What started as a way for a single mom to earn extra money is now turning into the start of a possible chain.
Sharon Brinks was what she calls "a single mom realtor" looking for passive income when she purchased the Super Sudz Laundromat four years ago. The business has been in El Dorado since 1961.
Now, she's married and this week is celebrating the grand opening of her first Laundry Station in Wichita in a 4,800-square-feet building near the southwest corner of Kellogg and Oliver.
Brinks, who also is an agent with Keller Williams Hometown Partners, says she chose the Station name because the first potential laundromat site she considered here was in a former service station. She says she decided she didn't want to convert a building. Instead, she's built one from the ground up.
"It is a gorgeous building," Brinks says.
She says there are white porcelain tile floors, a zero-entry entrance with automatic doors to make it easy for people carrying laundry baskets and possibly holding their children's hands. Brinks says she "wanted to make it as convenient as possible."
Customers can do their own wash or use a drop-off service.
Among the many Speed Queen washers and dryers the Laundry Station has, there are five washers with a 100-pound capacity and three dryers with a 75-pound capacity.
There is free WiFi and iPads and books for children.
Brinks says there are a variety of ways customers can pay, including from home with a Speed Queen app.
"It is really cool stuff."
Franchising is an eventual possibility, says Brinks, who could open a second site by next year.
"We have been looking at other locations," she says. "We've got to get this one going and in the black first."