Hey 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. If you are interested in learning more about any of the other authors, check out the complete line of the Get To Know Your Ask-A-Pro Author articles by clicking here!
1. How did you get started in detailing?
Like many reading this, my father was a serious car guy. I remember being 3 years old and “helping” him build his race cars. I also remember being 10 years old, sitting with my siblings in his basement in Charlotte, NC. polishing the exhaust pipe for his classic motorcycle. When I was 13 years old we were building more race cars and working on his ’57 Chevy. Building race cars? No problem. Detailing his personal ride? haha! He was far too picky to let anyone else do that. By the time he allowed me to start working on his personal rides at 15 years old I thought I was ready, but nope. My absolute start in detailing started with a father who insisted on only the best and I can remember spending more than a hour on the wheels alone. For a 15 year old, that was a ton of time and I still didn’t get it right. It took direction from him to learn what was needed to be done.
By the time I had my own cars I knew what it meant to be particular. When I got my first “nice car”, which was an e36 M3, I was ready to tackle just about anything I came across. If I didn’t know how to do it, I researched and figured it out. When I went to car meets, my car got a lot of positive feedback. Seeing there was a demand for people who wanted something more than they could do themselves or than shops were willing to do gave me the idea to work towards having my own detailing business. The rest is history.
2. What is your favorite car that you have worked on?
Probably a Jaguar XK140. It ended up winning best of show at a prestigious concours d’Elegance and being sold for a handsome sum. Supposedly, it is one of the nicest examples in the world, if not the nicest.
3. What is the longest and most challenging detail you have ever had?
Years ago a client requested that my team restore and prep 9 low-mileage classic automobiles prior to them being picked up for transportation and presentation at a national auction. No single aspect was difficult. The whole project was difficult because we encountered a diverse range of obstacles. Everything from keys being locked in cars (we weren’t the ones that did that), purchasing and replacing damaged parts, limited space, limited power and water, every car requiring different work, dead batteries, only having days to complete the project and so much more.
Because the client’s time was so valuable, I was responsible for the project meeting his needs from start to finish while he was not able to manage the project.
4. What is your least favorite area to detail, if any?
Volkswagen carpet. I think I would rather chew on sandpaper than clean Volkswagen carpet!
5. What was the best and worst customer experience you have had?
We have so many amazing clients. That may sound like a cop-out of an answer, but it’s true. Because we make good communication a priority, our clients are very direct in what they need from us. We in turn are more able to provide the results they are looking for and we both come away more than satisfied with the experience. It is difficult to point to just one client and say it was the best experience.
There’s no good way to tell the story of someone stealing from you. I’ll leave that one alone. Fortunately, we have only had 1 poor experience in almost 10 years in business.
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, two buckets and electricity. What 10 products would you want Detailed Image to ship you?
- reTHICKulous Wool Wash Mitt – I used one of these mitts for my client’s washes. With proper washing technique, these mitts provide as much safety from creating superficial surface damage as is possible.
- Einszett Exclusiv Gloss Shampoo – Mack daddy shampoo that provides excellent lubrication.
- p21s Total Auto Wash – 5L or bust! This product will play the perfect role of gentle degreaser and tire and wheel well cleaner.
- CR Spotless Wall Mount Water De-ionizer System – 300 Gallons – While I do not own this exact unit, I do have a CR Spotless tank and it is an absolute must for providing the ideal washing and prep work.
- Vac-N-Blow – Works as a means to dry as well as vacuum. TWO FOR ONE (cheating the system!)
- EZ Detail Brush – Works well for wheels as well as engine bays.
- Sonax Wheel Cleaner Full Effect – 5L of wheel cleaning goodness.
- DI Horse Hair Brush – Engine bays, wheels and tires. Another excellent tool that can be used on many surfaces.
- 303 Aerospace Protectant – We can add a subtle finish to our freshly cleaned tires, wheel wells, engine bay vinyl surfaces, external vinyl surfaces as well as interior vinyl surfaces (for my VIP client’s next visit)
- Menzerna Powerlock – Finally, we can cap off the paint with something that will offer some protection. I’ve had clients who had Powerlock last more than a year for them. I started using Powerlock when it was first released and it still has a spot in my arsenal.
Unfortunately, 10 spots isn’t near enough for everything I would do for a VIP. But it will be enough for a solid cleaning and protection until I am allowed 25+ products. *wink wink*