Rudy Defoe: I wanted to be my own boss
A young man is making strides to grow his empire in Dominica through laser-sharp focus and hard work.
Rudy Defoe - born in Bagatelle and raised in Madrelle, Loubiere – owns Liberty Car Care Service which opened in May 2018.
He told The Sun, that he went through a series of dishearteningly tough times, with minimal support from those closest to him, to get to where he is today.
"Starting up my business was very challenging, especially with family and my close friends. People were trying to figure me out when I had a vision," Defoe said.
Regardless of the rejection and ridicule, the growing clientele encouraged him to keep going.
"There were times I was getting jobs and I was not financially able to get the material for those jobs, it was very frustrating," he said.
Defoe focused on making his dream a reality and slowly but surely created the workspace he needed to thrive.
"I knew it was going to work because no one else is offering that service," he said. He wisely added detailing and cleaning to the list of services.
Not always a smooth ride
It was not always a smooth ride for Rudy as he grew up in a single-parent household and was not financially able to attain a college education.
Upon completing high school, he went straight to work, developing multiple skills through jobs at a call centre, fast-food chain, and the water sports industry, to name a few. Despite being a versatile and adaptable young man, he decided to start his own business.
"I'm a type of person who always wants and looks for better," Defoe said. "I was never comfortable working for someone else. I always wanted to be my own boss."
His vision of opening his own car service business came from the advice of friends.
"I would always have my car washed and shined. And some friends would say 'you should open a business," he said.
It was easy to add enhancement features as Rudy had been taught some aspects of car detailing years ago.
"In high school, my uncle showed me how to tint vehicles, from I was 13 or 14 but it was never something I thought I would make money from," he said. Defoe is a self-taught car service specialist having watched numerous videos, and practiced on his vehicle and that of friends to hone his skills. But why the fascination with cars?
"From young, I always had a love for cars. I remember watching Fast and the Furious with my brother, having a love for vehicles looking shiny. Watching the show Pimp my Ride how the vehicles looked," he said. "And I always thought when I have my ride that is how I want it to look."
Giving up is not an option
Defoe's vision for the future of his company is crystal clear and he is set on attaining it,
"At every major gas station, I would have an automatic car wash and would have my car wash running where I can employ five or six people. I want to have a mobile service where I can go out to customers. I want to have a one-stop area, like my own gas station, car wash, tire shop, mechanic, 7-11, etc", he said. "That is my dream."
Finances prevented Rudy from pursuing higher education and when he started working was able to do more CXC courses at the Business Training Centre (BTC). But the desire to further himself academically never left his mind.
"What I really want to do is technical engineering because I am very fascinated by how things work," he said. "I am now seeking information to find out how I can do that at Dominica State College." Defoe's advice for other entrepreneurs: "It's very challenging, many ups and downs, if you're going to get into it, giving up is not an option. As long as you have a vision of what you really want to do you should go for it."