The days of doctors making house calls may be a thing of the past, but not so with entrepreneurially minded auto detailer Michael Hosking. Auto Pride Car Wash on Woodside Road customers might recognize Hosking as that energetic quality inspector who would wave his towel, announce finished, freshly laundered autos and chat with customers with a distinctive New Zealand accent.
More recently he’s that guy seen rolling down the street pushing a uniquely decorated cart containing the tools of his mobile auto detailing trade. The rig is so novel that Hoskins felt compelled to place a sign at the top reading, “I don’t live on the street.”
Born in Timaru, New Zealand, Hosking came to the United States in 2013 on holiday and to woo a lady with whom he had developed a long-distance relationship. The relationship didn’t last but his love for the U.S. did.
Hosking’s entry into self-employment was inspired by necessity. Like many businesses, Auto Pride was required to shut down for over a year because of Covid-related restrictions. Not a good situation for a habitually hard-working immigrant seeking to make his daily bread. “I had in mind to start my own detailing business, but Covid pushed the schedule up,” he says.
So, being equally creative, he struck out on his own and began detailing cars on location. Having already established something of a fan base, Hosking, with $50 in his pocket, bought the requisite cleaning supplies and reached out via the internet. Calling himself “The Kiwi from the Car Wash” was all the advertising he needed to get the ball rolling.
Using waterless techniques, this drought-conscious small business owner offers different levels of service: full inside/outside detailing or either separately. The only obstacle Hosking has faced is transportation to and from job locations. Ironically, he doesn’t own a car.
Walking the Walk
Thus he is a man who embraces walking. No worries for this fit scrubber. Facing distances of one, two and up to five miles, Hosking pushes his cart to residences in Redwood City, San Carlos, and Menlo Park without blinking an eye. For customers in Emerald Hills, Portola Valley, Woodside and as far away as Half Moon Bay, he invests in an Uber ride. No distance is too great. To view his lit-up cart rolling down Woodside Road at night after a hard day of detailing is like watching Santa’s sleigh at the Hometown Holidays parade.
“The cart is a bit funky but it’s a good marketing tool and kids love it,” he says. “In the end I have people wanting a photo with me and my cart. Plus, it gets great mileage.”
For more info: www.thekiwifromthecarwash.com