Ex-Verulam pupil making a success out of car valeting business

David Herodotou started up his own car washing business.

David Herodotou started up his own car washing business after leaving Verulam School. - Credit: Submitted

A 17-year-old boy from St Albans is making serious money valeting people's cars after having a difficult time at school. 

At the beginning of lockdown David Herodotou was eager to turn his life around and start his own business: "I never liked school. I was extremely badly behaved.

"I never listened and always messed around.

David Herodotou set up his own company DD Detailing.

David Herodotou set up his own company DD Detailing. - Credit: DD Detailing

"My mum had a serious medical condition which was very challenging for the whole family and unfortunately, it was making me into a more rebellious person.

"I was on the verge of getting permanently excluded from Verulam School when I came up with a very basic idea of washing cars, so I walked up and down roads near my house for hours and hours knocking on doors asking people if I could wash their cars for £10."

He carried on washing cars alongside his schoolwork and found his social media following was growing exponentially thanks to his positive reviews. He started valeting cars rather than just washing them and charging up to £300 per car. 

"I was big on social media with around 100,000 followers and around 15,000 on Instagram, reaching a point where people in the valeting and detailing industry were intrigued by my huge following.

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"As a result, I created a social media consultation service where I’d help businesses grow their social channels in order to get more exposure and income through brand deals and TikTok payments. 

"I charged £100 for a one-hour call. This money was ridiculous for someone my age. These were grown men and women paying me for advice, I was very humbled by it. I always kept my age a secret, as I knew if people knew my age, they might be put off. I always knew my age meant nothing and I could do or teach whatever I wanted no matter how old I am.

"The results I was getting from the trainees was incredible. My most successful trainee made over £2,000 in one month just from TikTok and brand deals. At this point I had trained around 50 people and the more results I was getting, the more I was posting it on Instagram and more and more people wanted in.

"I then left school. I had a strong self-belief and knew it was going to be worth it."

David now has 250,000 followers on TikTok and almost 40,000 followers on Instagram. 

He has voluntarily helped train other schoolboys who wanted to make some extra money in their spare time: "I want other young people to know that just because you’re not academic, doesn’t mean you can’t succeed in life. 

"In only two years, my life has completely changed for the better."