Lots of entrepreneurs build businesses around their personal skill sets. The D'Eri family decided to build their company around a very specific type of talent and ability: those possessed by people on the Autism spectrum, including Andrew D'Eri, one of the family's two sons.
Tom D'Eri, Andrew's brother, explains how the family business came to be: "We saw the skill sets that we thought Andrew had, and then we did broader research around what people with Autism are typically good at."
Tom and his father John found two complementary piece of information in their research. First, that a large percentage of people on the Autism spectrum excel at process-driven tasks and are highly detail-oriented. And second, that 80 to 90% of people living with Autism struggle to find employment. This inspired Tom and John to design a business around the skill sets that Andrew naturally possessed, and to look to employ as many people on the spectrum as possible. And that's how Rising Tide Car Wash was born.
The D'Eri's experiment has worked, perhaps even better than they could have expected. According to Tom, Rising Tide employees are dedicated, thorough, and most importantly, happy and enthusiastic every day.
Kevin Wolyniec, Rising Tide's General Manager, loves that positivity. "The greatest thing about work," he explains, "is that it's really not work," because he spends the day with 35+ employees who love having a job and doing what they do. "It's like a family," Wolyniec says.
We love the way that the D'Eri family set out to give meaning and purpose to one person's life—their son—and ended up helping dozens of others! If you dig stories like this one, visit our HooplaHa YouTube page for more videos... and don't forget to smile!