How Christian Sanya turned her side hustle into a thriving laundromat business

Abu Mubarik April 24, 2023
After three years of doing other people’s laundry on demand, Christian Sanya (right) and her husband opened a laundromat of their own. Photo credit: CNBC Made It

Christian Sanya is the founder and owner of The Laundry Room in PG County, Maryland; a business she started by turning her passion into a full-time job.

Her typical afternoon includes spending hours tucking in shirt sleeves, lining up pant steams, and ensuring every fold is flat, and unwrinkled, according to CNBC Made It. She eventually landed a side gig doing on-demand laundry with a company called SudShare, and in less than one year, made up to $24,000 in monthly revenue.

Prior to that, she worked as a laboratory technologist while her husband launched a laundromat in Lanham, Maryland, called the Laundry Room. The profitable firm has four employees and brings in about $24,000 in revenue per month.

In 2019, Sanya discovered her daughter was diagnosed with autism, and later lost her job. With no options on the table, she started searching for gigs that would give her room to pay attention to her daughter.

She started her new journey on Instacart, later joined SudShare after a customer suggested the platform to her, and continued to explore the platform on a part-time basis after returning to the hospital as a full-time staff in March 2020 – at the height of the pandemic.

Despite her busy schedule at the hospital, she still managed to fulfill 12 hours of laundry requests per day, and whenever she was not available, her husband and Laundry Room employees filled in the gap.

“You have to sacrifice a lot to know that where you’re going, the endpoint, is going to pay off,” Sanya told CNBC Made It. “I’ve given up family time, I’ve given up my date nights.  I’ve given up a lot for SudShare at this point.”

Sanya also shared that she and her husband tried to buy a laundromat eight years ago. When the business came back on the market, they had enough saved up to purchase it – for about $200,000.

The couple followed it up with the launch of The Laundry Room in September 2022, after spending an additional $10,000 redoing the floors and freshening its paint. Now, the 40-machine business is run day-to-day by four employees.

Unlike the past when she spent almost 12 hours working, today, Sanya does two to three hours of work in the Laundry Room.

“I refuse to accept that you can’t have good service in our community,” she says. “I’m ready to change that and that’s what I’m doing, one laundromat at a time.”

Her dream is to turn The Laundry Room into a known laundry brand by opening more locations. Currently, she and her husband are working on a second location.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 24, 2023


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