Cleaning up: Two entrepreneurs profit from students’ dirty laundry
February 5, 2020
When DJ and Bobby Boykin took over Student Valet in 2013, they had no idea how much they would impact the student population at the University.
“We saw and heard the student population stressing and struggling over the laundry situations they were in, and we decided to take over Student Valet in hopes to ease that stress so they could have more time to do other things,” said DJ Boykin.
Student Valet is a local laundry and dry cleaning service specifically catered to students at the University.
They are “geared to the busy schedule and limited budget of today’s college student,” according to the business’s website.
DJ and Bobby, who also own Concord Custom Cleaners in Champaign, hope to ease the stress of the student population without hurting their pockets.
“It’s important for students or anyone to have time to spend with their friends, their family (and to) study,” Boykin said. “The free time that they do have should not be spent on worrying about their clothes.”
Since then, business has been steady. Every semester, more and more students have begun to utilize their services.
Eva Galper, a sophomore in Media at the University, knows a thing or two about how hard it can be to do your laundry.
“I have two washers and two dryers in a building next to mine that we have to share with all the people living in my building and the next building over,” Galper said.
These washers and dryers are often broken or in use.
“It makes it really difficult to do your laundry in a way that doesn’t take forever, and with one or more of them broken, it’s hard for a single washer and dryer to be equally shared between 12 units with 2 or more people in them,” Galper said.
Boykin hopes to continue to be a consistent part of students’ lives and to impact even more.
“One of the great things about us is consistency, not having to stress over getting your laundry done. A lot of students that we service, whether they be in Greek life, their own apartments or dorms, have other things to be doing,” Boykin said.
Being a student, time is everything.
Jenna Glassman, a sophomore at the University, has just started her second semester living in an apartment on campus.
“Days are only so long. Whether you are in a dorm or an apartment, you probably have homework you could be doing or if you want to hang out with your friends. You shouldn’t have to worry about the quality and safety of your laundry over that,” Glassman said.
The laundry situations for students aren’t always easy.
“I know I have heard from customers and people who live in apartments that the washers and dryers that just don’t work or are always in use, so I think that Student Valet could be a really great alternative to having to wait hours or days to wash your clothes,” Glassman said.
Most apartments on campus that do include a washer and dryer are often in another building or are half the size of a normal unit.
Glassman’s situation is one that a lot of students experience.
“I’m in an apartment now and am fortunate enough to have a laundry unit in my own apartment. You would think that it would be easy and convenient, but my washer and dryer are half the size of the normal ones, so it almost becomes more of a hassle to do laundry,” Glassman said.
For Boykin, it is of the utmost importance to give the students a stress-free, cost-effective alternative to wasting their time doing laundry.
“We strive to give the best service and to treat your items with the utmost care, returned in a timely manner the next day,” Boykin said.
Many students often cannot find the time or spend the money to go to a laundromat; if they do have a unit, it’s not always available to use.
“Just not having to worry about where I am going to have to lug my laundry to and how I’m going to get there would be a really nice option,” Galper said.