The idea for Tumble LLC came to then-Miami University seniors Jeffrey Caldwell II and Charles Wheeler III one night in 2019 after Wheeler had a particularly busy night at work.
“He had a lot of stuff to do once he got home … and one of the things he had to do was laundry, but Charles really didn’t want to do it,” Caldwell said. “I had a load in myself (while) watching an NBA game, and he said to me, ‘You know what Jeffrey? It would be amazing if there was a business out there that picked up your dirty laundry or dry cleaning, took it to the laundromat or dry cleaning, handled it, and then brought it back to your home freshly folded and ready to go or ready to be hung.’ ”
Caldwell said the idea sounded like a winning one, and the two men researched what the industry looked like nationally and locally, then created a business plan. With more time than ever on their hands during the start of the pandemic in 2020, the two created Tumble by December as a mobile, on-demand laundry concept and took their first order in February 2021.
Partnering with three Dayton businesses — The Laundromat, the Magic Hamper Laundromat and A+ Cleaners — they avoided overhead expenses for renting or owning a brick-and-mortar location and the cost of purchasing and maintaining equipment.
Caldwell, 25, a public health major, and Wheeler, 24, a kinesiology major, both work full-time day jobs and handle their Tumble responsibilities in the hours that follow.
Tumble customers can choose from a gamut of services and can opt for customization via different kinds of detergent, fabric softener or bleach. Clothes can be not only cleaned and folded, but also pressed or hang dried. Dry cleaning can be picked up on a one-time or a weekly basis.
The business recently launched a Drip & Dry Club, a subscription-based service to all of Tumble’s services, including reduced turnaround time, a 10% dry cleaning discount, free delivery for courier services and a per-pound discount for laundering clothing. The more laundry a customer sends in, the more they save, Wheeler said.
It also launched a “Tumble Go” mobile app on both the App Store and the Google Play.