Driven to overcome the challenges faced by immigrant parents, David Zamarin has made a name for himself as the Founder of DetraPel, the latest in his series of ventures that appeared on Shark Tank Season 9. He also is the co-founder of Prestige Valet Company. In 2016, the Babson student was considered as one of Philadelphia’s Entrepreneurs of the Year - at age 18. A member of several advisory boards, David seeks to give back as well: he coached a youth soccer team, sat on the Youth Advisory Council of SEPTA, and does numerous speaking engagements while mentoring at several youth entrepreneurship programs. David’s background and innovative entrepreneurial spirit make him an accomplished and inspiring leader, as he is always looking to get involved more.
What do I do best?
I have worked very hard at building genuine relationships, which has resulted in a strong professional and personal network. This is a network that I began cultivating while building my first business, called Lick Your Sole, my freshman year of high school. I eventually sold Lick Your Sole to found and fund DetraPel when I was fifteen years old. Since I was quite a young business owner, I relied heavily on my mentors and network for guidance. I truly would not be where I am at today without the help I have received along the way.
What makes me the best version of myself?
I believe in continuous improvement so I frequently reflect on my business decisions and actions. I have definitely made a lot of mistakes in my career but I always learn from them and credit those learnings to my ability to take a step back and reflect.
I am also very loyal to my team and expect to be treated the same way.
What are my aspirations?
I aspire to make a significant positive impact to underprivileged youth in my community. I grew up in inner-city Philadelphia and watched many of my friends and acquaintances fall victim to drug use and or violence. I used my environment to fuel my motivation to work hard and become independent at a young age. My goal is to grow DetraPel to a point where I can begin to give time, money, and other resources back to the community that I hold dear.
My Biggest Success?
My biggest success is making it out of my neighborhood. As I stated in my aspiration section, there were a lot of distractions growing up and I am immensely proud of myself for looking beyond those distractions and working very very hard on my businesses. Ultimately, I just wanted to make my parents proud, and I feel that I have achieved that (so far...).
My Most Challenging Moment?
One of my closest friends passed away a year ago. This was a troubling moment for me. It sort of derailed my motivation - I even considered selling the business. It took me a while to get up the energy to start working again.
Believe it or not, I was motivated to rebuild the business after seeing Gary Vaynerchuk present at the HubSpot INBOUND 2016 conference. I left the conference and stayed up all night reworking on the DetraPel formula and strategizing how I would build the business.
I have two mottos:
1) “I don’t fail, I learn.” Like I have said, I am a young entrepreneur, and am constantly looking for ways to improve. We have certainly made a great number of mistakes with the DetraPel business and always come out the other side a better company.
2) “Do sh*t.” One of the greatest lessons I have learned during my career, and my education at Babson College, is that entrepreneurs are “doers”. You cannot start a business without getting out from behind a computer and going out to develop relationships, sell products, negotiate manufacturing deals, etc.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My mother is my role model. She is an immigrant and works hard every single day. She is incredibly loyal and knows when to support me as well as challenge me to be the best version of myself. I hope to make her proud of my business success as I grow DetraPel.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
I love cities; they are fast-paced, competitive, and exciting. Philadelphia will always be home but I do enjoy living in Boston and developing DetraPel here.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
My favorite product is the DetraPel Fabric & Leather Protector. Yes, this is a shameless plug for my own company, however I invented it out of a personal need for a non-toxic and reliable protective coating for my shoes. When I came up with the formula, after years of hard work, and realized it actually worked I was ecstatic and immediately coated every pair of shoes I owned. I can safely say I have the cleanest closet of shoes in Boston!
My Current Passions?
My passion is to build companies. DetraPel is the third company I have built and I plan to take it all the way to an IPO. I not only enjoy the financial rewards from building businesses but I enjoy hiring great people and being a part of a team. I put a lot of trust in my team and expect the same out of them.
DetraPel is at the beginning of what I think will be an amazing and fun journey and I am excited to see where we take it.