Small businesses with a big growth mindset


Students who own a small business

(Pictured clockwise from top left: Farber, McClain, Dickerson, and Schwartz)

Landon students develop many skills over the course of their years at Landon, including time management, communication strategies, and our core values of teamwork and perseverance among others! Those skills and values have proven to be essential to four students who started their own small businesses.

DeAngelo Dickerson ’22 and Jerimaha McClain ’22

When the pandemic hit, DeAngelo (D-lo) and Jerimaha had time on their hands. They decided to use those hands for something more productive: starting an auto detailing business.

“We were both home with a lot of free time, so we said to ourselves, what can we do to earn some money?” according to Jerimaha. So, they focused on detailing cars because it was a skill they could learn easily by watching YouTube videos. Their business, Maha & D-lo’s Auto Detailing was born on August 21, 2021.

“We learned a lot by watching those videos,” said D-lo. “We learned all products are not the same, and that detailing is way more complex than washing cars. We had to do a lot of research at first on the different tools and cleaners that would work best. Business was slow in the beginning, but it was a matter of advertising (and better weather).”

Once the word was out (Instagram: @mahadlodetailing), the business grew and so did their services: from interior and exterior washes by hand, and an all-mobile service where they come to the customer.

“The clients are surprised because they don’t necessarily expect it to be so clean,” said D-lo. “They are pleased with the service which makes us feel like we are getting better and better.

“Landon definitely taught us skills to be a business owner, especially responsibility, communication, and customer service,” added Jerimaha.

Maha & D-lo’s Auto Detailing company is accepting new appointments. Contact the students through Instagram or at

Gavin Schwartz ’22, Nuts4Sports

Gavin founded Nuts4Sports during COVID-19 to raise awareness about food allergies for young athletes.

“I have suffered from food allergies my entire life, and it has been not only debilitating but also embarrassing at times,” he said. “When you play sports, sometimes you are taught to be both physically and mentally tough and that showing signs of weakness is unacceptable. Allergies fall into that category sometimes. A moment that changed everything for me was at a lacrosse tournament when I didn’t have my EpiPen with me, carelessly ate a protein bar with nuts, and went into anaphylactic shock.”

Gavin recovered after he received treatment, but he knew he had to act in a meaningful way to help others. “During the pandemic, it was particularly dangerous to have food allergies that could force an athlete to the ER. So, I began to distribute food allergy-safe protein bars to players and their teammates,” he said. “My effort has been to educate people as well as to create safer eating spaces so that those who suffer from food allergies can feel included.”

Gavin has partnered with allergen-specific companies such as 88Acres, NoNuts, and Avalanche, attended lacrosse tournaments and other sporting events, and sold his products and his message to anyone who would listen. “What I didn’t realize is that people really don’t understand how dangerous food allergies really are,” he added.

He donates some of the profits from his sales to the Southern California Food Allergy Institute, where he received treatment for his own allergies. He tried Five Guys hamburgers and Snickers candy bars for the first time recently (with mixed reviews)!

Gavin, who will attend University of Michigan, has also started a nonprofit called Epi4Africa to donate EpiPens for youth on the continent who do not have access to this life-saving tool. To learn more about Nuts4Sports, visit

Dean Farber ’24

For Dean, the salesman mindset came to him early on.

“I started selling trading cards on eBay in third or fourth grade,” he said of the inspiration to start his Nike shoes reselling business, Duff Shoes, in December 2020. “This neighborhood friend had all these shoes, and I decided I was going to buy some, see if I could sell them on eBay, and make a profit.”

The learning curve for running a business was challenging but joining a shoe-selling group on the social media platform, Discord, helped. He met mentors there who taught him the basics of-re-selling sneakers that can fetch up to thousands of dollars. Many of his shoes sell for $150-300 a pair, and he buys them from Instagram resellers, distributors or even ins-tore if he spies a pair worth the price.

“The hardest part was getting the permit to sell Nike shoes from a distributor on Amazon,” he said. “And the biggest lesson I learned is to keep good accounting of everything, because when tax time came around, I have to admit I was kind of surprised.”

 “It’s fun knowing that it’s a new pair of shoes for someone else,” he added. “Sometimes I forget that people are actually wearing them and enjoying them.”

With gross sales of more than $500,000 in 2021, Duff Shoes isn’t just for shoes anymore. Dean has expanded his business into makeup and has his eye on other goods that he can resell for profit. Being responsive and professional are keys to his success, he says, and are skills he has honed at Landon in his classes.


Continue Exploring