Good old-fashioned entrepreneurship + hard work = teen success story!


I was very happy to read this teenager success story.  I wish there were more like them!

Carburetors may represent old-school tech in the automotive world, but don’t tell Riley Schlick, a high school senior in Florida who rebuilds them for a tidy profit. Send your tired, dirty, mucked-up carburetor to Schlick and she’ll return it to you clean, shiny, and ready for duty once again. She has operated her Bradenton-based business, Riley’s Rebuilds, for three years now, and a steady stream of carburetors has crossed her path.

At first, Riley’s Rebuilds was a way for 17-year-old Schlick to buy her first car, which had to meet her parents’ specifications: It needed to have a manual transmission and a roll bar. Within a few months, she made enough money to buy a Jeep. Then, she brought on four friends to work with her. That hiring spree solved two problems, in Schlick’s mind. Her friends make more money rebuilding carburetors than they would working a minimum wage job, and they get to spend time together. 

She learned how to do the work from her dad. “I said to her, ‘You can get a job at Publix or I can show you how to do some restoration stuff in the garage,” says Schlick’s father, Dane Trask, who rebuilds classic cars as a hobby. He showed her how to do it, and also made use of some YouTube tutorials. “She picked it up quick,” he says.

. . .

At this rate, Schlick and her friends aren’t going to need a minimum wage job any time soon.

There’s more at the link.  Go read the whole thing.  It’s worth it.

God bless them all:

  • The parents who encourage their kids to succeed;
  • The girls who aren’t afraid of hard work;
  • The ability of all concerned to recognize a gap in the market, and fill it;
  • The girls’ drive to succeed, and build a business that’s as much fun as it is work.
That’s just great!

Those girls won’t have to waste tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on a worthless degree, and won’t have to beg for extra money from their parents.  They’re earning their own way in life from a very early age, and setting an example for every one of their peers.  They’ll hopefully be able to afford to choose their further education based on what they can pay for out of their own pockets, and what interests them rather than what’s politically correct.

Congratulations to all concerned, and thank you.  We need more like you!  I hope Mike Rowe sees this article, and does one of his TV specials about you all.  You deserve it.



  1. Shortly before my 10-year reunion, bumped into a h.s. classmate. Really nice guy, solid C-student, knew he was never going to college, but total auto gearhead.

    After graduation, took a job as a mechanic.
    Four years after that, he bought his boss out, and became the business' owner, at a time when his college-bound classmates were just graduating, with $20-40K in student debt in many cases.

    By h.s.+10 years, well before he hit 30, he bought and owned 10 repair shops around L.A., and was personally worth well over $1M.

    And those jobs can't be shipped to Mexico or China.

  2. Started working at service stations 55 years ago at age 12. Never did like working on carburetors. I haven't touched an automotive carburetor in at least 40 years. I knew people who had the magic touch for working on them, but I didn't. It's great that these young people are able to do this type of work. It is as much an art as anything.

    If an EMP were to occur, they would be very much in demand. Those of us that code the engine computer to diagnose problems, not so much.

  3. If I was running things I would talk to the parents and the kids and see if they wanted to tailor their school schedule, hit the classes that they thought they would benefit from, bypass the underwater basket weaving scrap and get graduated and move on with their lives. Worked for a guy who had gone to school with a kid who had started collecting and trading coins very young. He was driving a new car as a sophomore, that he bought. IDK how he was able to make himself go to school every day. It was costing him money wasting his time. I think some people should be asked if they want their diploma. Very few,granted, but it's an idea. Of Course BammiCare was an idea, so maybe it's not a good idea.

  4. For most people, anything past 8th grade is a waste of time, and that includes college. Most US jobs are service and retail jobs.

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