October 6, 2021 By Carol Britton Meyer
Young Hingham entrepreneur George Mattison's car detailing business has been growing by leaps and bounds as the word continues to get around town that he not only offers top-notch service, but also donates part of the proceeds to benefit various organizations that are fighting cancer.
George recently added to the "George's Car Washing" website he created himself the "Cleaning for Cancer" tag line in memory of his former neighbor, Maddie McCoy -- who passed on in 2019 at the age of 11 -- and his grandmother Karel Mattison, who passed on recently. Both succumbed to cancer.
Part of the proceeds have been and will continue to benefit Maddie’s Promise, a non-profit volunteer organization funding pediatric cancer research.
"I went to pre-school with Maddie, and she lived in our neighborhood. She was always kind, happy, and thoughtful of others, " George told the Hingham Anchor, "and it's a really good cause."
Proceeds in memory of his grandmother will be donated to a different cancer-fighting organization each month.
George, 13, started his business in May 2020 during the pandemic as a fun summer job but enjoyed it so much that he decided to "grow it," continuing to provide interior detailing, a deep-cleaning exterior wash, and a tire shine service at his clients' homes for their convenience. Since then, he has served dozens of customers.
"My goal is to do a professional job and to make the experience affordable and convenient," George said.
He has learned a number of lessons along the way -- not only how to run a business but also the value of saving money. "It's tempting to spend it, but you're usually better off saving it," he said. "When I was little, I would spend all my birthday money immediately on Amazon, and a week later I would want something else. That's when my mom advised me to start saving my money."
Much of his business is repeat clients and by word of mouth, involving vehicle owners who appreciate George's professionalism and his desire to make their sedans, SUVs, or trucks look like new again after initially reaching out on Facebook when he first started the business.
"I try not to do school buses," he quipped.
George usually works solo, unless there are more than two detailing jobs lined up. Then he asks a friend to help.
The interior detailing involves cleaning the glass, dashboard, and door panels, vacuuming, and cleaning the seats and floor mats. George pays close attention to every detail, all to rave reviews. He brings his own cleaning equipment -- all the client needs to provide is a hose spout and an electrical outlet.
His favorite part of the job is vacuuming and seeing the resulting "big change" in the vehicle's appearance. He sometimes takes before and after photos.
Looking back, after enjoying cleaning his parents' cars in the past, the thought occurred to him to perhaps start a business. Encouragement from his grandfather -- who watched him detailing his mother's car on one occasion and offered George some tips -- helped inspire him to start his own business.
"I also watched tutorials and did a lot of research," George, a student at Fusion Academy in Hingham, recalled.
A client recently wrote this about the service he provides: "George does an awesome job. I can't say enough about how impressed I was with his professionalism, quality of work, and my all-around experience with him. Will be using him again soon. My truck has never looked so good."
George hopes to continue his business until he can get his license a few years down the road and drive himself to clients' houses. "There's always someone in need of these services," he said.
His mother, Allison, said she and his father are proud of George for coming up with the idea himself. "We kind of challenged him to develop a business plan and helped him figure out how many supplies to buy and what it would cost to run the business at a profit," she said. "It's been a great experience for him to learn these lessons early on."
After donating to worthy causes, George puts the rest of the proceeds aside to likely either save or invest.
In his spare time, he enjoys mountain biking.
For more details or to make an appointment, visit https://www.georgescarwashing.com/. The service will continue into the fall and possibly beyond, weather-permitting. George is already booked well into October.