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Merewether pair hopes to lighten the load with ‘Laundrily’

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When James Barratt and wife Teri Waite took over the reins of the family-owned laundromat in Merewether last year, they wanted to make it “sexier”.

Barratt’s Laundry had been in James’ family for more than 40 years.

The coin-operated laundromat on Llewelyn Street had seen little change since 1979, and James and Teri were keen to put their own stamp on it.

Locked down and home-schooling their three young children, the pair worked tirelessly on a business idea that would bring the most tedious of household tasks into the next decade.

“We wanted to keep the business going but it is hard to make laundry sexy,” Teri says.

Such was the creation of Laundrily – an app that allows its user to have their dirty laundry collected, washed, dried, folded and returned within 24 hours.

Branded in orange and donning a classic white clothes hanger logo, Laundrily, the duo claim, is “like Uber for your washing”.

“With everyone so time-poor these days a service like this has been lacking in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie for some time. Especially now that we’re out of lockdown, who has time or wants to be spending it washing their clothes?” James said.

Within a fortnight of its launch, James says the app had already attracted interest from a wide range of customers.

“We thought this would be more appealing to a young person,” he said.

“But it’s actually being snapped up by people of all ages. From the busy mums to the 86-year-old grandmothers.”

“That’s right,” adds Teri.

“A young girl bought a basket-load for her grandmother who refers to us as the ‘laundry fairies’.

“Some people meet you at the door, and there’s some I’ve never met.

“We’ve done washing for a lady undergoing chemotherapy who wasn’t able to be around people, and that’s the thing, this can be completely contactless.

“You order online, you add your credit card details, you leave your dirty washing out and we’ll return it on your front porch the next day, it’s about convenience.”

The innovative pair have also introduced gift cards that can be purchased on the Laundrily app.

“I mean, what a great gift for a new mum,” Teri said.

“Even with all of the best innovations in washing machines and dryers, and soaps that whiten whites and brighten brights, the problem still exists – there is always more laundry.”

Using the industrial-size washers and dryers at Barratt’s Laundry, James and Teri are able to collect, wash, dry and return everyday items, curtains, doonas, and sleeping bags to Newcastle and Lake Macquarie residents within 24 hours.

Their dream is to expand that radius to include Maitland and the Hunter Valley in the not too distant future.

“The whole purpose is for Laundrily to save our customers time so they can do the things they enjoy and cross the arduous task of ‘doing the washing’ off the list,” Teri said.

“We see Laundrily as a great way to make life a bit easier for our customers and we’re getting a really great response so far.”

Laundrily is available at both the App Store and Google Play. 

A standard 6kg basket (weighed when dried) is $30 including pick up, wash, dry, fold and delivery. 

Newcastle Weekly readers are invited to use the discount code WELCOME20 to take advantage of an introductory 20% off.

For further info please visit www.laundrily.com

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