Saturday morning, after the party has ended, the drinks have been emptied and the hangovers have begun, Brian Hill and a couple of his friends arrive at the house of a local band and immediately hand them a bag of Torchy’s breakfast tacos. As the bandmates continue to look on in amazement at their breakfast fortune, Hill’s crew takes out its cleaning supplies to clear up the broken coffee table and beer bottles scattered on the floor and dirty dishes lying on the counter.
Less than an hour later, they head out and leave behind the three band members chowing down on the tacos in the living room, taking with them the remnants of last night’s revelry and a paycheck.
Hill, a 2008 UT graduate, started the service company Aftermath Party Cleanup & Food Delivery this past winter, inspired when a friend mentioned Hangover Helpers, a similar business in Boulder, Colorado. Starting at $30 and about $10 a room after that, plus the cost of food, Hill will bring food and other necessities for a client and clean up a house as the malaise of the day after a party sets in.
“I wish I could’ve come up with the idea on my own, but I think it’s awesome and something Austin needed,” Hill said. “I throw a lot of parties for my friends, and I think about all those times I was sitting there just wishing I wasn’t in a house that was so messy. It just feels gross after a while.”
Aftermath is a branch of Hill’s growing party business that he started on a whim with Premier Party Cruises two years ago. While working in Houston as a design engineer at an oil services company in March 2009, he came up with the idea to build a barge on a friend’s lakefront house in Houston for parties.
Hill spent the ensuing time brainstorming, designing and talking about the idea endlessly. He went so far as to create a Facebook event for an Independence Day party for his future barge even after he lost the space to build the barge when his friend was evicted from the lakefront.
“Building it became a pride thing, like, ‘If I back out now, I’ll never hear the end of it, so I can either just call it quits and regret it or take out some loans and build it,’” Hill said.
Three months and $90,000 in loans later, Hill had just enough time to throw the party in July on his newly built 20-feet-by-50-feet barge on Lake Travis. In March of last year, he held his first party for a client, and, two months later, Hill quit his job and moved back to Austin to focus on the endeavor full time.
Although an impulsive move — leaving the comfortable pastures of a nine-to-five job for the unknown world of entrepreneurship, Hill cites the book, “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss, which details how to become an entrepreneur, as helping him go full-force into his business.
When the barge business was on hiatus last winter, Hill and his roommate Phil Doubek, who also financially supported the party barge, decided to expand the business and started Aftermath. In a matter of weeks, they had a website, advertisement and cleaning supplies ready to go. Although there was initial interest, including the cleaning at the local band’s house, Aftermath struggled to maintain consistent business during its first few weeks. However, they have since cleaned 30 places since January.
However, if there’s one thing he cannot be motivated to do, it’s to clean up his own house.
“Now that I’m providing this service, it’s just not the same,” Hill said. "I’m not getting paid to clean up my house — so I don’t.”