Sophomore Starts Car Detailing Business


Gavin Sands shares his detailing business with Jaime Cao during last spring's gallery exhibition.

Gibson Ek sophomore and motorhead Gavin Sands has found the perfect way to couple his enthusiasm for cars with school, and he’s even making money for it.

Gavin has always been a car enthusiast, but he began teaching himself auto detailing through – believe it or not – YouTube, his seventh grade year. Once he became familiar with the craft, he started doing work for neighbors and friends. When he began his freshman year at Gibson Ek, he decided to make a project of it.

After a lot of planning and hard work, Gavin had put together his own auto-detailing business. Evolving from some basic spreadsheets tracking his work and prices to a full website clients can visit to view the services he offers, putting together a business was more complicated than he had originally anticipated.

He said that he didn’t really take into account how much money he’d have to spend before he would actually make any.

“I didn’t really think about how much the items I was going to use were going to cost,” he said.

Shortly, Gavin had a pretty good thing running. He explains that advertisement of his business really spread through “word of mouth,” and he didn’t really have to do much of his own because his clients spread such positive word of his detailing skills. By spring of 2018, he spent almost all his free time detailing.

“Every weekend I had, like, 3,4,5 cars to clean,” he said, and most of his spring and summer had been filled with detailing appointments.

Though it may seem like a lot of work, Gavin makes it clear that detailing doesn’t feel like a chore to him.

“I always like doing it,” he said. “I’m good at it… It’s fun.”