Sam Bazzi, at 33, has been a business owner for over 20 years. That’s right. He was 14 years old when he started his own valet service. Before he was able to drive, he was booking gigs, hiring valets and catching rides to events from his employees.
Bazzi said he saw others making money parking cars, and despite some discouragement from his skeptical parents, saw no reason he couldn’t run a valet operation himself.
“They didn’t want me to do it,” he said about his parents’ initial reaction to his early ambition. “But I had it in my head that I wanted to do something on my own. Now my parents look at me and say ‘You know what? He’s doing good for himself.’ It’s been a long haul.”
Bazzi now runs his own company, A-Star Valet.
The young businessman is also adding limousine companies, photography, printing and event planning operations to A-Star’s affiliates. Creating a large group that can provide the whole package.
When Bazzi first started his business as a Dearborn teenager, he had to relentlessly call every event venue in the region looking for jobs before getting his first breaks in Troy and Grosse Pointe. Since then, he has worked parties for Governor Jennifer Granholm, rapper Eminem, homemaking icon Martha Stewart and Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford.
In order to stand out and stay active in tough economic times, we must participate in every hands-on detail of each job, from designing custom-made uniforms and resolving parking and congestion issues to fixing flat tires and gathering feedback from customers for banquet halls.
“We feel, especially during this delicate time,” said Bazzi, “we have to make it a point to leave no doubt that we’re on top of our game.”