Last month during the coronavirus crisis, two new businesses were launched by young Daniel Island entrepreneurs. Daniel Island Mobile Car Wash and CHS Customs found opportunity amid the pandemic.
Daniel Island Mobile Car Wash is run by the four Dennis brothers who grew up and live on Daniel Island. Alex, 20; Thad, 18; Charlie, 15; and Mattie, 12, are all avid soccer players. They combined forces after the pandemic sidelined school and soccer to earn money and help out the community.
Alex came up with the idea to bring a mobile car cleaning service to the island while waiting in a long line at the local drive-through car wash.
“I came home, created a Facebook page and went and bought a $100 worth of materials. I asked my brothers if they wanted to join and that was that,” explained Alex.
Daniel Island Mobile Car Wash already has a loyal following and rave reviews. Customer Gabe Jolly was impressed with their work ethic. “These boys were obviously raised properly. Very respectful, on time, and did a fantastic job. I will 100% use them again,” he said.
Theresa Dennis is incredibly proud of her sons. “With the recent tragedy of their father passing, this business shows his spirit is alive in their hearts, their work ethic, and their ability to create new relationships. They strive to live their best life each day as that is all we really have … I fully support their dreams as there are many other things they could choose to do with their time besides serving others and creating a business for our community that we love,” she said.
The boys’ father, Charles Dennis, 49, passed away in October 2018 after a fatal car accident.
Daniel Island resident Cathy Leeke appreciates the brothers’ camaraderie and the convenience of having her car cleaned in the comfort of her own driveway. “I was very happy with their work. I was especially happy to see them work as a team, letting the younger guys ask questions and learn.”
The brothers are enjoying running a business together.
“Working with your brothers is fun. It is a very competitive workplace because all of us want to prove that we did a better job than the other person. The only hard part is understanding that when someone is critical of your work, you have to remember to take it professionally and not personally,” said Alex.
Philip Simmons High School freshman Wilson Brookes started CHS Customs when the coronavirus shut down school and socializing. The original idea to redesign people’s plain shoes came to Wilson right before the school closures.
“I was sitting in my art class one day at school and just thought about the idea of painting custom shoes,” he said. “I didn’t officially start my business until I completed two pairs of shoes, which was in April after school was canceled. I had more time to paint during the quarantine, so I figured it would be a good time to start my business.”
His mother, Catherine Brookes, knew her son’s business was the perfect creative outlet during the stay-at-home order. And she’s not surprised her son is able to balance schoolwork, basketball training, and running his shoe business.
“Wilson has always been creative and artistic and continues to take art classes in high school. And once he sets his mind on something, it is hard to stop him,” she said.
After seeing a CHS Customs creation, Daniel Island resident Amy Jimenez knew she wanted to upgrade her sneakers with one of Wilson’s original designs.
“I always love supporting young entrepreneurs because they are thinking outside the box, looking for ways to be creative and make money at the same time! My shoes turned out amazing and people are floored when they find out a high school freshman made them,” she said.
Depending on the design, the cost ranges between $50 and $100. Customers can place orders by direct messaging Wilson via his Instagram account @_chs_customs_
or email at email@example.com