Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing a few excerpts from the book and bringing you with us down memory lane as we retell fun throwback stories from before marriage, early marriage and even one of our first fixers. Today Chip shares the story of his Baylor Wash ‘n Fold!
The Story of: The Baylor Wash ‘n Fold
“It’s funny. Here I was at this prestigious school playing baseball and studying business. But instead of daydreaming about the major leagues or running some Fortune 500 company, I found myself in class looking out the window at the guys mowing grass and wishing I could trade places with them.” – Chip Gaines, The Magnolia Story
I was always a bit of an entrepreneur, but I never had big dreams of moving to New York like Jojo did. I kept my dreams a little closer to home. One of my first businesses (that I don’t get to talk about in length in the book) was my wash ‘n fold business. Me and two of my buddies came up with the idea toward the end of our time at Baylor. We drew out a business plan on a napkin for this laundry service geared toward college kids.
Basically the idea was “‘Who hates laundry more than college kids?’ No one.” So we came up with the idea to be these kids’ “mom away from home” and do their laundry. It was kind of genius!
Not actual photos of the original wash ‘n fold
The way it worked was you paid an entry price of about $150, and that allotted you a certain number of pounds of laundry. We gave out these duffel bags, and you’d bring your dirty laundry in it and we’d weigh it, wash it and fold it for you! You’d come back to pick it up the next day.
Our location was close to Baylor’s campus—it was my very first commercial building! It was next to a pretty popular little restaurant and we had a fairly solid customer base! People loved the idea of not having to do their own laundry, and the three of us all took turns doing the washing, so it worked out pretty well with all of our school schedules.
Me and my buddies ran that little business for a few years until we all graduated and decided to move on. It was a little sad the day we closed the old wash ‘n fold down! But, me being the entrepreneur I am, I moved right along to my next venture—which you’ll hear all about in The Magnolia Story, which will be out this October!
Stick around for more fun stories from the book! In the meantime, go ahead and preorder your copy here!