Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

“We are all here because we know what it’s like to come from nothing” – Filoa McCarthy, businessman

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Neueli Mauafu | Reporter

Family owned laundry business brings a new spin to the laundromat scene

When it comes to doing the laundry, Esta McCarthy understands that it’s a task most people forget or avoid to do. 

“Nobody likes doing it. Everyone has that one chair in the house where they just load everything and wait till it’s the last minute to do the laundry,” he says.

This sparked an idea between Esta and his brother Filoa, who are now proud co-founders of Launder, a mobile laundry service that caters to all laundry needs.

With the slogan, “Wash, dry, fold and relax” the startup project has attracted a steady following on social media, as it operates from its main base in Panmure.

Inside the main headquarters however, you won’t find your regular working staff because at Launder, family is everything. With Esta and Filoa at the helm of the operation, the hard work is shared amongst their other siblings.

The cool thing about this is that I get to do it with my brothers and my family. Our family is our foundation and yeah, there’s nothing more than that,” Esta says.

Struggle made us close bro,” Filoa added

“We grew up with nothing, which is why we are all here because we know what it’s like to come from nothing. 

“You can’t just get your friend in here you got to have your own blood you know. We’ve been through some wars together, we’ve been hungry together we slept on kitchen floors.”

There’s no doubt family is everything for the McCarthy siblings. 

And there was no questioning their love for each other when the business idea was first pitched through by Filoa.

“This is all about building people,” Filoa says.

“Me doing this with my siblings, it took a lot of building. It started first when Esta built me up back then, telling me that I was going to be great and have confidence in me. 

“You don’t have to be the smartest person to start your own business, you just need to fall in love with building and helping people.”

But with the positives has also come the challenges, ones that were turned into lessons for the family as they overcame the obstacles in their own way and added their own touches.

“I think just changing the whole look and adding a uniform to the laundry place. And just finding fashion and laundry together which obviously brings in a younger audience and creative audience,” Filoa said

Hard work is nothing new in the McCarthy family. With parents being church ministers/faifeaus, both Esta and Filoa saw firsthand what it means to serve through their parents’ actions.

“I think the values that my parents, that I saw from my parents, was integrity, loyalty and just unreasonable hospitality,” Esta says.

“You know us as Polynesians, we go above and beyond. And I saw that with my parents. Whenever another family needed help, that was another family added into our house and as part of the family.”

So far, Launder is operating with commercial clients but hope to expand their outreach especially to the Pacific community. 

“We want to give people their time back when we do their laundry,” Esta says.

“Time to spend with your family, whether it’s like 40 bucks or 50 bucks, that shouldn’t be the value of your time. Once your time is gone, it’s gone”

And as always for Filoa, the main goal is to make their parents proud. 

“Toa Michael Mcarthy and Siutu Mcarthy, I love you guys, I promise that we will give you the life that you truly deserve.”

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