Local Business Spotlight: LaBelle Detailers
This month we are speaking with Blake LaBelle, owner of LaBelle Detailers. As the youngest entrepreneur we have interviewed to date, this local car detailing business shows us how hard work and a willingness to learn new skill sets can take us further than ever thought before.
Phil: How did you come to start a business while still in high school?
Blake: Well, it really started with me wanting to buy a computer at age 13. This was a few years ago and when Covid happened I found myself with a lot of extra time. I was thinking of different business ideas I could do and I just happened to offer to wash my mom's car for Valentine's Day. Even though it's really labor-intensive, afterward I thought, "I can handle this". At the time doing a fun, socially-distanced activity around soap was a real plus as well! So I passed out flyers around my neighborhood and to friends and family. I got some calls and that's how I started.
Phil: Washing cars and detailing are different though right?
Blake: Yes! One of those calls I received was from a neighbor that showed really nice cars as a hobby, and he offered to teach me all the tips and tricks of car detailing. He taught me which high-quality products to use and methods like working in a top-down order. I spent two to three weeks researching and practicing. The interior is the biggest difference.
Phil: When I looked into the cost of car detailing it was really expensive, like between $200-$500. What do you charge?
Blake: I'm only charging $100 for cars and $125 for SUVs and trucks. If I need to travel to wash the vehicle at someone's house then I charge another $25. I know it's a low price but my expenses are low. I'm really just raising money for my passions. After a few months I was able to buy the computer I wanted, then for a while I was raising money to go to the Scouts National Jamboree, now I'm starting other businesses that will make it easy for other teens to start their own businesses. It's called TeensStarter.com.
Phil: Any message you would like to tell the community?
Blake: Just that I'm happy to get your car in tip-top shape! It's really fun and satisfying to give someone their car back transformed. Also, I want to thank my parents who have been an amazing support and have done things like my Mom helping me with my Teens Starter website, seeding me a small amount to start my business so I could buy needed equipment, and helping with organizing my schedule as I balance school. It takes me 3.5 - 4 hours to detail a car and one time I had two cars to do in one day...in windy 35-degree weather! My Dad jumped in and helped me get it done in time. They're the best!
To set a car detailing appointment with Blake please call or text him at 503-477-3151