A Northwest sophomore found a way to make extra cash by creating her own car detailing business.
Mariah Rost started Attention to Detail at the beginning of this school year.
Rost said she works around her class schedule and the client’s schedule to find time to work on each car. She works completely out of her garage with her own equipment and chemicals.
Rost has detailed cars since her sophomore year of high school. She worked for a car dealership in Kearney, Nebraska where she learned how to clean cars properly.
“I really tried to cut down on the dealership prices. All I have to cover is the cost of the chemicals and then the cost of my time that I put into it,” Rost said. “I tried to keep (prices) reasonable for college students and people in the community.”
Rost offers five different packages that include a variety of services in each. The prices of the packages range from $50 to $225.
There are not a lot of detailing businesses that Maryville citizens can utilize. Management professor Ben Blackford said that finding a need for a business is a ideal start.
“Making sure that everything is legal is a huge start (to building a business). (Rost) has already identified a great area of need which is also a great place to start,” Blackford said. “Making sure (a business) meets a need or solves a gap in the market is huge before they start the business.”
Rost found the detailing gap in the market and pursued it.
“Besides Tri-State Ford dealership, I don’t really know of anywhere else (in Maryville) who offers the services that I do,” Rost said.
Blackford said there are a few legal aspects that people should know before starting their own business.
“Make sure that you’re getting into a business that is going to be successful or that you enjoy enough that if it only breaks even, you’re okay with it,” Blackford said. “Once they decide to start, they need to make sure that everything is handled appropriately from a legal standpoint because they don’t want a great opportunity to turn into an issue later on.”
Freshman Max Kuhn is one of the students who have gone to Rost for her detailing service.
“Mariah (Rost) did an exceptional job cleaning my truck. She did it in a timely matter and was very meticulous and professional,” Kuhn said. “My truck was already filthy from farm work and when she was done it looked brand new.”
Rost’s manager at the car dealership enjoyed owning his own business before working at the dealership which inspired Rost.
“(Rost’s manager) really encouraged me to start something on my own. He thought I would be good at it, so I went for it,” Rost said. “He kind of acted as a mentor for me.”
Rost is still deciding if she wants to continue the business after college.