By Deb Everts
Molleigh Bradley is no ordinary 20-year-old businesswoman.
The entrepreneur from Cattaraugus had already established her business, Bradley’s Auto Detailing, before she graduated from high school and started college.
Bradley said detailing a vehicle helps keep its value and she wants to help her customers keep the value of their vehicle with the best pricing around. She offers professional services for small town prices.
In addition to cars and trucks, she also details motorcycles, campers, boats and jet skis. With winter is around the corner, she’s thinking about doing boat winterizing because she’s had a few people asking her about it.
“I’ve always been passionate about cars and working on them,” she said. “I think the whole detailing thing came into play because I love the overall accomplishment I feel when it’s done. I see the before and after, and it’s always like a reward at the end of the day.”
Besides detailing, Bradley’s business is a one-stop place for all vehicle maintenance needs and accessories including undercoating, oil changes and routine maintenance like paint touch-ups and installing windshield wipers. She also installs truck bed liners and accessories, including running boards, mud flaps and rain guards.
Bradley said her father, Timothy, and brother, Jerrid, taught her everything about the business — how to detail, how to change oil, change tires and other auto service maintenance tasks. Her brother owns and operates Village Auto Service and lets her use the space in his garage from where she runs her detailing business.
Rounding out the family is her mother, Laura, and sister, Jennah. According to her mother, Bradley has provided this service for many years and her entrepreneurial spirit was evident from a young age.
“When Molleigh was about 13 years old, she wanted to earn some money so her grandmother and other relatives, friends and neighbors brought their cars over for her to clean,” her mother said. “They used to have Jerrid do their vehicles, but then Molleigh started doing it and she did it in the front yard for $20.”
In the beginning, Bradley put a sign out for “Auto Detailing” in front of her brother’s garage because she didn’t have her business license, yet. According to Bradley, when she got her license, she called it Bradley’s Detailing, but everybody thought she was cleaning houses. So, she changed it to Bradley’s Auto Detailing to make it known that she cleans cars, not houses.
Bradley said she started her licensed auto detailing business in June 2016, right after graduating from Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School. She said she continued her education with a full scholarship at Jamestown Business College (JBC), in Jamestown, where she received her associate degree in business, marketing and management in May.
EAGER TO get back to her business, Bradley completed her degree in a year-and-a half by going to school through the summer and detailing on the side. Since her graduation from JBC, she’s been at it full-time and said her business is becoming more and more popular, now that people know about it.
Bradley said she went to college for marketing and advertising where she learned how to advertise her business — what to say, what not to say and how to get people’s attention. She said she learned a lot and has been able to apply it to her business.
According to Bradley, she’s had a lot of jobs where she has worked in kitchens and other similar places, but they just weren’t for her because she’s independent and business-minded.
“I love having my own business,” she said. “I love the finished product, and I love it because I can be working, but be there for my friends and family when they need me.”
In an effort to get the word out about her new business, Bradley had a booth under the grandstand at this year’s Cattaraugus County Fair. She said a lot of potential customers took her number and she got a lot of calls from her being visible at the fair.
Having a carwash with a detail business on the side is a future possibility because her business gets bigger and bigger every year. Another possibility is a mobile auto detailing unit that comes to the customer.
She would like to have a 4-by-8-foot utility trailer that would hold her supplies, so she could go to other places and do onsite detailing, especially at car dealerships. She’s also looking into detailing company vehicle fleets on a monthly or bimonthly basis.
Bradley said she runs specials from time to time and gives her loyal customers discount coupons. She also does a lot of giveaways on Facebook, so if people “like” and “share,” they can get a free wash and wax.
“The majority of the time that’s where I get my business, so I always try to let people know what I have to offer on Facebook,” she said. “I also have gift certificates available that make a great gift.”
Business hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. If necessary, Bradley occasionally schedules appointments on weekends and is willing to work with anyone’s schedule. If customers need their car during the day, she will detail the vehicle at their convenience.
Bradley’s Auto Detailing is located at 9316 New Albion Road, Cattaraugus. To find out more about the business or to schedule an appointment for a detail or other service, call Bradley at 801-5118. She accepts most credit cards and debit cards. Find Bradley’s Auto Detailing on Facebook where there are special offers and discounts.