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Coming clean

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After completing their degrees at Cal Poly, Nathan Miller and Ryan Bianchi were faced with a question not uncommon for local grads: how to how to find a job that can support a good lifestyle on the central coast.  Miller recalls, “We wanted to stay here, but were not sure how to.â€? Miller and Bianchi decided to take a risk. They hatched an idea for a business that everybody can appreciate--a full service Fluff &Fold like those on the east coast, but, as Miller points out, “with my own little twist,â€? with the result that he came to be known as “Mr. Cleanâ€?
 
“We hated doing laundry, so we figured everyone else did too.

MISTER CLEAN :  The future is bright and shiny for Nate Miller, owner of “Fresh Threads� full service launderia. - PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER GARDNER
  • PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER GARDNER
  • MISTER CLEAN : The future is bright and shiny for Nate Miller, owner of “Fresh Threadsâ€? full service launderia.
# You go to school or work everyday, and you get two days off to do something fun. Laundry eats up half a day!�
 
Fresh Threads offers the same quality for residential and commercial customers, with an emphasis on personal relationships with clients. The service itself includes pick-up and delivery from business or homes at no charge. From there, clothes and linens are washed, dried, folded and wrapped in butcher paper to keep them clean. “It costs us money to do it, says Miller, “but I’d rather everybody be happy. If you’ re paying for it, it should be done right.� Amazingly, the entire service costs only sixty cents per pound, with a minimum of $7.
 
With a handful of expanding commercial accounts, and 1,300 lbs a week in residential business, Miller will soon buy out Bianchi and continue expanding Fresh Threads on his own. “You’re not going to get rich off of one Laundry shop,� he concedes. But how does a person keep the doors open at sixty cents per pound, let alone get rich?�
 
Miller is proud of his environmentally-friendly business. “All of our machines are energy-star compliant. The Washers use only about twelve gallons of water and about five amps versus fifteen amps in a regular machine. The machines are super-efficient, so our overhead is low. � This fits in with Miller’s larger vision. “I want to branch out, keep them small so our overhead stays low, and we can keep it cheap.�
 
Cheap is a good thing when half of your residential accounts are Cal Poly students. Located just off Foothill, next to student favorites like Kona’s and Azhiaziam, Fresh Threads is convenient and accessible to students. Miller attributes much of his success to his customer base. “ We passed out some flyers in the beginning, but we rely mostly on word of mouth. We have incentives for our repeat customers and people we know. You get to know people, you know their names and how they like their laundry done. That’s important. My idea of business is that I recognize everybody that come through our door. It’s nice to hear people ask ‘How’s business,’ and know that it’s mine.â€? 
 
Fresh Threads is located at 973 Foothill, Suite 106, for pick-up, delivery, and general information call: 440-9235

Kylie Mendonca compiled this week’s Strokes & Plugs while wearing clean socks and under-wear. Contact her at Calendar@newtimesslo.com, or E-mail your business news to kvelie@newtimesslo.com.

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