Memories can be triggered by a variety of sensory experiences: the taste of a family recipe, the feel of a well-worn sweater or the look of a nicely set dinner table.
Smell is the reminder of happy childhood memories for Annette Howard, who remembers her mother hanging freshly laundered sheets to dry outside and then ironing them before making up the family beds.
“I remember the sheets on our beds always smelled so good,” Howard said. “Those are good memories for me. Those are the things I enjoy, the smell of fresh linen.”
A five-year Olalla resident, Howard, 51, is the owner of Annette’s Laundry Service, a laundry service company offering an affordable option to those who can’t — or would rather not — wash their own clothes.
The idea for the business developed after Howard was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and needed a work-at-home position.
I remember the sheets on our beds always smelled so good. Those are good memories for me. Those are the things I enjoy, the smell of fresh linen.
Annette Howard, owner of Annette’s Laundry Service
She discovered an advertisement from a disabled military veteran asking for house cleaning services and took the position, soon discovering that her client was unable to do his own laundry.
“I am that (type) of person that I wanted to be their helper,” she explained.
The daughter of a small business owner, Howard is familiar with hard work and the entrepreneur spirit, and her business soon expanded to helping other people with disabilities and elderly clients. She now offers full laundry services to anyone interested in some laundry assistance and a little more free time, with her business gaining more clients since July.
Annette’s Laundry Service offers free pickup and dropoff — with some help from her husband, Ron — reaching clients from Silverdale to Joint-Base Lewis-McChord.
She offers wash, dry, ironing and folding services —even handwashing for delicates — for everything from baby clothes to comforters and will even drop off dry clean items at the dry cleaners since she doesn’t dry clean herself.
It’s very simple. I enjoy doing it. Everybody’s life is hectic, so I make it easier for everyone.
“Usually I have about a 48-hour turnaround,” Howard explained. “Our washing machine and dryer is the largest you can buy without going to a commercial size.”
With a special tagging system for each client’s laundry, Howard sanitizes her machines in between each customer and accommodates allergies and sensitivities for each client.
“Our house is basically allergen free,” she said. “No two clients are next to one another ... nobody’s laundry is ever together. Never.”
For standard household laundry, Howard charges $25 for every three loads of laundry and $8 per comforter, with stain removers and hand washing thrown in as needed.
“It’s very simple,” she said. “I enjoy doing it. Everybody’s life is hectic, so I make it easier for everyone.”
Annette’s Laundry Service
Howard can be reached at 253-534-5383 or Annettes.firstname.lastname@example.org.