GUEST POST: Checking Off Your Spring To-Do List Just Got Easier
Written by Laurel Hess. Laurel is the Founder and CEO of hampr, an on-demand laundry service app based in Lafayette. A long-time marketing executive based in Acadiana, Laurel officially founded hampr in 2019, and has grown the business nationwide.
We all know the feeling this time of year – you finally have settled into your 2023 routines, you are likely relieved to be done visiting relatives who asked a million and one questions, and your suitcase is finally fully unpacked from winter travels, leaving a mountain of laundry in its wake. And now, you’re getting ready to pack back up for spring break.
The last thing you want to do in that moment is laundry.
In today’s era, you can get pretty much anything delivered, but one thing I couldn’t find a service for was laundry. And so, I decided to venture out and create the tool I was looking for.
To make this idea truly effective, I wanted the service to be as user friendly and as easy as possible. The solution? An app. What could be better than coordinating someone to do your laundry from the palm of your hand? That’s how I came up with hampr, an on-demand laundry service that lets users take laundry off their plates, while empowering local “washrs” to earn money on their own time.
Now that we’re in business, I can say confidently that without an app we wouldn’t be able to do business at all. In a dual sided operation, the app allows washrs and members to interact seamlessly. Leveraging a host of established digital tools, we were able to build out our idea into more than we had ever dreamed of while also providing more opportunities to work for families across our communities. For example, Firebase enables our push notifications, Places API allows us to geocode and autocomplete addresses, and Google Maps API and OR-Tools supports the mapping within our app and route optimization. And ultimately, of course, the existing mobile application marketplace ecosystem provided concrete pathways for our vision to become a reality.
As we’ve continued to refine our offerings, the back-end support from the developer community has been so beneficial. We’ve since evolved to add stronger analytics, user surveys, more seamless payment methods through Apple Play and Google Play, and we are always striving for the next great thing to make our app better and better. Of course, as we continue expanding, the accessibility and ease of downloading from the Google Play and App Store has made our growth even smoother as members can find our services through trusted and tested platforms.
hampr is already in 15 states and 65 major markets across the country, from our home base in Louisiana we now span coast to coast delivering an essential service to busy parents, students, caregivers, employees, and everyone in between.
And it isn’t just that now your laundry can get done – we’ve also created an important employment opportunity that can be a full-time job or a part-time gig for our washrs. There’s a new laundry ecosystem in town that’s helping all of us check the boxes on our to-do list that much quicker.
It’s been thrilling to watch our team and product grow from neighbors and friends being our only members to raising more than $7 million in fundraising. Now, we are advertising across advanced and varied digital platforms like Meta, Google search, and social media, building community in states across the country, hearing demand from new markets that hope we will bring our product there, and most importantly, helping people get their laundry done.
We are proud of our product for not only accomplishing its intended goal for our users but for also working to create employment opportunities to uplift our community. It’s a goal that I know we share with policymakers and regulators at all levels of government, and I trust that they will be mindful in future conversations about how the current mobile application marketplace has allowed companies like mine to create opportunities for our community while realizing our American dream.
I can’t wait to see what’s next for hampr, but at the end of the day, I think the whole team is just glad to be taking a little bit of stress away for our users.