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Shantae Holmes, owner of All Washed Up, has always known that she has wanted her own business. The action steps to become an entrepreneur became a reality after Shantae learned about her mother’s plan to relocate to another state. At that time, her mother suggested to Shantae that it was time for her to pursue her dreams. Her mother sold her long-time home and gave Shantae her very first financial investment to pursue her business idea.

Before the journey started, Shantae realized that her credit score and payment history needed to demonstrate her responsible and capable nature. She needed to increase her credit score in order to provide the leverage needed to get started with her business idea. Shantae enrolled in the Lutheran Social Service financial literacy classes (LSS) and was accepted into the Individual Investment Account program (IDA), which allowed her to continue to work on her credit and save money over time with matching dollars from the government. Once Shantae completed the program, she accumulated more money to add to her business idea and made some significant improvements on her credit, but it didn’t stop there.

Shantae sought out mentors to help with her business idea so that she could enhance her understanding about how business works. One of Shantae’s mentors, Darryl of North End Hardware store, spent a lot of time working with Shantae on her business ideas and helped to encourage her to enter into the Laundromat business. Darryl, a longtime business owner in the area, saw the Laundromat as a great asset to the neighborhood and offered his resources to Shantae in order to help her to begin the groundwork to open a Laundromat. From there, Shantae connected with a distributor based in Minnesota, which was connected with national Laundromat associations, to learn as many facets as possible about the laundry industry in order to operate efficiently. She also attended local business meetings with business owners within the area, met with public officials to talk about her business plans and pursued Wellington Management to negotiate her space and lease rates. Shantae laid the groundwork to gain a solid understanding of what she was getting into and what she would need to do in order to manage her business. Shantae was serious and committed to her own dreams and not afraid to pursue them.

After completing the LLS classes, Shantae learned about the Neighborhood Development (NDC) Business Plan Classes, sponsored by The Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON), in North Minneapolis. Shantae was ready to take things to the next level by completing her business plan, so she enrolled and was accepted into the class. Shante found the class to be very helpful at helping her understand how to structure her business plan and coordinate all her previous knowledge and apply it to her actual business. N.E.O.N.’s Executive Director, Grover Jones, worked side-by-side with Shantae as her trainer within the class and met with her several times outside of the classroom to assist her with specifics on her business plan, attend business meetings and whatever else was needed to help move things along. Once the class was completed, Shantae continued to work hard on her business plan. After that, she was ready to seek out potential lenders for her business but needed help refining the financial projections of her business plan. NEON used its network partner Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD) to provide Shantae with assistance on her projections. Together with Kris Maritz of MCCD and Grover Jones, Shantae worked long and hard on fine-tuning her financial projections to fit the today’s market. Once completed, MCCD and NEON pursued the negotiation process with local bank lenders, only to be turned down by four banks despite the fact that Shantae had a credit score close to700 and more than $28,000 of her own money ready to be invested in the business.

N.E.ON and M.C.C.D. decided to take the nontraditional, nonprofit lending route. Both organizations used their networks to pull lending sources together from five areas in order to make Shantae’s $300,000 financing work. Grover and Kris worked with Shantae every step of the way and advocated for each level of funding until the last deal was signed. The partners who helped finance All Washed Up include NDC, MCCD, City of Minneapolis CPED, MEDA and, last but not least, the Wellington Company (known as Penn Lowry Crossing), which played a major role in sealing the deal for All Washed Up. The Wellington Company currently owns the property that All Washed up is located at, as well as the surrounding property. Wellington is a private investor that made a major investment in All Washed Up by customizing the space specifically for the Laundromat. After months of back and forth with Shantae about the usage and space, Wellington agreed to take out a loan on behalf of Shantae’s business build-out. From beginning to end, the entire process of launching her business, learning about entrepreneurship and the industry, working on her personal credit and assets, planning her business, working on the business build-out and financing her business took approximately three years to complete. It was no easy task, but it was a task that Shantae committed herself to every step of the way with grace, confidence and support. Every financing she received came with a process and challenge, but this dynamic team of three refused to give up on Shantae’s dreams of entrepreneurship. This is a perfect example of how entrepreneurs, non-profits, government, private investors and the community can work hand-in-hand to support and build community businesses.

Today, we at All Washed Up are pleased to tell you about how much pride we put into our services in order to stand out from the rest. We are located in a spacious, 3,128-square-foot building with four different size washers, including washers and 22 dryers. We offer drop-off seamstress and dry-cleaning, as well as free Wi-Fi to make the most out of our customers’ time. Our goal is to provide a safe, nurturing environment for our customers. We are a zero-tolerance business because be value the experience that our customers receive when washing at the Laundromat.

We are the only Laundromat located in the NW area of the city, and our goal is to make concrete connections with the residents of North Minneapolis. A lot of effort was put forth in trying to decide what our community was missing, which is why we decided to open a Laundromat. We are committed to satisfying our customers by providing them with great services to meet the needs of many. As a privately owned business, we are striving to accommodate single parent, as well as the working family. In addition, we are (kept “we” to keep consistent with the paragraph format) eager to give North Minneapolis a safe, clean, state-of-the-art facility to take care of all your laundry needs. Thank you for having an interest in All Washed Up Laundry Services: we look forward to serving you.

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All Washed Up, 3008 Penn Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN, 55411, Phone: 612-354-7505