The work wardrobe looks different for many in the middle of the pandemic, and the dry cleaning industry has taken a big hit because of the change.
Most of the reasons to dress up were cancelled in 2020. Neighborhood shops like Rey’s Cleaners have seen about a 70% drop in sales.
“Our customer base is very active. They have family lives and active social lives, so we’ve seen a big change there,” said Viviana Suarez, owner of Rey’s Cleaners.
“Most of us are gonna be bankrupt in the next 7-12 months if they don’t do something,” said Gregg Morosini, owner of Personal Touch Dry Cleaners.
Gregg Morosini started an online petition asking Florida senators for more PPP loan help.
Many in the industry have had to reduce store hours and reinvent themselves, but a new online app may be the extra unexpected stream of revenue many businesses are hoping for.
“Anything helps, every little bit helps,” Suarez said.
Jelly Places is an app developed by Coral Gables resident Rudford Hamon. Pre-COVID, Hamon worked remotely and felt there weren’t many affordable and accessible spaces to work or have a meeting.
“I said to myself, why can't any space be available or accessible? If I wanna work outside at the park can I do that, what if I wanna work at the museum or a dry-cleaners?” said Hamon.
Jelly Places links people with businesses that have available spaces. Options on the platform include everything from museums to furniture showrooms.
“Businesses can determine what type of experience they would like to offer people. Whether it’s by the hour, by the day, the entire space.”
At Rey’s Cleaners, a desk area is available, as well as a private fitting room that can be transformed into a quiet meeting space. The owner says the app is also beneficial to meet more people in the community.
“It’s not your typical shared office type of space environment,” said Hamon.
Jelly Places is now in the pilot phase, but the app will go live in November.