Andrew Lucas is a self-proclaimed “numbers guy,” but he is so much more than that.
For decades he ascended the corporate ladder, most recently serving as the vice president of accounting for a multi-billion-dollar global finance company. Then, he became one of the first patients in Georgia to contract the COVID-19 virus.
On March 4, 2020, Andrew began experiencing symptoms. He was put on oxygen and remained debilitatingly sick for 42 days at home. After recovery, it was discovered the illness had damaged his lungs, heart and brain. He went from working over 100 hours a week and traveling often, to struggling to stay awake for six to eight hours a day.
“The fatigue, it overwhelmed me — the vestibular issues, the neurological issues,” he said. “It changed everything.” Between fighting with insurance and doctors not knowing what was going on, returning to normalcy felt impossible. He credits his wife Frances, his family and doctors for saving his life. But the changes to his physical health paled in comparison to the mental ones.
“The illness made me look inside myself and figure out how to best take care of my family,” Andrew said. He began researching an idea he had 15 years prior — to own a laundromat as passive income. “But as my wife says, I don’t do anything passively.”
In October 2020, they purchased a laundromat in Roswell, and the location “was a no-brainer.” Beyond the demographics, Andrew was attracted to the sense of community and the support for local businesses.
Tumble & Dry is not your mother’s laundromat. Between app-driven delivery, pickup, drop-off, and coin laundry, they are able to reach people at different life cycles — pun intended.
“Coming into the laundromat, our attendants greet everybody. We want everyone to feel warm, secure, included and safe. We ask about their kids, about their jobs.” Whether it's a coin or drop-off customer, Andrew finds joy in forming relationships with customers and making the chore of laundry feel more like a luxury.
Last year, while Andrew was knee-deep and hands-on in the laundry business, a customer named Sarah called with a question about delivery. Naturally, the conversation turned to family and there were several coincidences, including Sarah’s husband named Andrew and both having a son with autism — both named Drew. Between Andrew’s back-of-house and accounting skills, and Sarah’s sales and marketing skills, they decided to become business partners.
“We provide a service. We deliver laundry, but what we really provide is time,” Andrew said. “The pandemic changed the way we do things. You can be in a meeting in the middle of the afternoon and you can schedule your laundry, order groceries, and a ride to get you home.” Previously time-consuming tasks are now done with the push of a button.
“I am able to be there more often for Drew and Frances, and going forward, spending even more time with them is my goal,” which is a sentiment that reflects the underlying purpose of Tumble & Dry — giving individuals and families back their time.