September 8, 2011
That’s it—you’re down to your very last pair of underwear, and you become overwhelmed with feelings of dread because either a) you’ll have to go commando for the rest of the week or b) you’ll actually have to do laundry, even though you have no time.
Luckily for Hamilton students, the Hill is adopting a new program that follows the example of other schools such as Colgate and Davidson: laundry services. Launching this fall, HillFresh, a new student-run laundry business, will provide laundry and dry cleaning services to the Hamilton College community. They will offer two pickup and drop off options each week for students living in both on- and off-campus housing.
Jeremy Young ’12, president and CEO of HillFresh, explained his reasoning behind starting this new business. “I don’t especially enjoy doing laundry, and a lot of Hamilton students can relate,” he said. “As a freshman, I was surprised to find that Hamilton did not have a laundry service after hearing about such services from my friends attending rival liberal arts colleges...HillFresh was designed to penetrate that untapped market at Hamilton.”
The other co-founders of HillFresh, Geoff Ayers ’11 (Chief Financial Officer), Faton Begolli ’13 (Chief Operating Officer), Matt Nudell ’11 (Chief Marketing Officer) and Jack Dunn ’12 (Vice President of Public Relations), also expressed their excitement for Hamilton’s first student laundry service. Dunn remarked, “What we are doing with HillFresh has never been done in Hamilton’s history—this is part of what makes working on HillFresh so exciting! We are treading completely new ground with our student-established and student-run company.”
Throughout the entire process of creating HillFresh, there were definite obstacles and challenges, some involving the administration. Since there isn’t a precedent for starting a student-run, for-profit business that serves the Hamilton community, Young had to sign a series of contracts to make sure he did not violate any rules, regulations or laws in creating HillFresh.
One of the many reasons the administration was hesitant to give consent for HillFresh was due to a company that started last year on the Hill called Belltower Books. This business allowed students to sell and purchase books; however, some of these textbooks were stolen. Therefore, the administration was very cautious of the exploitation of Hamilton students. After purchasing sufficient insurance and supplying the business office with sample contracts to employ student laborers, HillFresh was given full authorization in the form of a contract that permits HillFresh Holdings, Inc. to operate on campus, signed by Karen Leach, Vice President of Administration and Finance.
While Young and the rest of his colleagues used their own funds to create HillFresh, Hamilton’s Entrepreneur Club, or E Club, procured the environment for this newly developed and flourishing company. E Club is a forum for student entrepreneurs to discuss business ideas. The club’s mission is to promote student entrepreneurship on the Hill. During the fall of 2010, Young brought his idea to E Club and received feedback on how to execute the business. The following semester, Ayers, Begolli, Nudell and Dunn, all members of the E Club, joined and collaborated with Young to co-found HillFresh. Recently, Morgan Markman ’14 has joined HillFresh as Vice President of Marketing. Once HillFresh reaches its goals financially, it intends to donate to the E Club to support future student entrepreneurs.
This group of students hopes to inspire other students to affect the campus through creative new projects. “It’s been a unique and amazing experience in establishing HillFresh,” Dunn said. “We feel that we have a great story in the birth and growth of HillFresh that needs to be told. [HillFresh is] a great way to inspire the campus, new students and professors with the energy and enthusiasm we’ve felt and gained from this process.” For more information about HillFresh, you can go to www.hillfreshlaundry.com.