As an NFL receiver, Joe Jurevicius did the dirty work, running routes across the middle, making tough, third-down catches. So it makes sense that the former Cleveland Browns wideout and Lake Catholic High School grad skipped the post-pro-football route of coaching or car sales and went into the laundry business. He opened his first Spins laundromat on Lorain Avenue in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood in 2013 and followed it with two more. To build on his growing dynasty, he's brought WashClub to Cleveland. The smartphone app, which started in New York, is like Uber for your underwear. Users order home pickup for laundry and dry-cleaning, and contractors such as Jurevicius will clean it and drop it back off. "Some people hate laundry," Jurevicius says. "Why not be the guy that can take that off their plate?" We caught up with Jurevicius to get his spin on laundry, how he defines success and more.
On convenience: Uber is one of the things that's been so neat the last few years. In my business, somebody can look in their laundry room and know at the push of a button they can go on to something else and leave it to us. That's how I see my business growing.
On farming: I have a working farm in Leon, Iowa, directly south of Des Moines. I farm it all myself. [Former Browns tight end] Steve Heiden had a farm down there and invited me out there one day. I fell in love with that part of the country. I bought a farm not too far from his. It's become my sanctuary.
On the Browns: There are so many distractions here. Obviously, the Johnny Manziel saga seems to never end. It's an odd relationship in the front office. It's never conducive to winning when you're constantly having to answer questions about the front office or players are being distractions to the team. Jimmy Haslam will get this right. But as long as we have distractions, the Cleveland Browns will never be any good.
On research: I would get in my car and drive to every single laundromat in Cleveland, Toledo, Columbus, Erie, Pennsylvania, and upstate New York. You bring in old towels — the same towels that had been cleaned 20 times. I sit there and hang out and watch the flow of things. What was on the walls? What was on the windows? Did I like that, did I not like that? It was no different than studying a plan to play the Pittsburgh Steelers. You watch and watch and take notes.
On entrepreneurship: My least favorite word is entrepreneur. I came from blue-collar beginnings in Cleveland. I came from a family of warehousemen. I have no aspirations of being Bill Gates. I have aspirations of being a guy who can buy a pickup [truck] every five years and knock around my farm. That's my definition of [being] successful.
On challenges: Learning never stops. I went out and studied, and I started something. If I can do something with this, it would mean more to me than anything I accomplished in football because it was so far out of my genre of comfort. Never be afraid to take that challenge.