If there’s one word to describe the Hell’s Kitchen community, it’s industrious, and that perfectly describes one young neighborhood resident, Julian Elmo Szetela, 17. A student at Brooklyn Technical High School, Julian has combined entrepreneurial spirit and athletic discipline to set up his first business endeavor during the pandemic: Moe’s Rug and Upholstery Cleaning.
“I thought to myself, ‘what would be the equivalent of mowing grass in the city?’ And so, I came up with carpet cleaning!” said Julian, who is saving up to fund his high school wrestling career as he applies to colleges next year.
“Julian is extremely driven in sports and education. When he started thinking of ways to earn money, we realized due to the pandemic there were not many internships and with his wrestling training and school he needed a flexible job,” explained his mother, Martha Duke. “I was debating the price of a carpet cleaner or getting our carpets cleaned after a long quarantine with 2 kids and 2 dogs. From that we realized carpet cleaning would be an amazing and flexible first business for him.”
Julian is a friendly-faced carpet cleaner who offers some of the best rates in the city, and with New Yorkers slowly tiptoeing into a new post-pandemic world, interest in his services is on the increase.
Funds from Julian’s business will help pay for summer training camps and tournaments over the summer, but having to carry 60 pounds of equipment up and down subways and walk-ups is no small feat! “The biggest skill that carries over is the self-starting nature and having to power-through everything,” Julian said.
April was Earth Month , and it inspired Julian to give back to his community and the earth itself. “Many people are opting for throw away furniture and rugs as opposed to paying the high cost of maintenance. By offering an affordable solution, I aim to keep furniture from hitting the landfill and do my part to decrease waste,” he explained.
He expects business to pick up throughout the summer, so if you’re looking to support local, be sure to reach out to Moe’s Rug and Upholstery Cleaning. For quotes and bookings, contact Julian through his website or by email: email@example.com
Julian is one of a growing number of young people who are taking their first steps into business and making it work for them — a trend that has recently been recognized by Fortune.com.