Today we’d like to introduce you to Ayad Mirjan.
Hi Ayad, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I started in the corporate world, working for companies in different industries–banking, infrastructure, and international development. As a professional working long hours, I found it hard to strike a work-life balance. It came to a point where I was outsourcing almost all of my house chores, but not laundry. A simple task that took a huge toll. Washing, drying, and worst of all, folding! My clean laundry would sit in a pile on my bedroom chair and I would pick out what I needed as the week wore on. I thought if I dreaded it this much, there had to be others that felt the same way. I started to observe my sisters and everyone around me that were all successful professionals–they had an even harder time juggling this task than I did! It was at that time that I quit my job and embarked on a business journey that led me to the idea of OrangeBag®. A laundry and dry-cleaning, pickup & delivery service designed to handle the mundane so you can focus on the meaningful. And I never looked back.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has been a learning curve through and through. When we first started OrangeBag, pickup and delivery services weren’t as prominent or ubiquitous as they are today. Services such as grocery delivery, dog walking on demand, laundry delivery, car wash on demand, etc., were still new and people weren’t used to using them. So it was an uphill battle from day one to try and promote the service to working parents, students, and professionals who value their free time yet are stuck doing things the traditional way. A second big challenge was to get people comfortable with the idea of giving their dirty laundry to someone else to wash. Laundry is intimate, as you know. In my case, my mother was the last person to do my laundry until I started doing it myself. And I do it myself to this day; well not since I started OrangeBag. But, since the age of seventeen, it had been all me. With that in mind, I correctly assumed that most adults have had a similar experience, so establishing trust with our clients early on was very important for our growth and success.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
OrangeBag is an eco-friendly, Los Angeles-based laundry and dry cleaning delivery service. It is the alternative to the typical laundry experience; which often includes wasted time, messy folding, and maybe even a pile of clean clothes that never make it to the closet. At OrangeBag, our small team is guided by a set of core values that we hold dear. We came up with our core values together as a team and at least once a year we review them to make sure we are living up to them. Every staff member can bring forth a motion to add, edit, or remove any of our values. Our values are: Honesty: If we find it, we give it back. High integrity. Consistency of Offering: Follow procedures. Same way, every time. Commitment to Service: Thoughtful, empathetic, kind.
We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
I have started five businesses over the course of my life. Only two out of the five succeeded. However, I managed to control the failures and come out on the other side unscathed, so to speak. Those failures certainly prepared me for my later successes where I invested more of my own capital and took an even greater risk. I wouldn’t call myself a natural risk-taker, but belief in my own business success grew over the years. The first big risk I took was when I resigned from my corporate job, moved to Brazil, and started researching real estate investment market options. After three months of research and virtual conversations, I decided to go all in on Kansas City, Missouri. I’d never been to the Midwest of the United States, but all the signs pointed to it being a strong RE market to invest in. I flew back home to Southern California, bought a used Mini-Cooper (it had always been a dream of mine to own one), and drove the 1,600 mile journey to Kansas City. I gave myself one month to secure two single-family home investments. It ended up taking two months, but I returned to California as a first-time landlord with two properties under my name. I ended up selling the properties several years later and used the capital for a second business venture. By no means was that KC investment monetarily profitable. However, it was the stepping stone that gave me the self-belief and the confidence to take bigger risks.
- Laundry By the Bag: $34.99 per bag
- Monthly Laundry Subscription: $59 per month
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.orangebag.co
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/orangebag/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/orangebaglaundry
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/realorangebag?lang=en
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCakZA1v-lVRmhN3q7OvedKw/videos
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/orangebag-los-angeles