Focusing on the details, Grand Rapids entrepreneur expands into Chicago

There is no slowing down for serial entrepreneur and "Chief Crusader" Ross Timyan as he begins development on his third venture, Real Photo Services. 

Timyan, who is in his mid-twenties, is now part of three Grand Rapids-based startups; Crystal Clean Auto Detailing, Crystal Clean Heated Indoor Storage and Real Photo Services. Between these ventures, with the first launched in 2007, he says he has 60 employees, 10 recent hires, and 5-6 current job openings at their Grand Rapids headquarters. The leadership team at the ventures includes Timyan's brother, Austin, his father and business advisor Seth Getz.

All of Timyan's businesses are currently focused within the automobile industry. Crystal Clean Auto Detailing offers an innovative service approach to both dealers  (24-hour turnaround, night pick-up and delivery, electronic estimating system and a high-tech vehicle photo studio) and retail customers, such as the Fly 'n' Shine Free Airport Valet program, where Timyan's team will pick up a customer's car curbside at the airport, detail it, store it and return it curbside when the customer returns from their trip.

Timyan says Real Photo Services is a natural extension of his previous businesses: "The entity in Chicago (Elmhurst) is a spin-off of one successful component of the Grand Rapids business, our dealership vehicle photography." With his brother, Austin, taking the lead in Illinois, Real Photo Services provides high-quality photos for car dealerships to better merchandise their vehicles online. "We were realizing there was an opportunity just doing photos. Detailing is complicated and labor intensive. The photo service could be a franchiseable concept. Where our business is located in Elmhurst, there are 138 car dealers within a 10-mile radius. We have now 13 dealers and are slowly and surely gaining traction."

Always looking forward, Timyan says they are considering adding a detailing service for semi-trucks and have several other ideas on a whiteboard, beyond working with the auto industry, where they can leverage their core competencies in service and high-end photography.

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Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor
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