A 19-year-old entrepreneur runs a luxury motor cleaning service, charging up to £4,000 (around $5,300) per treatment.
Alex Chapman began washing cars in his parents’ driveway at the age of 13 with a bucket, some shampoo and a sponge, charging £6(around $8) a wash.
He founded the business of AWC Car Detailing in 2015 and it offers machine polishing and ceramic coating treatments for luxury cars such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce and Porsche.
AWC’s most expensive treatment – a paint protection film service – costs from £3,950(around $5200) depending on the vehicle and it means the entire car is covered in film to protect it against light scratches.
Alex, who comes from Southend in Essex, said: “I’m proud of my achievements over the years.
“I hope that I can be an example and inspire other young people who want to start their own business.
“It’s important to have role models. Mine was one of the industry-leading car care companies and now we’re competing with them for contracts.”
Alex is the youngest car detailer in the world authorized by car detailing specialist Carpro, and last year he was the finalist of the Essex Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Alex said: “I’ve got one employee at the moment and I’m looking to hire another this year. The cars are coming in from all over the UK.”
I sold sweets too. I used to keep a notebook on everything I had spent and sold.”
The teen’s family is very supportive and the beginning of his journey was easy.
“It’s extremely difficult to start up a business from a young age because people don’t take you seriously,” he said.
“I remember going to my first ever job at a customer’s house when I was 15 years old.
“I got to the bloke’s house and he said to my dad, ‘I thought you would have had a van’.
“My dad said, ‘It’s not me doing the job, it’s my son’, and the man said I was too young, so we left.”
When his business grew, Alex rented a unit and started offering the polishing service while he was still at school, working during weekends.
He said: “I made videos of the car washing trying to promote it.
“There were teachers who would play the videos at school and some people laughed.”
“I’m not a massive academic person. I don’t believe in just doing that when you could focus on other things.
“You’re the only person who can make the best decisions about your life.
“I tried to drop my A-level Economics and my teacher lost it. I hated the subject.
“I went into the exam and I spent most of the time writing a business plan on the back of the paper.
“I know people who smashed it out of the park at A-level and now they’re just sitting at home doing nothing.”
Alex is now hoping to mentor and offer support to other young entrepreneurs.
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