Claire Bartlett was sick of the gender bias in the car detailing industry. So, she decided to turn her side hustle into a car detailing business.

When Claire Bartlett started her own car detailing business, little did she know she was following in the footsteps of her late grandfather.

“I had no idea he was a car detailer – it must run in the family,” says Claire.

While most 20-year-olds might be busy loading up their social calendar on weekends, Claire got busy growing her own business.

And what began as a side hustle slowly gained momentum.

“When I bought my car, it’s bright red, so I really wanted to make sure it always looked clean,” says Claire. “I started looking into products for my car, then it progressed to cleaning my friends’ and family’s cars. All of a sudden people were recommending other people and it just snowballed thanks to word of mouth.”

Claire decided to name her business Bedazzled Car Detailing, embracing the fact that she was a woman in an often male-dominated space.

“Cars have always been associated with men, but girls can be into cars too, and that’s why I gave it a girly name,” says Claire.

So, how did Claire end up where she is? After leaving high school early, she decided a traineeship was the best option for her.

She enrolled in Chisholm’s traineeship in a Certificate III in Business with Lee Property Valuers.

It proved to be the right decision, and nowadays she loves that she can work on her business on the weekends, whilst having the security of being a paid employee during the week.

As part of her role with Lee Property Valuers, Claire’s main tasks are to schedule property inspections for the valuers and to help check over the valuation reports before they are submitted to the bank.

“I love that every day is different,” says Claire. “For example, there may be a hiccup with the valuer’s appointment that you have to resolve because the valuer is on the road. I’m also learning so much about how to draft up a report and all the little things that are important to include.”

Claire excelled at Chisholm and was nominated for Trainee of the Year at the 2022 Chisholm Education Awards.

She found the tools she learnt through Chisholm invaluable, not just in her day job but also in her own business.

“The Certificate III in Business course was really good and there are a lot of things I’ve used at work,” she says. “The scheduling appointments unit, for example, was actually very useful. I’m using a lot of that information in my everyday tasks booking in the valuers’ schedules and in my own business organising clients.”

Claire’s advice to other young people who were considering leaving high school early was to consider doing a traineeship.

“The best thing about doing a traineeship is that you kind of get a textbook for how to work,” she says. “At high school you may have a maths textbook and learn things you’ll never use in the real world, but with a business traineeship, you literally have a textbook of how things are supposed to work in a business.”

Claire’s dream is to eventually have her own car detailing workshop and to own a dairy farm with her partner.

“They’re drastically different goals, but that’s just me,” she says.