Inspiration strikes anywhere. For IHateIroning Founder, Matthew Connelly inspiration struck while he was on a run in South London. Matt was fed up paying too much for dry cleaning and on top of that dealing with the logistics of picking his shirts up and getting them back to his apartment. He founded on-demand dry cleaning service, IHateIroning, to make the process easier, and drive more business to local dry cleaning shops.
We spoke to Matthew to talk about how London based IHateIroning got started, and where the company is headed.
What inspired you to found IHateIroning?
Yes, I hated ironing and so used to pay for my shirts to be washed and pressed. I used my local dry cleaners who were right on the main Clapham High Street. I was out running one night and noticed a sign in the window of a dry cleaners only 10 minutes away in Brixton offering the shirt service for about 60% of the cost. I straight away thought there could be a business opportunity if I could connect this dry cleaner with people like myself less than 10 minutes away. By the time I finished the run I had a rough idea of a business plan in my head.
How did you get the idea for SMS reminders to dry cleaners?
After testing the idea in Beta for a while with basic technology it became apparent that sms would be a good way to communicate with our partner dry cleaners and to send reminders to our customers. Jonny our CTO was convinced that Twilio was ideal for this solution and that we may be able to do more with Twilio in the future
How have users and Dry Cleaners responded to the service?
Customers love it, we try quite hard to get feedback and it is really positive. Our main aim is to take all of the hassle out of using a dry cleaners such as poor cleaning, having to go the shop, communication issues, payment issues, opening time issues and customers seem to really appreciate this focus. We get quite a lot of unsolicited emails from customers, just dropping us a line to say how happy they are. This is really satisfying.
Our dry cleaners are really happy as well, we can give them a significant additional income without any upfront investment from them. Some of them have had websites or spent money on other marketing campaigns in the past that haven’t generated any business from them so they really like IHateIroning.com.
Twilio really helps keep them happy because we schedule reminder SMS to our customers an hour before delivery telling them to let us know by reply if they are not home. Before we did this we often had customers forgetting about the delivery (either working late or going out after work) and this was pretty frustrating for the dry cleaners who do the deliveries.
What’s next for IHateIroning.com?
About 80% of new customers turn into regulars now (most of the other 20% are visitors in town or have a broken washing machine) so with the scalable technology we have built using Twilio we are ready to go for growth. next big step is to raise funding to help facilitate this growth and we are hoping to have this tied up before Christmas.
Learn more about IHateIroning by visiting their website here.