John Meyers has come a long way as an entrepreneur since charging admission to a haunted house he crafted in a backyard shed as a kid.
Now, the Seton Hill University redshirt sophomore wrestler owns and operates a mobile car detailing business, Super Mobile Detail.
“I wanted to do something I love, something that’s fun,” said Meyers, 20, of Greensburg. “How can I provide a service that’s going to make people happy (and) put a smile on their face?”
Meyers said he worked on his mom’s car and his own car before deciding to make the process profitable. And as an entrepreneurship student at Seton Hill, he said the goal is to “become a business operator or have your own business going before you graduate.”
Lyzona Marshall, director of the Wukich Center for Entrepreneurial Opportunities at Seton Hill, said one of the “hallmarks” of the center is encouraging students to have an entrepreneurial mindset and spirit.
“It’s exciting to hear when someone is really making that dream into reality,” Marshall said. “He saw a need, and he met it. It’s just fantastic.”
Marshall said the center provides “wraparound support” for Seton Hill students, giving them access to relevant services and resources.
“He’s living what we’ve been teaching, and that’s the most exciting thing,” Marshall said.
Meyers’ mother, Melissa Stima, said even though she was “a little surprised” by the business idea at first, he’s “always been motivated” to start his own business.
Stima said Meyers has come up with business ideas and ventures similar to the haunted house since he was around 10 to 12 years old.
“He’s always looking for a new business,” Stima said. “It’s always been about making his own money.”
Meyers also has expressed that he doesn’t want to work for someone else, Stima said, so starting his own business was a good fit.
However, Stima said she thought it might be “a little risky” putting a lot of money into the business up front to get it up and running.
Meyers said he worked at a warehouse to make money to start the business, and it cost between $500 and $1,000 to launch it.
His first purchases for the business included a vacuum, buckets and rags, and as it expanded to become “more official,” he purchased a pressure washer, air compressor and his own water tank.
“It took a year to really understand how to operate this and get it going,” Meyers said, as he had to get designs and logos together, as well.
When he officially launched the business a few months ago, Meyers said “it took off right away.”
“I like to call it an overnight success,” Meyers said, “I’m very fortunate — my phone blew up with bookings, the word started spreading — it’s just been a chain from there.”
He’s gathered customers from “posting every day” on social media platforms and on a neighborhood app, Nextdoor, but he hasn’t run any paid ads.
Gloria Hosford of Greensburg said she found Meyers’ business through Nextdoor, and she decided to give him a call after reading “wonderful recommendations” about the quality of his work.
“We were very impressed with his work ethic and attention to detail,” Hosford said.
She said she was drawn to the mobile aspect because she prefers not to drop her car off for services.
“It’s just super convenient,” Hosford said. “We’ll recommend him to anyone.”
And this perk has been a factor for other customers as well.
“I don’t really have a business location. … I drive out to them,” Meyers said. “I detail their car at their house.”
He said car detailing is one of the businesses that hasn’t offered a mobile option, even amid many other services becoming mobile and virtual recently.
“I think there’s still room for a big name to come up,” Meyers said. “Every customer I’ve done, they’re surprised that this is even a thing, and they love it.”
And Meyers hasn’t had a shortage of customers.
His mother said he’s “busy from the time he wakes up until late at night,” bouncing around from school, his detailing business and wrestling.
“I hardly get to see him,” Stima said.
However, she said it seems like his customers appreciate the mobile aspect of the business because “it saves them time.”
“I think it’s a unique idea, I’m hoping it takes off for him,” Stima said. “He’s getting really booked up.”
Meyers confirmed that he’s “pretty much” booked every day, and he likes to keep bookings at two cars a day, and at the most, three, because he doesn’t want to rush any jobs.
“I don’t want the quality to suffer on the cars,” Meyers said. “Their money’s valuable to me, and I want them to be happy.”
Though it depends on the condition of the vehicle, he said the super package starts at $200, which is a full detail that would “basically make your car look like new again.”
He also offers a basic package for cars that “aren’t super dirty.”
The whole process itself is “more of a family-like experience,” Meyers said.
“I’m not here to just take your money and leave,” Meyers said. “I’m here to actually get to know you and … connect with people, meet new people.”
And he’s met many new people, as all of his customers have been strangers besides one friend.
Looking to the future, Meyers said he’s hoping to operate a van to his business out of the next few years, and then eventually, he wants to obtain a 24-hour car wash location, where people could receive services like ceramic coatings, polishing and correcting paint and bodywork or tinting.
Meyers said the business could expand in a few years to include an employee to help him out, but for now he said detailing gives him a “good workout.”
“It can be challenging, (but) once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy,” Meyers said. “Detailing is nothing compared to what I’ve done in wrestling.”
Megan Swift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .