DSL: The American Dream of Coming Home
The dream of a luxury transportation business came to me in an unlikely place – my war-torn homeland of Kosovo in the late ‘90s.
When explosions rocked our home, my family became forcibly separated. The thought of being apart from my parents and siblings was terrible to bear, but when I set out to find my beloved relatives, there was no transportation available – no busses, no trains, no taxis.
It sounds a little strange, but at that moment I had a vision of a giant luxurious car – one that could carry us all safely together. It almost made me smile to think of us, smoothly taken away from this chaotic place. I vowed that if I made it through with my family, I would find a way to provide that peace of mind to others.
Thankfully, I was able to find my family at a refugee camp, and together with my parents and siblings (my brother Ardian and sister Leonora) I ventured to the U.S. During this time of transition we relied heavily on help from charitable organizations and when a friend sponsored us to come to New York City, Ardian and I took odd jobs to make enough money for the family to live there. Leonora committed herself to academics while working simultaneously for the luxury clothing company, Brooks Brothers. After graduation she was accepted to a Master’s program at the prestigious Ivy League — Columbia University!
A few years passed and I was working as a chauffeur in NYC. I loved the precision and professionalism that a job with a luxury car service required, but also recognized a need for true commitment to these ideas within the industry – for a company that emphasized safety and comfort. I spoke to my family and they agreed we would work together to create a luxury car service that lived up to our exacting standards. Of course, New York City is very competitive and not conducive to building a new business.
Phoenix, Arizona became the place I would begin working on my new dream. My parents even sold our family home in Kosovo and moved with me to the Southwest. It was heart wrenching for all of us to part with a place that held so many memories, but that was how strongly the family believed in me. Our original fleet of cars was partially purchased with money from the sale of that property – it’s a debt I can never truly repay. At the same time, my brother and sister back in New York supported me as investors. When the business took off, Ardian was able to move to Phoenix, and his trust in our mission made him my largest asset. After graduation, Leonora joined on the administrative side and, as a family, DSL has grown exponentially.
Today DSL offers services in every major city in the U.S. from Los Angeles to Boston (and yes… NYC!).
Still we aspire to more. Our hope is to make a difference from a social standpoint and give back to those who helped us when we were struggling immigrants, so that when using our service you would be assisting those who are seeking their own American dream. For now that is still on the horizon, but I am certain it will be possible soon.
Today, we are over 15 years and thousands of miles from the day I first dreamed of DSL. I am proud to say that it was true family effort that allowed us to get here, and our unwavering commitment to our customers has helped us grow.
On behalf of my family, I look forward to providing you with our signature “smooth ride”. To me, nothing is more important than you reaching your destination, or arriving home safely to the arms of your family. I wish you every comfort wherever you go.