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It's a Living

Path to success is “Clear” for young auto enthusiasts


Editor's Note: This  story has been updated to reflect that Elijah Philip plans to attend Temple University in the fall.

I can’t find it in myself to appreciate the finer points of automobiles. I like a car that can take me safely from place to place, preferably with seat warmers and a CD player.

I don’t know how to operate most of the knobs and buttons and levers that vehicles come with nowadays. In fact, the only two things I can say about my car at any point in time with any degree of certainty is that it’s white and has four wheels.

To me, the devil’s in the details.

But not to Jamaal Ghauri and Elijah Philip. For them, there’s gold in the details.

At the ripe old ages of 18 and 16, Ghauri of Yardley and Philip of Richboro founded ClearCoat Auto Detailing, a mobile car detailing business that comes to your home, office, or other location to detail your vehicle.

Now, two years later, they have over 100 clients, many of them the owners of high-end vehicles.

Jamaal was born in Philadelphia and moved to Bucks County at a young age. Elijah was born in Bucks County. They attended different high schools in the Pennsbury and Council Rock school districts and met four years ago when they were in a basketball league.

A couple of years into their friendship, they realized they shared a passion for cars. They thought that this might be a great opportunity to do something they both loved, as well as to turn it into a successful business.

I ask how they decided on the name. “We started thinking about the clear coat of a car, the outer plastic layer that makes it shine and keeps it protected.” This is exactly what these two young men do. They’ll make your vehicle shine and keep it protected.

For those who are car maintenance lingo-impaired, like me, car detailing is the process of improving the condition of your vehicle’s interior and exterior and involves the most thorough cleaning possible, enhancements to deal with minor defects, such as clear coat scratches, and protecting and maintaining the condition.

I ask Jamaal and Elijah how this all began. “We spent our savings to buy our first equipment, and then we started detailing the cars of family members and neighbors. Over time we gained clients and attention, and we have now grown to five employees. We service many customers in the Bucks County area.”

In the two years they have been in business, the variety of services they offer has also increased, from interior/exterior detailing, ceramic coating, and paint restoration to various add-on services like carpet shampoo, pet hair removal, hand wax application, engine bay detail, clay bar treatment and more.

Their website is full of testimonials from loyal clients. From Yardley: “Fabulous service. These guys are attentive, courteous, and speedy!” From Holland: “These guys were amazing. My car had lots of pet hair and stains, and they made it look brand new. Highly recommend!”

At the same time the friends are working to set the stage to enable and support the growth of their business, they are both pursuing higher education. Jamaal is currently attending Penn State University and majoring in finance. Elijah will be attending Temple University for premedical studies.

I wonder what the two do in their free time, and if they even have any free time. “We both have hobbies.” Like what? “Sports and investing.”

I think if they consider investing a hobby, it’s not hard to see why they founded a business before they were out of high school.

I ask where they see the business headed in the future. “We think ClearCoat will be the staple for ceramic coatings and premium detailing in Bucks County and surrounding areas in the next five years.

Finally, I ask if they have any advice for young entrepreneurs. “There is absolutely no substitute for hard work in anything a person can pursue, and if someone truly wants to be successful, they will be.”

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"It's a Living" is a weekly column showcasing residents who are making a living in an interesting way, or people who’ve reinvented their careers because they could no longer ignore the voice in the back of their heads telling them to start over, take a risk, chase a dream or set out on their own.

These are stories of bravery, persistence, resilience, and vision.

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