It seems quite fitting that the “Women in Laundry” series, which kicked off in March 2018 for Women’s History Month, now concludes with an interview from the woman who first initiated it – Laundrylux’s Digital Marketing Specialist, Monique Thompson.
While the initial plan was to highlight women in the industry just for the month of March, Monique and her co-workers thought “Why stop there?” and decided to present interviews from businesswomen, be it Laundromat owners, sales people, or distribution owners, for the entire year.
“I wanted to bring awareness,” said Monique. “I wanted to show all women that being a business owner wasn’t just something that guys could aspire to be. Working in laundry for almost four years, I found that while it’s male dominated, there are women out there. I just didn’t always hear from them. Showcasing these women who do it on their own or even with their husbands acting as the ‘silent’ partner so to speak, struck me as something important. I wanted to make sure those women were visible.”
Her entry into the laundry business
Monique came to the laundry business quite unexpectedly. In 2013, she graduated college with a degree in English Literature and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. “I took an internship for a marketing agency,” shared Monique. “It was my first time living on my own and learning what I liked doing. It was there that I fell in love with social media, marketing, and event planning.
She moved back to New York after the internship ended and began working for a sports league. In 2015, the human resources manager at Laundrylux, the exclusive distributor of Electrolux professional equipment for North America, found Monique online and reached out.
“Until that moment, it never occurred to me that the laundry industry was a possible career path in marketing,” chuckled Monique. “I interviewed for a marketing coordinator position and here I am now, almost four years later with a promotion.”
Since taking over Laundrylux’s social media, Monique shares that the company has seen a steady growth in engagement, especially on Instagram. Little wonder with all the beautiful shots of their clients’ pristine Laundromats and row upon row of attractive Electrolux professional washers and dryers.
“Instagram, Facebook, Twitter… those are big wins for me,” Monique revealed. “But aside from numbers and growth, I’m extremely proud of the reach of the Women in Laundry project.”
An overwhelmingly supportive response
The response on social media has been overwhelmingly supportive with woman reaching out to Laundrylux about wanting to open their own Laundromats. What’s more, the articles were picked up by trade magazine giants Planet Laundry and American Coin-Op.
“In fact, it was the male editors of those magazines reaching out to us to get those interviews,” said Monique. “The general response from male colleagues in the office has been extremely positive and the businesswomen featured in the series have expressed a sense of pride for their involvement.”
As for Monique, she is very proud of her part – by giving a platform to the successful women in her industry. “I got to know so many empowering women and their stories. I’m lucky enough to have a job that lets me combine my feminist passion with the work I do. I’m very thankful and honored.”
Insights and next steps from Monique Thompson
Women in Laundry. Each woman highlighted showed me how to be confident in business and own it. I especially love this quote from Vivian Trout, top saleswoman at Uniwasher – “A woman’s place is anywhere she wants to be.” I want that printed and hung in my office.
And from Lauren Schultz, Vice President of Midwest Laundries – “Being confident and knowledgeable goes a long way in challenging someone’s assumptions.” These women – all the women we interviewed – I think are so inspiring and I’m proud to have gotten their stories out there.
Continued inspiration. Though the series is ending, my hope is that it continues to be a source of motivation and inspiration to women. I’d also love to hear from more laundry businesswomen expressing interest in being interviewed. Women in Laundry is a specific series, but we’ve always highlighted laundromat owners, so we’re going to continue that, men and women alike.
Career advice. As a kid, when people asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I remember I never knew the answer, I just knew that I wanted to do something creative. Whether it was a dancer, writer or artist, something creative – and I think I ended up doing that. I write copy, I create images, I create campaigns and get to be creative in all those aspects. It might not be how I imagined it when I was a kid, yet nonetheless I ended up in a creative career that I’m passionate about. What I would tell 10-year old me? “Relax kid, you’ll figure it out.”
What’s next. Developing more digital marketing opportunities for Laundrylux and our clients. We’re working on downloadable content for our current and potential customers. I’m also brainstorming ideas for the next big series for the blog. In June, we have the Clean Show. It’s a big event for us and I’m excited to be involved with the planning.