Hi everyone! The guys from DI emailed me and asked me to take part in a series in which they will be interviewing each author. They asked me to provide you with a little information about myself along with answering a few detailing questions they provided.
Before I answer some of their questions I wanted to write a quick intro. I got started with detailing as an enthusiast and built my business from that, providing quality services to local owners and enthusiasts that were looking for the best possible services. What started as a hobby and making some money (usually spent on drinking back in college) turned into a reputable business providing local car guys detailing that makes them proud of their vehicles. I started working with Detailed Image years ago when they were a much smaller company/website and we’ve worked together ever since. Today I still operate LUSTR Auto Detail with the help of one assistant and we normally take care of 2-4 cars weekly, doing mainly paint correction work. In any case, here are my answers to some of the questions from Detailed Image…
1. How did you get started in detailing?
I started as an architecture college major detailing my own vehicle (1998 BMW 328i with jet black paint) to the best of my knowledge. I was always a meticulous perfectionist and learned proper detailing techniques by taking care of the very sensitive jet black BMW paint back in 2006-2007. From there I slowly built a business based on the idea of providing quality services as opposed to trying to quickly detail as many cars as possible. The local enthusiasts and exotic owners all started liking my services so my client list kept growing more and more over the years. This year has been the busiest since, averaging a 2 month wait period from April into the present!
2. What is your favorite car that you have worked on?
In terms of how easy a car was to work with, I’d probably have to choose any grey BMW or Audi I’ve worked on. Simply put, they have paint that is easy to work with and finishes down easily, so it’s fairly straight forward. That said, I have to say my favorite car by far to have worked with was a Ferrari 458 about which I wrote this article. Reason being, it was one of the very first supercars/exotics I have worked on to that extent and it was also a brand new car for the client so I had the chance to see it fresh from the dealership. To this day we maintain the 458 every 4-5 weeks and after about 2 years now it still has a nearly perfect finish.
3. What is the longest and most challenging detail you have ever had?
If I have to choose, I believe the above mentioned 458 is also the answer for this question because not only did it require a lot of work from the get-go, it was also one of those detail jobs where I had to prove myself to the client and gain their trust. The 458 required a lot of correction to fix factory sanding marks, dealer induced holograms and typical swirl marks, so we had to spend nearly 30 man hours to make it perfect and please the client. After a solid 3 days of work, the 458 was perfect and the client was very happy, so our hard work surely paid off!
4. What is your least favorite area to detail, if any?
Very easy answer as I think about this on almost every detail job… The rear of the trunk where the license plate sits on most cars. Reason being, even with 3″ pads or polishing by hand, it’s pretty much impossible to fully correct all of the area due to the design and hard angled edges, so I’m always left with spending a lot of time on the area and still not leaving it perfectly corrected.
5. What was the best and worst customer experience you have had?
The best customer experience is hard to choose as there have been many times where clients were truly pleased with the work, which led to lots of work on a regular basis, thank you letters, gifts and even hugs. Worst experience for me was having a customer that was completely out of sync with what we were scheduled to do on his vehicle and thus ended up being completely dissatisfied with the work in the end. This led to a large revamp of service descriptions on my end and making clients understand exactly what’s to be done once a detail job is scheduled. Ever since, there have been no issues whatsoever.
6. Imagine that you awoke on a magical detailing island and a VIP client is having their vehicle flown in but you have no idea what it will be. The island has a wash bay, water, hose and two buckets. What 10 products would you want Detailed Image to ship you?
Odd question, but I’ll bite :). I’d have to assume the client wants my paint correction service on the vehicle and also that I will have access to a electric outlet or two. With that in mind and sticking with only 10 products I’d have to ask DI for the following…
- Wash Mitts
- Dry towels
- Flex 3401
- Orange cutting pads
- Crimson polishing pads
- Microfiber towels
- Pinnacle Souveran Wax
Picking out 10 products seems extremely hard considering you can’t have wheel cleaners, glass cleaner, etc. but I would make do with my list above.
Well that’s about it for me. Nothing special, just an average car guy hell bent on making cars look their best and taking the time to do it right.