While at SEMA we took a few minutes to interview some of the detailers of The Detail Mafia. Today we meet with Prentice St. Clair of Detail In Progress. We discuss the IDA, detailing, education and his business in sunny San Diego

The Interview:

Jody: As You can see we’re already having a little bit of fun here at SEMA 2018. It is another episode of Mafia Memoirs my name is Jody Sedrick, my partner
Rod: Rod Puzey
Jody: And, of course, the man, the myth, the legend Prentice St. Clair
Prentice: more myth than anything.
Jody. Yeah we all got to have our thing. Prentice is probably one of the detailers in the industry he is heavily involved in the IDA
Prentice: Yes
Jody: And we wanted to grab him and talk to him not only about his business, but also the IDA and why you should get involved.
Prentice: Absolutely
Jody: So tell us a little bit about your business. You’re out of San Diego, California.
Prentice: So, uh, I have a very interesting business. I have an interesting life. I do pretty much anything that needs to be done in the detailing industry, which includes training, consulting and also includes working on cars. So as one of the trainers in the industry, I like to promote the fact that I still clean cars. I just did a complete detail last week by myself. So that’s, that’s, one of the things I do.
Rod: He doesn’t just work on cars. Prentice was one of the main people working on Air Force One this summer and put in, what, six days? Six, seven in the morning till six Thirty or seven a night.
Prentice: It was an honor and a privilege to be in that group. Amazing, Amazing, Detailers we had some great bonding experiences. I learned a lot about polishing aluminum. We polished aluminum a lot. Got to work on some absolutely amazing airplanes.
Jody: Yeah, you know that, that whole experience for me was super epic. Not only because of the people that we had the opportunity to work with, but also because we literally were touching and preserving history.
Prentice: Right
Jody: And that story really sunk in my heart as the week progressed. Prentice: Yeah, I went back the day afterwards, and I just sat next, to Air Force One that we worked on and I actually started to cry, just sitting there, you know that none of the other guys were there, none of supplies were there, just, just remembering the six days that we worked on those machines. It was amazing.
Jody: Yeah it was awesome. So we’re actually competing a little bit with the live demo
Prentice: Yeah, some other guy in the detailing industry. Some famous guy
Jody: You know Renny Doyle. But, you know, he’s interviewing Pan The Organize so hopefully this will turn out good if not, we’ll do another one with you, but Prentice tell us a little bit about the IDA because the IDA is driving, or trying to drive and elevate the industry.
Prentice: Absolutely so the International Detailing Association and you can see my badge right here. You can see my number is 00006
Jody: Whooh
Prentice: Which means I’ve been around a long time in the IDA, so but what I’m really proud of with the IDA is what we’ve done for the industry that we’ve always wanted to do we’ve spent years trying to elevate the industry. We’ve finally got an organization and a group of people a group of leaders that are doing an amazing job of just that. We’ve got the certified detailer program where you can actually be a certified detailer by an independent organization, the only independent certification available in the entire world through the IDA it’s very popular. I get people stopping me in the aisles, SEMA, saying, hey, how do you get that? I want to get that. So it’s a big deal! And we’re very proud of that. We’re gonna be branching into other areas like marine detailing, airplane detailing as far as getting more certification stripes, so that’s fun be patient, it takes time to do all this stuff because most of it done in the volunteer basis. What we’ve really seen in the last few years, especially with the IDA is the suppliers getting together and suppliers are setting the example of being cooperative competitors, as opposed to trying to just tear each other down and this is translating into the detailing industry for the operators on the street where we’re finding operators getting together and helping each other. And because we realize that even if there’s five of us in one small town we can all, do a better job and make more money and help our customers get better results.
Rod: Yeah, one of the biggest thing I see with it is the network of individuals.
Prentice: Yes,
Rod:They’re helping each other, and it raises the level of the industry in general it’s just not somebody washing a car. It is, it is a higher level of care, and by having that certification and the confidence in both you as a detailer and the industry in general. It’s not just some fly by night guy with a bucket.
Prentice: Exactly. So we’re separating ourselves from them from wannabes. Really/ Yeah, and more and more the motoring public is going to be coming to the IDA website looking for a certified detailer or just a member in their town. So it behooves you to get involved in the IDA. So my statistics may not be absolutely accurate at this moment, but I know we’ve got around a thousand members, we’re in a least fifty countries, we have three international chapters and seventy-five supplier members. Now the big thing about the supplier members, that means big companies like the one behind us and a lot of other big companies in detailing industry that you would recognize you just go on the IDA website and look at the supplier list, those people are putting their money and their effort, and their name behind the IDA. So that says something about our organization, that the big boys are supporting us.
Jody: To me and I think that’s a really important thing, I think because everybody wants to see the detail industry be elevated not only in our minds as industry leaders, as suppliers, as detailers, but also in the consumer’s mind. because I think a lot of people from consumer standpoint in the past, has thought about a detailers as a guy that just washes and waxes your car and there’s a whole different level of a certified detailer that go beyond just doing a full detail.
Prentice: Right, and the other thing that the IDA affords the operator member is to get in front of some of the most famous people in the detailing industry, those guys that you see on the internet all the time, the guys you see on tv and whatnot, they are part of the IDA. So what we find is that you come to an event like SEMA, Mobile Tech Expo or SEMA is that the IDA sponsors certification events. Right, right at the event, you can go to the event, become certified, get your skills verified right at the event and it’s going on the whole time. I mean, you don’t have to set up a special time to do that here you’re at the event you’re learning about products and techniques, everything, but you’re also getting certified. It is not set up to have people fail the test are actually set up for people to succeed. You know, I went through the testing uh, over a year ago, and it is not it’s, not rocket science. It is involved you have to study for but you can obtain it. It is not something to be worried about.
Prentice: You have you have to have some knowledge for sure we’re not trying to trip people up. We’re trying, to make sure that you know what you’re doing and then show you the places where you need to study up on that’s really what it’s more about. It’s, about helping people understand oh, I’m weak in this area I need to get better in that area that it’s not about pointing fingers and saying, oh, you don’t know about high-speed polishing.
Rod: And somebody asked me about the testing why they do it. I said, it’s, it’s setting a baseline.
Prentice: Right
Rod: It is getting everybody at a baseline knowledge, so that as far as chemicals, wheels, compounds, machines or technique it’s a baseline on the information and then you have to actually get certified by somebody that is a certified trainer to look at your skills and get your skills validated to say I now have my skills validated at an industry standard. I’m at a baseline with everyone else, you know, for me personally, it’s most people that are involved in a commitment of lifetime learning it’s just another step. It’s just something else you go do. We had a young kid come in yesterday and he asked “What is the advantage of being in the IDA and I was like every one of these people walking around here if you see that badge on the side of their arm, you can call him at any time and you’ve can ask them a question and they will answer and if they don’t know there’s ten other guys standing here that can.
Prentice: Exactly, so we had a certification in the day event yesterday here at SEMA and Rod was talking about how the IDA has programs at these different events. Mobile Tech Expo education days. I’m talking about our own. We have the certification in a day where you could finish all your tests in a four hour period get in and get them done. We also have skills validated, I believe on Saturday or Sunday. That’s all day long, you got to sign up for that. Go to the IDA website, the hyphen IDA dot com (the-ida.com) and you can register for those different events and get on board. http://detailinprogress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/DetailInProgressInc
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