Conway High School senior and owner of SteamWorks Raymond White is looking to change the game of cleaning dress clothes.
White founded SteamWorks as an alternative to dry cleaning while working with Vacation Tour and Travel in Conway early in his senior year.
"With Vacation Tour and Travel, I had to wear dress clothes every day," he said. "I was spoiling myself on some higher-end, quality clothes, and then I got a steamer to remove wrinkles. I started noticing it was really refreshing and it was really cleaning my clothes, so I tweaked the process a little bit.
"I did a little research and found that steam can really clean your clothes. I created a process myself and I was cleaning my clothes that way for some time."
White said he got behind on cleaning his clothes after purchasing a steamer, and was driving home from work one night and wished for a place that cleaned and took care of clothes the way he did.
"That was on a Tuesday, and I quit my job on a Friday so I could start working on my business," he said. "I have been working this job for about six months, and I’ve had revenue for about three months. I’m on my second month of profitability."
White found that steaming clothes was a healthier process for the clothes than dry cleaning.
"Dry cleaning is basically a big washing machine that uses chemicals because clothes that are wool and dry clean only can’t handle water well," he said. "That chemical actually wears down and destroys fibers of your clothes over time. With steam, it opens up the fibers of your clothes over time. By us not destroying the fibers, it will make your clothes last a lot longer."
White, who was the youngest promoted sale manager at Vacation Tour and Travel, said he doesn’t have plans of attending college right now because of the success he has seen with his business, despite being accepted to the University of Indiana at Bloomington.
White said SteamWorks does business with churches for choir robes and is a linen service for different companies and restaurants. The main focus is dress clothes.
White said SteamWorks provides complementary home pick-up and delivery in Conway.
"Anyone can visit our website and schedule their first drop off," he said. "We provide the laundry and suit bag free of charge. Then, we come to your house, pick up your clothes and clean them. After we are finished, we text and email your invoice and offer to schedule your drop off."
Prices range from $9.99 to $18.99.
Because White is a senior, he wants to wait until May 10 to officially launch his business, where he will have a launch party at Conway’s Perfect Place.
White said Conductor, an entrepreneurship network in Conway, sponsors the event.
Blue Sail Coffee will donate coffee, while Barista for Hire will serve the coffee and WonderBus Food Truck will do the catering.
"One of the unique things we are doing at the launch party is letting people come in and create their own stains," he said. "Whoever can create the impossible stain we can’t remove, they will get 10 items cleaned for free."
The launch party will be 4-9 p.m. May 10 at Conway’s Perfect Place.
For more information on Steamworks, visit www.steamgarmentcare.com.