Everyone here at Detailed Image is excited to add yet another great detailing mind to the Ask-a-Pro team, Michael Pappas of Deluxe Detailing NYC! Michael started out with the love of cars and building, while washing cars at his dad’s shop. Fast forward and Michael has a shop in NYC and has detailed vehicles across the US. Take a look at an in depth introduction directly from Michael below and help us welcome him to the blog with open arms!
Hey! I’m Mike from New York City. I have always lived in queens my entire life. I grew up in the automotive industry. My dad has always had some kind of car business. He had a small three bay mechanic shop which eventually became a larger mechanic shop that included bodywork. Then I saw him go and buy a car dealership until he didn’t want to deal with the headache anymore and got out of it to do an auto body repair facility. Was I influenced by this? ABSOLUTELY.
I grew up and I was always fascinated with building things and taking things apart. When I was a kid I had an obsession with Lego for this very reason. Take the same thing apart five different times and put it back together differently. At one point I had a Lego city with everything kind of facility you could imagine. A jail, a fire station, and even a movie studio, all made out of Lego brick. But once I became old enough to understand cars it was over.
I started washing cars at my dad’s shop for brief summer stints on Saturdays as my first introduction to doing something with cars. I would say this was primarily in high school. When I made it to college at CUNY Hunter I worked my schedule in a way to have two days off during the week at least to work. So I started working at the body shop doing assembly/disassembly and more car detailing. Body shops are a dirty environment and I wasn’t a fan of that. It got old really fast being covered in dust and whatnot.
So when I finally finished school I knew I didn’t want to work for someone else or build someone else’s dream. The family business didn’t really need my help so I had to find something I loved doing for a short start-up cost so I started detailing cars on the side. Detailing made perfect sense because of how much I loved being able to work on cars and see people so happy when they picked up their cars.
My friend Kevin Sterling, who is part of the CQuartz Program, would spend time helping teach me how to polish cars and even gave me my first polisher. We spent many nights going over techniques and strategies to be as efficient and effective in a detailing business. So with his help, he showed me where he got his supplies from online because there are not really any specialized detailing supply stores in New York City, and put me on to Detailed image.
At this point, I would work forty hours a week at the body shop 8-5 and then work from 5-9 for myself. Sometimes it was mobile, sometimes it would be okay to use the shop, I made it work. This went on from Summer 2016- May 2019 where detailing replaced my full time income and then some.
Once I made the commitment and went full time I signed a sublease to have a dedicated area to work on cars. Now I’m facing the challenge of needing more space (which I guess is everyone’s problem in New York, never enough room at an affordable price haha) because of the business. Detailing has taken me to a lot of places to work on cars. From as South as Miami and as far west as California.