The Silver Detail is $50 and takes about one-and-a-half hours. It includes a hand wash, blow out, vacuum, interior wipe down and windows.
MARYVILLE, Mo. — Is your car in need of a bit of cleaning after all the snow this winter? A Northwest Missouri State University student has started a business, Attention to Detail, to help clean the dirt, salt and grime from local vehicles.
Sophomore Mariah Rost has enjoyed cleaning the interior of vehicles since she was a child.
“I started when I was younger,” she said. “I always was interested in vehicles — always out there with my dad. That was the thing, I always cleaned the inside of the car when I was little.”
Originally from Kearney, Nebraska, Rost enjoys seeing the before and after states of vehicles she cleans.
“I’m a very particular person and I like to see what I can do with that,” she said. “Some of the before and afters are pretty crazy.”
For extra cash during high school, Rost began working at a local dealership in Kearney. For three years she learned the tricks of the trade from her mentor Jason Elliott, detail technician at Midway Auto Dealership.
“I kind of got into it,” she said, further explaining that she enjoys seeing the change and “(I) realized that I like to start with something and see the finished product.”
Once at Northwest, Elliott encouraged Rost to start a business of her own.
“He kind of took me under his wing,” she said.
While at the dealership, Rost worked on the trade-in vehicles, but in the last year she was there focused more on customer work.
“Mariah is an excellent detailer,” Elliott told The Forum on Monday. “I trained her over a couple of summers and she learned quickly and performed tasks with high quality.”
He said Rost is the type of person to have and succeed with a detail business because she is always on time, reliable, hard-working, focused and never gets distracted.
“When I told her what to do, she did it immediately,” he said. “I really enjoyed working with her. (She has a) good attitude and work ethic. Most her age don’t have these qualities, determination or ambition.”
Acquiring equipment from her former employer, Rost is yet to run into a job she couldn’t handle. People can be worried or embarrassed about having their vehicle professionally cleaned, but Rost said she’s seen it all.
“I’ve done a lot of farm vehicles just living in the Midwest,” Rost said. “Those tend to take quite a while.”
She’s seen mold in carpets, construction pick-ups with concrete and much more.
“I have a heat extractor, it’s similar to a carpet shampooer,” she said. “I use my own chemicals I usually spray down the vehicle. I usually spray my own chemicals, scrub those in and then use the heat extractor. It just uses water and heat and it’s attached to a vacuum to spray the water out and sucks it right back up behind it.”
Rost orders her chemicals from the internet. Because she’s most familiar with them, Rost uses the same chemicals her previous employer used.
However, she has tried new things and continues to change as she finds new products or receives recommendations from Elliott.
“I can get a lot out with just the chemicals that I have but for some, especially farm vehicles, or if you live on a gravel road it’ll need that extraction,” Rost explained.
Rost says she’s not yet received a complaint with regard to her work, but always works to make the customer happy.
She will work around class or work schedules for picking up the car and dropping it back off. Depending on what the customer needs, she can pick up the car at an office and drop it back off when it’s finished.
“I’ve mainly done college students so far up here — I’m just kind of getting started,” Rost said. “I kind of have a full class load right now so that was obviously my first concern.”
She spent the first semester getting her flyers and business cards designed, created and ordered. Second semester, Rost picked up a few more local detail jobs.
Rost plans to keep balance between classes and her business, but will be available for jobs in the afternoons and on weekends.
“I’ve just tried to schedule my classes as early in the morning so I have all afternoon and evening to do vehicles,” she said.
On the weekends, depending on the package and how much work the vehicle needs, she can do several in a day. Right now she does the work in her garage, but with spring finally arriving, Rost is excited to do some of the work outside.
With regard to price, the package information is available on Rost’s Facebook page, https://bit.ly/2TWCWqW.
“I tried to make them a little more reasonable than a dealership would just because it’s just me,” she said. “I don’t have to hire any employees, I just have to cover my expenses and my own time.”
For more information, reach out to Rost by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 308-440-6184.