We here at Detailed Image are excited to add another author to the Ask-A-Pro Blog, Rodney Tatum of Mirror Reflections Auto Spa! When we talk to detailers, we often find that the passion for car care started when they were extremely young, many times washing cars with Dad. For Rodney, his journey started a little later, this time with a graduation gift from his parents. From researching how to take care of this gift, to a car care obsession, that cleaning itch all of us detailers get started to grow. Rodney now has his own business and is excited to share all of his detailing knowledge with the Ask-A-Pro community.
Below you will find some more information about Rodney and stay tuned for some articles which include water spot removal, tips on starting a business, coating information, and so much more!
Four years ago, I was gifted my first car. A brand new Nissan Altima, which was my graduation gift from my parents. As a recent college graduate, I was still trying to figure out what I was going to do with my professional life. But auto detailing and growing a business were the furthest things from my consciousness. I had never even washed a car before, let alone detail one.
Along with shopping online for car care products, fortunately I also came across great resources to learn how to detail cars. Detailing forums, blogs, Facebook pages, and YouTube channels became my virtual classroom. I learned a great deal from many of the blog writers here; Marc Harris, Jacob Bunyan, and Zach McGovern to name a few. When it came time to polish my car for the first time I became obsessed. Probably a little too much of my paychecks were being allocated to car care supplies. My leisure nights quickly turned into study sessions of famous detailers’ multi-stage paint corrections. At the time, not quite realizing there was a little voice in my head telling me I have found my calling.
My friends and coworkers had noticed my enthusiasm for taking care of my car. It is easy to feel a little odd coexisting in a world where, so many people will only see cars as a means of getting from point A to point B. I received quite a bit of teasing and strange looks every time they saw me washing my car. I never thought people seeing me use more than one bucket to wash a car could shock so many people or parking away from civilization be the stuff of legend. I was an anomaly. But pretty soon something happened that would change my career path. The question “so how much would it cost to clean my car? I’m actually serious!” came from one of my best friend’s and boss. He was initially quite surprised with how much it costs and later the time invested to do a quality detailing job. It was my first experience educating a customer who saw detailing as just a simple car wash and application of wax with expectations of marginal improvement in the appearance of their car. He was shocked and amazed with the outcome. My other coworkers would take notice. Ironically, he pushed me hard value my time and worth by charging accordingly. Even though many of us professionals know selling the value of this kind of service to a stranger is much more challenging than to a friend. After performing a few of these turnarounds, with the constant encouragement of my friends, I decided to start my auto detailing business.
The name of my company is Mirror Reflections Auto Spa LLC. A dear friend of mine once told me “you should name your company Mirror Reflections, because when you are done I can do my makeup looking at your car.” The words Auto Spa came from a desire to detail the right way. I wanted to set my mark as that outlier who still believed in quality over speed and cost. I was very fortunate to learn from and network with some of the best auto detailers in the world from the onset. They played a big role in this journey. Now I teach and provide a service that reveals and preserves the hidden beauty of cars.