International Leeds DJ goes from party island scene to car valeting in the north of England as lockdown paves way for new business ventures
A Leeds DJ has gone from playing to 20,000 people a week to car valeting after lockdown put a stop to his jet set party lifestyle.
Daniel Taylor, known as It's Danny T, has played packed houses at the O2 and firstdirect arenas in Leeds and, in a normal summer, would have bookings and residencies from Zante to Marbella and Ibiza, sometimes hopping from one island to another overnight.
In the last 12 months he has barely left the north of England and is playing to a different sound of success after coming up with a business idea inspired by dirty cars.
After wanting to get his cars cleaned just after the first lockdown kicked in last March and realising the car washes were closed, he and wife Rebecca hit upon the idea of a mobile car valet business as a way to make money while he wasn't DJing.
It may have stalled in the outset when the van he purchased blew up, but now there are five valeters in five vans employed in Leeds and Newcastle who will come to your house and carry out a professional valet and clean of your car without you even needing to leave the house.
He has teamed up with Voodoo Events, also based in Leeds, to get 'CarLove' on the road. They aim to have doubled in size by the end of the summer and to franchise the business to locations across the UK.
Mr Taylor said: "We thought we would get a few jobs for a valet in a van and have it as a side thing that was a bit of money and I will be back DJing in a few months. Voodoo Events bought in and we are launching van number five. It is a little idea that has potential to be a big business. I want us to be the AA of valets.
"I will go back to DJing the second that we are allowed, Voodoo will go back to big events. Between us we probably have through our doors 20,000 people a week, but this can run alongside it."
He puts the quick success of the venture down to convenience and a change in people's daily routines.
Mr Taylor added: "It is the Amazon effect - they don’t sell anything you can’t buy anywhere else, it is just convenient. You don’t have to leave the house, it is totally COVID secure, they can open the car from inside the house, the car washes are closed and people are at home anyway. The branding side is a doddle, that is where my brain shines. The hardest part was learning how to valet from scratch."
As well as expanding, Car Love is set to take on five apprentices under a government scheme launched last year and add more vans to its fleet and Mr Taylor will be DJing again as soon as club events are allowed but, he also has an eye on his long-term future.
He added: "The government has left everybody self-employed out to dry. Going from all these events and shows to £53 a week is not an option. I accepted early on DJing was on hold for a while. As hard as a year of not getting paid or making a penny has been, it has allowed us to build foundations and businesses that I am confident will massively outlast a DJing career. Every business that I am getting involved with I make sure are future proof and lockdown proof."
Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United, With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe