,” Portie said.
Portie credits Rosalie Carpenter, vice president of student affairs, with supporting them in starting and operating KIP’s Laundry Service. He said he wants KIP’s to set a precedent that by coordinating with administration it is possible for students to start an on-campus business and be successful.
Portie said the lingering idea of leaving a legacy at Spring Hill ultimately prompted him to pursue his plans for an on-campus laundry service. “I began to realize more and more that Spring Hill was such a great place that was offering me every opportunity to succeed,” he said. “I wanted to leave a lasting and positive mark on the College for future classes to partake in and ultimately enjoy.”
Going into its second year of operation, KIP’s Laundry Service will be available to students this fall. Visit their website at www.kipslaundry.com to learn more about KIP’s laundry plans and services.