Co-Founder, The Laundress; Founder & Designer, Rondel
Lindsey Boyd has changed a formerly hum-drum industry (laundry!) by launching a line of household products that were gentler on fine fabrics and allowed women and men to gently clean items they used to take to the dry cleaners. Through education and beautiful products, she’s changed the face of laundry in America. Today, she’s onto her second venture, launching an exciting sustainable jewelry line inspired by her own family heirlooms. She shares with us her journey in entrepreneurialism, her work schedule hacks, and the inspiration behind her new jewelry line, Rondel. We are so honored to feature her as our December Mujer.
How did you choose to study Fiber Science and Textiles? It sounds like such a specialized field, what drove you to explore that?
I always had an interest in fashion and science, so this was the perfect major for me to focus on in college. I was able to take design courses while continuing my passion for science through textiles.
What was step 1 of starting and launching The Laundress? What were the first things you did? How did you source suppliers?
My business partner and I wrote a business plan, in order to make sure we had everything thought out before we progressed our idea any further. Then we set out to do research – from shopping grocery store aisles all over the world to studying and learning the science of Detergency. We found a contract manufacturer at a Javits Center Trade Show, and that was a great start. We later were able to source other suppliers as we moved along in the business.
The hardest part about being an entrepreneur is…...
You have to continue to reset your normal – meaning resetting a balance for yourself. Your day never really looks the same, so you need to be flexible, agile and patient!
You had a day job for a while before starting this company. And now you’re doing it again, working two FT jobs (we’ll touch on that later in this interview!). Tell us a bit about how you manage to have a life at the same time!
I get most work done when my children are in school and in the early mornings, over the weekend, and after the kids are in bed. Weekends and bedtimes are big, because they give me a few hours to work.
You’ve made laundry sensory again, with amazing smells and beautiful products. For busy moms who are doing laundry every day, how can we add more joy into this often onerous task?
Products that work and are enjoyable to use! A good drying rack and a steamer are ways to make your time doing laundry more efficient.
Describe the cadence of a typical weekday; what do your mornings, afternoons, and evenings look like (pre and post-Covid)?
No day is ever the same for me. I make a list on Sunday evenings with my priorities for the week and by day.
• Wakeup at 6:00am to have some time to check my email. I also have my coffee, water and supplements first thing.
• Every Morning I bring the kids to school 7:50am
• Workout from 8:30-9:30am
• Breakfast and Shower (low maintenance getting ready)
• At my desk by 10am. A typical day typically includes checking emails, participating in interviews or podcasts and daily meetings with my team
• My evenings during the week are kids’ activities – from soccer to horseback riding
• Thursdays are date nights with my husband or we go out with friends
So much of your products are items you can use in lieu of household existing cleaners, but a lot of it relies on educating consumers on a different way of doing things. How did you get initial traction given that it involved changing consumer habits?
Education was always a priority. We wanted our clients to think differently about how they care for their clothing and items at home. Our clients initially understood the savings they would have if they didn’t have to dry clean and almost everyone shared a bad story about the dry cleaner ruining their shirt, dress, etc. When you have better solutions for people, they are open to change!
Tell us a bit about the venture you’re working on now (Rondel). What was the genesis?
I was inspired by my grandmother’s charm bracelet that I inherited from her. It included charms my grandfather had engraved for special anniversaries, as well as shapes that were representative of her. Combined, they told her story. I loved them so much but the charms on a bracelet were a bit clunky to wear, so I reimagined the bracelet as a necklace. I had so many people stop me to ask where I got my necklace. While I couldn’t give them a brand name or jeweler, I loved the connections I was able to make – sharing the memory of my grandmother and her journey with others. With research, I realized that there wasn’t a brand that really addressed the things I loved most about my necklace: storytelling, longevity, high quality and sustainability. So, Rondel came to be. Tangible storytelling on a chain.
Now that you’re working on another business (while, again, still having another FT job at Laundress!), what are some of the pitfalls you think you’ll avoid that you learned from last time around?
There are so many things that I learned over the last 16 years. I don’t think there is anything I regret necessarily as I learned from any mistakes that I made. I guess I will avoid making the same mistakes!
Rondel has a great mission around sustainability. How did you procure suppliers to make that happen?
You create a list of your priorities and the things that you want for your brand and then search for the suppliers that can make it happen. Honestly, finding the right partners takes the most time!
How are you launching for holiday season? Do you envision the brand being exclusively DTC?
The brand is going to be exclusively DTC. This is important, so that we can give the best customer experience through our “Build Your Own” and “Bespoke” services. It’s also very important to me that we build a Rondel community and connect with our clients directly.
Jewelry and laundry seem really disparate. Are both things that you envisioned yourself working with and for as a young girl/woman?
No, as a young girl I always dreamed of having my own company doing something that I love. Laundry was not one of them, but jewelry certainly was something I appreciated and enjoyed making at a young age. What little girl doesn’t love jewelry?
And while these two categories are completely different, they are not totally random to me. I do what I love and what I am passionate about. When I started The Laundress, I was at Chanel working in Ready to Wear corporate sales. This is where I found my true love and appreciation for design, craftsmanship, artisans and quality. Everything that I learned in textiles in college married perfectly for me when starting The Laundress – ultimately creating products that I needed in my own life to care for items that I wanted to last! The Laundress was more than just fabric care and home cleaning products; it was about taking care of the people, the things and the spaces you love.
The launch of Rondel is my journey coming full circle. I am entering back into the luxury space with a brand that can tell the story of the people, the things and the places you love. Just like The Laundress kept a tight focus on the longevity of personal items, clothing and surfaces, Rondel is dedicated to longevity in terms of offering jewelry that can stand the test of time and be passed down to future generations – a new heirloom.
Favorite spot to vacation (especially nowadays when we can’t travel as much!):
I love to travel, but no matter what city, country or continent I visit, Costa Careyes, Mexico, will always have a special place in my heart. It has become a travel tradition now. I got married there 11 years ago, and my family has been going ever since. We have loved sharing this place with family and friends over the years. Sadly, we will not be there over the holidays like normal, but we are grateful to be here in Miami with my family.
How do you unwind on weekends?
The beach, bike riding, running – anything outside.
What are you watching/reading/listening to these days?
We just finished Tehran! I love a good Netflix series. I always listen to NPR’s How I Built This with Guy Raz – I am always hooked on a podcast. I am reading Sara Blakely’s new book The Spanx Story. I am a huge fan and deeply admire the empire she built. I also am obsessed with Master Classes. We love watching these as a family.
Favorite childhood scent
Rose Water, but my first “big girl” fragrance was Tribu by Benetton (I can still smell it as I write this). I also loved Quelques Fleurs. This is a loaded question for a nose like mine! I have always loved scents.