14 Apr A Buoyant Team Runs a Fresh Service
By Olivia Zech
Amidst the packed days of work, play, and life—all on a tight schedule—it’s easy to forget about laundry. In reality, even when schedules are flexible, it’s still easy to do. Clothes sit wet and damp in the washer, forgotten to be rerouted to the dryer, and week-old mounds pile up on the floor to inexcusable heights. Even if nearby services do all the work for their customers and cater to such sloppy habits, people forget to pick up their clothes, the expense feels too pricy, or they find more important things to do, because let’s face it: laundry isn’t sexy. The annoying inconvenience of this age-old chore is what drove Christopher “CB” Blakesley and Robert Sanchez to create a convenient solution—one that will leave users feeling delightfully minty, too.
“We have a human approach behind Mint Locker,” Sanchez explains, regarding the fresh startup that has taken off quite rapidly. “We’re the people behind it. We were working all the time and kept asking ourselves, ‘How do we get our laundry done?’ We figured there had to be a better way.”
Mint Locker does every step of the way for you when it comes to dry cleaning and wash-and-fold laundry service. Secure lockers are placed in convenient locations—your apartment building, a nearby coworking space, or even your office—and all you have to do is bring your dirty clothes to one of the locations and plop them in any locker with a special code to keep your goods safe. When you’re all set, place your order through the Mint Locker app, via online or text, and pick it up when the team notifies you of your finished clean load. Not to mention, the load will always be pressed, folded, and smelling fresh—without you having to lift a finger. Mint Locker also offers home delivery, shoe shine and repair services.
Blakesley has been an avid Downtowner even before recent openings of popular destinations like Gold Spike and Commonwealth. The friends and cofounders of Mint Locker started hanging out in the neighborhood, and continue to share a common passion for the people of Downtown, which ignites the spirit of their business everyday. “The beautiful thing is we like people. We all like hanging out and building organic relationships.” So, the uniqueness of Mint Locker isn’t just in the simple joy of getting your laundry completely taken care of, but in the human touch coupled with the ease of an online app.
In wanting to align their passion for people and offering a strong product, the strategy of Mint Locker aims to “mix technology with common sense.” Yet, beyond this simple yet highly effective service, “it all boils down to family,” Blakesley emphasizes. “It’s about relationships. We’re super passionate about innovation and changing the game. Laundry is a common need people have, and we’re just trying to do it better.”
A personal catalyst driving the business was Blakesley’s involvement in a 2009 helicopter crash on the top of Mt. Charleston. Today, recovered and still infectiously optimistic, his near death experience fuels the company’s tight-knit mentality and investment in one another. “Because of CB’s event we all went through together, we approach every day with this kind of passion we’re talking about,” Sanchez says. “We have deep engrained gratitude and perspective. So, we wanted to do something that’s fun. It’s more than just work. We love Downtown.”
Although the service is all about laundry, the experience extends far beyond clean clothes. Although only recently launched in January, Mint Locker is already known to go above and beyond with their brand experience, such as leaving different versions of love notes to the community like cupcakes in local offices where their lockers are located and hosting social events like Mutts and Mojitos. When asked why they make the extra effort in a 24/7 startup schedule, Blakesely responds, “People don’t just like dry cleaning. They like puppies, too. And cupcakes. It’s the personal touch to all of this.”