Gillette News Record
GILLETTE — Shey Rearick and Jayden Parsons know what they want to do with their lives — for now.
What they are chasing is their own startup business, known as Cart Wash, a joint venture between Rearick, 21, and Parsons, 20, to create and market a shopping cart sanitation unit.
According to the two, and numerous studies, most carts could use a cleaning, and they’re building a device that can do just that.
The product is designed like a large aluminum box, just big enough to roll a shopping cart inside. Once the cart enters the unit, UVC lights — a specific, more eco-friendly wavelength of UV light — glow on the cart, eliminating bacteria and effectively sanitizing the cart in a matter of seconds for customer use.
This summer, Rearick quit his job as a seasonal wildland firefighter and Parsons left the position he held for almost three years at Universal Athletic to focus their energies on Cart Wash full time.
“We just thought that it was a good potential market we could try to acquire,” Rearick said. “We knew that we could create something better and more efficient than what was already out there.”
Rearick and Parsons have known each other for a while. Both stayed local after high school and attended and played soccer for Gillette College. Then the idea for Cart Wash arose.
It was during a Startup Weekend competition held by the college last fall. They came up with the idea and won, before many had even heard of the coronavirus and before hand sanitizers and cleaning supplies began selling out all over the country.
“We do wish we could have been even more ahead of the pandemic, but we couldn’t have predicted that it was going to be as large as it was,” Rearick said.
Besides planning a business in one of the limited industries that has been bolstered by the pandemic, they also found luck in the design and engineering of the product.
While they had a grasp of the UVC technology, computerizing it was outside of both of their wheelhouses. Then, someone moved into the office suite right down the hall from their own who specializes in the computer technology they needed help with. Through blind luck, they found the help they needed and advanced past a critical speed bump.
Now, according to Rearick, “Once we get this prototype done, we’re pushing the marketing stage and we’re going to really go out there to get people to know what we do and get people to want to purchase our product.”
Despite the challenges they have already faced running a business together, they said working together has never been an issue.
For one, their division of labor is mostly equal. Rearick handles more of the engineering and design side of things while Parsons spearheads more of the graphic design, they said.
“We both have the same general idea of where we want to see this business in five years, so with that in mind it helps us be able to focus in on what we want to get done,” Rearick said. “It’s great working with each other.”
There is no knowing how far Rearick and Parsons will take Cart Wash. But in their shared pursuit, they will see just how far the journey can take them.