One Load at a Time: Chet Selis ’18

Chet Selis ’18 never imagined himself in the laundry trade. When he graduated from Puget Sound with a business degree, he was on the hunt for a position at an up-and-coming company, a job that would be “flexible, yet challenging.” That’s just what he found when he stumbled upon a job listing for Loopie, a Seattle-based peer-to-peer laundry service app that allows users to get their laundry picked up, washed, folded, dried, and returned within 24 hours. 

At the time, Loopie had exactly one employee: CEO John Vincent Lee. Selis and Lee launched the business together in July 2018, and the team has since grown to include 12 employees. Besides Selis, team members Jack Burns ’18, Ian White ’18, and Luke Murdock ’20 are Loggers; additionally, three students from Professor Lynnette Claire’s entrepreneurship course recently worked with Loopie as part of the class.

The company diverges from many popular gig-economy players, like Uber and Postmates, in that washers can make money from the comfort of their own homes, making it an ideal side hustle for stay-at-home parents and anyone else looking for convenient work. Loopie recently expanded from Seattle to Bellevue, and has its sights set on Portland next. 

The startup life can be unpredictable: As chief of staff, Selis might find himself paying bills, organizing meetings, raising money from investors, or even picking up and washing orders. In March, Loopie took a revenue hit from the coronavirus and the closure of many small businesses—including barbershops, spas, and fitness centers—that relied on Loopie for their laundry needs. However, since laundry is considered an “essential business,” the company is still open and taking orders. It’s also launched a delivery service called Shippie, which takes advantage of Loopie’s third-party delivery network to help people send supplies, gifts, and food to others across town, allowing users to stay at home and avoid potential exposure to the virus. 

 

By Julianne Bell ’13
Photo courtesy of Chet Selis ’18
Published May 25, 2020