posted on September 21, 2020

How one Maryland host taps into his creative network

They say that birds of a feather flock together. When it comes to taste in cars, the rule definitely applies. Through sharing his eye-catching, custom-wrapped Jeep on Turo, one host has become more connected with the local creative community he serves.

Turo host DJ is a photographer and designer who runs a creative agency in the Baltimore area. He was looking for a new car early last year and was really feeling the new Jeep Wrangler that had just come out. So he bought a four-door 2018 Wrangler Sahara in white with a tan leather interior. He had seen a TV commercial about Turo, so he thought he’d try sharing his Jeep to see if he could make a few extra bucks.

Though he knew the Wrangler was really popular on Turo, DJ didn’t expect the rush of bookings he got in the beginning. “I was somewhat surprised at how well it was doing, even before I added any of the custom touches I was planning,” said DJ. “Families were taking it to the beach and people on business trips would book it for whole weeks at a time.”

DJ with his 2018 Jeep Wrangler (Glen Burnie, MD)

DJ had a vision for customizing the look, so he could drive something with a distinctive style. So he bounced some ideas off his friends in the Baltimore creative community. “I work with a lot of photographers, models, and creators, and we like trying different things together to push each other creatively,” said DJ. Once he landed on the idea of an arctic camo pattern, he took it to his friend who owns a vinyl wrap and graphic design shop in nearby Gaithersburg, called Distinct Wraps. After settling on the colors and final design, DJ’s friend vinyl-wrapped his Jeep in a slick custom camo pattern, including DJ’s own personal logo on the grille.

Even with so many modified Wranglers out on the road, you’ll never see another like this. Which is why it’s proven so popular with guests looking for a striking and different style. Since he got the Jeep wrapped, DJ estimates that three quarters of his guests book it for photo or video shoots. Photographers, artists, and travelers alike are all drawn to the camo look, but find different ways to fit it into the visions they have.

And helping serve all those different visions has become DJ’s own vision for the truck. “I thought it would be cool to have something that those same creative people I work with could use for things like photo shoots and music videos. So now I try to price it so that a lot of different people can book it. Because it’s not something you see every day, even on Turo.”

Even though DJ’s aim is to spread the creative love, so to speak, he’s enjoying the earnings that come with hosting. “The Jeep pretty much pays for itself,” he said. “And some months I pocket a few hundred extra.” Through sharing his Jeep on Turo, DJ has managed to both cover his payments and tap even further into his local creative network.

“I’m glad to offer something to contribute to that community. It’s brought me new experiences and introduced me to talented new people.”

Steven is an avid car guy and content maker at Turo. Between Golden State Warriors games he can be found getting lost somewhere in California.