Name: Sherwin Ang
Business: Auto Fresh Car Wash
Location: San Francisco, California, U.S.
Industry: Transportation & Auto
Reason for starting? When I had my baby, I reached a quarter-life crisis. I want to do something meaningful with my life that involves water conservation. I did some research and found that there was an opportunity in the car wash industry. I fell in love with the idea of using the appropriate amount of water (~ 1 pint or so) to clean each car, instead of 50 gallons of water. I ran and pursued the opportunity, initially by offering home service car washes. When I realize that most of my customers are busy parents, I changed all the solutions. I use biodegradable and non- toxic cleaning products. After a couple of months, I opened my shop in San Francisco.
How do you define success? Success is a moving target. There are lots of goals and milestones along the way. Once those are reached, little successes occur. The aggregation of all these little milestones is what I consider a success. Right now, I don’t think I am there yet. But if I could see myself now, from my place a year ago, I would think that I had made it.
Biggest success: My sales have been twice as much as the forecast and, as a result, I am able to take myself out of the day-to-day operations and start steering the ship on a more strategic level. My goal is to be the next generation car wash — hand washed with love and patience using a minimal amount of water. I strongly believe in conserving water for the future and doing what is right for the environment.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? Finding the right people that have the same goals, vision and drive as I do can be difficult. The transition from a freelance car washer to a business owner managing staff and partners is a skill that I learned the hard way.
Who is your most important role model? My mom. She is the strongest woman I know. She did not finish college, but had achieved and helped so many people. Whenever I do home service car washes, I listen to podcasts. Especially interviews and stories about people who made it, and their paths to get there. Brian Scudamore of 1800-JUNK is also on the top of my list.
Edited by The Story Exchange