By: Jim Idema
Published: March 2012 in Grand Rapids Magazine

Ross Timyan really knows clean. Timyan’s business, Crystal Clean Auto Detailing, takes cleaning to new heights as he and his team bring cars, SUBs – even RVs and boats – to as close to new as possible.

“We don’t just clean, we restore,” boast Timyan, self-described chief crusader and founder. “And I think our customers really appreciate that.”

Crystal Clean, 3413 Eastern Ave. SE in Grand Rapids, was formed by a teenage Timyan in a two-stall garage in 2007 after his customers at Todd Wenzel Buick/GMC requested help in making their cars presentable for sale on eBay.

Business has been booming ever since.

To keep his 43-employee operation growing, the now 23-year-old Timyan believes the best way to grow a niche business like his is to invest in both people and technology. He prefers to hire inexperienced detailers to his team since they have no bad habits to break. In 2011, that philosophy was rewarded when one of his hires, Chad Cornell, was voted Most Valuable Carwasher by Professional Carwashing & Detailing Magazine, an award that was handed over on the deck of the USS Midway in San Diego.

Timyan expects to hire another 10 to 15 employees by spring.

In terms of technology, Crystal Clean has incorporated iPhones, iPads and customized web portals to handle quotes and estimates. Timyan also uses professional photography and software to upload photos of his firm’s work to his customer’s websites.

This combination of technology and people helped land Timyan on Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Business Leaders list last fall, and he was a finalist for the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s Epic Award as best young entrepreneur.

Of course, car detailing isn’t the only thing Crystal Clean is doing to keep the business thriving. Timyan also launched an airport valet service that details and stores cars while customers are away. He hopes to expand his business into larger markets outside West Michigan. As time permits, he’d also like to finish his degree at Grand Valley State University.

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