Name: Rechelle Balanzat
Business: Juliette, a mobile app for laundry service in NYC
Industry: High Tech
Location: New York, New York, U.S.
Reason for starting: I started Juliette with the goal of making it easier for New Yorkers to coordinate the pickup and delivery of their laundry. I realized that the space was missing a tech solution and good old customer service. The quality was also very poor. So I started Juliette – a mobile app that does your laundry. But we are more than a tech company. The mobile app is only one aspect of it. We strive to please our customers from end to end. The mobile app is sleek, efficient and easy to use. But it doesn’t stop there. I also have my own laundromat where I personally oversee Quality Checks. We pride ourselves in removing stains and properly caring for clothes – whether it says hand wash or hang dry – we do it all!
How do you define success? Success is a state of mind. Like many other things, it’s an illusion. I’ve always considered myself very successful, even when I was facing hardships. I guess you can say I’m a believer in the old adage that the reward is in the journey. But I think having the confidence and faith in yourself to start your own business or project, regardless of the outcome – is already a success. The first step to success is believing in yourself. If you have that, then you will always be successful.
Biggest Success: I have been blessed with many successful stories. When I launched my first company in 2010, a social media agency, my first client was Stonehenge, a luxury NYC real estate developer with a portfolio of $2.2 Billion. I was 25 years old. At 26, I wrote the social media strategy for Romio, an NYC tech startup and grew their online community across 30 US cities to over 1.2 million people. But my biggest success is yet to come. I feel that with the launch of Juliette I have a real opportunity to change the laundry industry via the use of technology.
I’ve just launched my pilot on Sept. 21. With a tight budget I was able to convert 22% of my sample audience. 90% of them became a customer, and 60% became a repeat customer. All this happened in less than a month. I plan on raising funds in the next few months so I can craft my biggest success story to date.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? A big challenge that I have is funding. Although my pilot has been successful thus far. I still have costs with each passing day. My solution for addressing this (besides carefully monitoring all of my expenditures) is making sure I build a kick ass company that is fundable.
My upbringing and history affect my attitude towards business, and thus has a trickle down effect to many business decisions. For example, I was born to teenage parents in a part of the Philippines that was very difficult to leave. My early years were filled with struggle and hardship. I remember watching my mother work 3 jobs so she could provide for me. I also remember going to school hungry and being hungry all day. We just didn’t have any food. My upbringing infused so much passion and determination in me to succeed. I never want to be in that situation again.
Who is your most important role model? Steve Jobs
Edited by The Story Exchange