RINZED LLC provides an innovative approach to laundry service. It works by having “washtub” laundry facilities throughout Hartford County that send out hub carriers to pick up, clean, and return customers’ laundry. MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price spoke with Co-Owner Rahjay Lugg to learn more about the business and how it supports the community.
NAN PRICE: Was it always intentional for you and your wife to be business owners?
RAHJAY LUGG: It was always in our mind that we wanted to own a business. We thought a lot about what type of business would be our first venture. And we didn’t know what exactly to do. My wife was the one who came up with the idea for RINZED and we both jumped on it and said, let’s do this!
Also, we both love the idea of growing a business and giving back—and you can’t give back without having something to give. It’s great to use our business as a tool to extend our reach.
NAN: Tell us more about your efforts to give back to the community.
RAHJAY: Giving back is very important to us because we come from Jamaica and neither of us have a wealthy background. So, we relate to people who aren’t from those backgrounds, and we want to give back to them.
RINZED has only been open for two years, so we haven’t had a lot of revenue to give back. We recently hosted our first give back event where we participated in a back-to-school drive in Hartford. It’s not much, but we plan to keep participating.
In the future, we plan to give back with used clothing we’ve gathered from customers across Hartford County. The more we get, the more we can give. That’s how it works.
NAN: What’s your connection with Hartford?
RAHJAY: RINZED services more than 10 towns in Hartford County. So far, we’ve partnered with three laundromats in Hartford and we’re looking to have that number grow by the end of the year. We just landed a contract with a big apartment building in downtown Hartford, which is huge because it gives us access to more customers.
In terms of Hartford, it’s amazing! It’s growing and changing. A lot is being done to revitalize the community by changing the roads and installing parking meters, which creates more revenue for the city, and promoting different environments for people to shop and enjoy the community.
Another example is the Hartford Yard Goats. A lot of people don’t realize how big that is but having a Minor League Baseball team in Hartford promotes more business into the city. So, being part of the business community in Hartford is great and being in Connecticut in general is a good place to be.
NAN: Why did you join the Hartford Chamber of Commerce? What’s the benefit?
RAHJAY: One of our goals is to meet and engage with more people. The Hartford Chamber of Commerce is connected to a lot of people, businesses, and organizations in the community. It has a following. We want to let that community and those followers know about RINZED, because we’re not just a company that provides laundry service. As I mentioned, giving back is big for us. So, we want to connect with a lot of people and the Hartford Chamber of Commerce definitely has a lot of connections.
NAN: What’s your biggest challenge as a business owner?
RAHJAY: The most challenging thing is owning a business in the middle of a recession. Many customers aren’t willing to spend because of the situation. But we understand we can get over that hurdle in time. And once customers learn more about RINZED, they’ll see that we’re a very affordable option to sticking around and doing laundry themselves.
NAN: Any advice for others who are starting a business?
RAHJAY: One of the best tips I always remind myself about is consistency, because there are times when it’s going to be tough, there are times when it’s going to seem like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. But if you can stay consistent and keep going, there’s always going to be a light at the end of the tunnel because every tunnel has an end.
NAN: What’s next?
RAHJAY: What we want to do for Hartford, and for Connecticut, is to help Connecticut become known for this online business, something comparable to Uber, DoorDash, or Instacart. Connecticut doesn’t really have a huge online platform that can say, this was created in Connecticut.
If RINZED can stay here and promote what we’re doing and promote that we’re from Connecticut, it’ll actually look better for Connecticut—and for us as well, being one of only laundry services out there that’s doing what we’re doing.
We love where we are. We see the potential and we see the future. A lot more can be done in Connecticut, and we want to be a part of that.