Thirty years ago, Chicago native Mike DeMaio started River North Hand Car Wash with just $1,000. Now the premier car wash has 15 downtown locations and a spinoff business, River North Collision Repair, a body shop that services luxury vehicles with wheel and bumper repair fresh paint jobs, window tinting, detailing and more. “It was a continual, constant commitment to quality and customer service, and being laser-focused on every aspect of the business that set me apart,” DeMaio says. “For the first 10 years, I worked seven days a week.” The shop’s services are customizable and interactive. “It’s an extremely high-quality wash,” DeMaio says. “The customer gets to be involved, watch us do the last touches and can give us their input. We really make it a personal experience. … While it’s being washed, one of our managers is having a dialogue with the client.” That may well be DeMaio himself. He still fields all incoming calls, interacting with every client who rolls through the garage doors. “I stay on top of every aspect, never let things fall through the cracks,” he says. “That’s required to be successful in today’s business atmosphere.” And River North Hand Car Wash and Collision Repair will be a mainstay for decades to come: This year, DeMaio’s son joined him in the family business.