Today we’d like to introduce you to Henry Diaz.
Henry, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
A lifelong car enthusiast, I created So Cal Auto Detail Center™ as an extension of my passion for cars and drive to become a successful entrepreneur. Growing up in New York City, I spent my childhood in two places, basketball courts and my dad’s auto body shop. When I moved here to San Diego in 90s, I spent some time detailing for car dealerships before starting a career in the attorney service industry.
All the while, I kept abreast of the detailing world and worked at improving my techniques. I left my career in the attorney service industry in 2010, when a detail shop vacancy in the building I was working in caught my eye. I scribbled down the logistics of what it would take to get a shop up and running, discussed my dream with my then fiancé (now wife) and went for it, and SoCal Auto Detail Center was born! Nowadays, when I’m not in the shop, I’m attending seminars and training courses offered around the country, or virtually. I am diligent about staying up to date on the latest methods and trends in auto detailing and paint restoration/correction industry.
My goal is to always be open to learning new techniques and methodologies in auto detailing, that’s what enables So Cal Auto Detail Center™ to always be on the cutting edge in paint care and restoration. The fuel and fire of my 24/7 grind that has gotten me to and pushes me forward still is the love and support of my wife and kids, as well as a network of trusted friends and colleagues. I also am so incredibly grateful for some amazing clients that have been with SoCal Auto Detail Center™ since it’s inception.
SoCal Auto Detail Center™ is the marriage of Determination, Experience, creating Excellence as a result. I believe that you can see this in everything we do, from a basic wash to paint corrections and coatings. I am constantly in the pursuit of Perfection, whether that means improving my technique or investing in the latest technology. By staying focused on perfection, my clients are rewarded with detail services far beyond what you will find at your corner $5 car wash. From their first visit, clients can see we truly care about their car. We believe that every client’s vehicle is an investment, and SoCal Auto Detail Center™ is Committed to protecting that investment. So whether you are interested in full-scale paint correction, looking to restore the original paint on your classic or exotic car, or you simply wish to preserve and protect the finish on your vehicle, or motorcycle, So Cal Auto Detail Center™ will meet your goals and expectations with passion, precision, and perfection!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road from the day SoCal Auto Detail Center was open for business today in 2020, has been full of twists and turns and had its fair share of ups and downs. First big obstacle was deciding to leave my career in the legal field and attempt a joint venture with a partner who had a business plan far different than what I had in mind. He wanted numbers (push as many cars through in a day as possible), and I wanted to focus on more quality (even if that meant less cars were done in a day). After a year of arguing over a solid and single business goal, we decided to go our separate ways.
My journey continued down a bumpy road that first year of operation. I felt as though I was competing with other car washes, and detailers in San Diego, and had to work hard to prove to myself SoCal Auto Detail Center offered so much more than a generic “turn and burn” car wash. I experimented with marketing and tried putting our name out there with Groupon, etc. But it wasn’t until researched, sought out, spoke to industry and entrepreneurial mentors, that this road I am began to smooth out. I found courses and seminars offered on auto detailing and got some training. I went to Ohio, where Esoteric Car Care offered training in paint correction and ceramic coating. While there, the training lit my fire in me, a spark to absorb every bit of information. Also, while in Ohio, sitting in their lobby, I was reading a Ferrari Magazine and came across the name of Lucci Elite Detail in Irvine.
Feeling inspired and unstoppable, I called the owner from the lobby of Esoteric, asking if he would be interested in an intern or apprentice. At this point, I had approached other detailers in San Diego to get training and was either turned away or laughed at but not deterred. I explained to the guys at Lucci Elite that I wanted to do Luxury High end & exotic car detailing. The guys said sure come on up, so my knowledge for detailing and paint correction grew immensely. My days were filled running my shop during the week, and heading north on my weekends up studying with Lucci Elite for nearly two years.
The professionalism I witnessed with detailers like Esoteric and Lucci Elite educated me not just on technique but building my brand. Which meant in order for SoCal Auto Detail Center to grow with the changes I had in mind, I had to make a hard decisions like letting my entire staff go and starting all over beginning with training employees the way I wanted work to be done. I had to take another risk and raise my prices even if it meant taking a loss in clients. But the clients who stayed loyal and who embraced us have continued to support me and my mission. The road is now clear, and I have learned that by doing good work you will be rewarded with clients that will speak highly about you and the quality of your work.
SoCal Auto Detail Center – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Our specialty and what customers love about SoCal Auto Detail Center is that we are the most meticulous auto detailing and paint correction/paint protection service in San Diego, California. We offer comprehensive yet flexible car detailing services, as well as a wide range of paint re-conditioning packages, all suited to our clients’ needs – any vehicle type. We have earned that top rating because every vehicle is treated as if it were our own, with unequaled quality and professionalism.
No matter if it’s your first visit or 100th, our goal is to provide a better-than-new finish each and every time. We tailor each detail or paint restoration to the customer’s needs and we provide education on owner car care and maintenance. Our goal is to achieve perfection resulting in that “WOW!” factor. We specialize in paint correction, ceramic coating, as well offer services like window tinting and paint protection film. As owner and founder of SoCal Auto Detail Center, I believe what sets us apart from others is that we are our work is done with integrity, We take the time to get know all our clients, and we care for all of them and their vehicles.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Making a client’s eyes light up when they pick up their car means success. Seeing a client come back or sign up for a detailed membership means success. When a new client says, they were referred by a client of ours, mean success. These occurrences happen because of my dedication to my craft, my clients, and cultivating a team that cares as much as I do about auto detailing. These things and more tell me I have succeeded, and I am seeing my dream job become my reality.
- BASIC WASH & DETAIL Cars $40 SUV/Large Vehicles $50 Gentle Pre-rinse with softened water Foam bath pre-soak Tires thoroughly cleaned & conditioned Fender walls cleaned & conditioned Spot free de-ionized water rinse Air purge of excess water in reservoirs & door jams to prevent water spots Dry with ultra-soft, microfiber towels Front floor mats cleaned & sanitized Thorough interior vacuum & dust with light spot cleaning as necessary Sanitation of door handles, shift knob & steering wheel All interior leather, vinyl & plastic wiped down to a satin finish using conditioner with UV blocker Door jams cleaned All interior & exterior glass cleaned to a streak-free clarity Exhaust tip cleaned Final wipe-down with detail spray Please allow 1-1.5 Hours to complete.
- SIGNATURE WASH & WAX DETAIL Cars $90 SUV/Large Vehicles $100 Gentle Pre-rinse with softened water Foam bath pre-soak Tires thoroughly cleaned & conditioned Fender walls cleaned & conditioned Spot free de-ionized water rinse High gloss polymer sealant for wet finish Air purge of excess water in reservoirs & door jams to prevent water spots Dry with ultra-soft, microfiber towels Front floor mats cleaned & sanitized Thorough interior vacuum & dust with light spot cleaning as necessary Sanitize door handles, shift knob & steering wheel All interior & exterior glass cleaned to a streak-free clarity Door jams cleaned All interior & exterior glass cleaned to a streak-free clarity Exhaust tip cleaned Final wipe-down with detail spray Machine Applied Carnauba Wax to Exterior & Door Jams Finalize with high gloss polymer sealant for wet finish Please allow 1-1.5 Hours to complete.
- INTERIOR DETAIL Cars $175 SUV/Large Vehicles $225 Includes Basic Wash and Detail Thorough vacuuming of interior including: pockets under & between seats, center console, glove compartment, folding seats as well as trunk or rear compartments of SUVs Deep cleaning of all interior plastic, vinyl panels, & leather We ensure that all crevices, air vents, pockets & cup holders are cleaned thoroughly Sanitation of front and rear seating Deep cleaning and deodorization of Carpet Clean and polish all leather & vinyl surfaces including: seats, doors, door jams, steering wheel, control panels, gear shifts, arm rests, compartments, air vents & crevices Condition & apply protection to leather & vinyl surfaces (including leather seats) Sun visors cleaned, sanitized and protective coating applied. Streak Free Windows & Mirrors *Appointments for this service must be made at least one (1) day in advance •Please allow 4-5 hours to complete (depending on the condition upon inspection).
- EXTERIOR DETAIL Cars $250 SUV/Large Vehicles $300 Gentle Pre-Rinse with Softened Water Thorough Hand Washing of Entire Vehicle Clay Bar Treatment to Remove Contaminants Wheel Wells Cleaned Rims & Tires Cleaned and Dressed Streak Free Exterior Windows/Mirrors Removal of Light Scratches & Oxidation Paint Polished to Brilliant Shine Wax Applied to Protect “Showroom Shine” Blown Dry to Remove Trapped Water & Eliminate Drip Bug and Tar Removal Dried with High GSM Count Microfiber Towels Appointments for this service must be made at least one (1) day in advance & allow 5-6 hours to complete.
- COMPLETE DETAIL Cars $375 SUV/Large Vehicles $450 Gentle Pre-Rinse with Softened Water Thorough Hand Washing of Entire Vehicle Clay Bar Treatment to Remove Contaminants Wheel Wells Cleaned Rims & Tires Cleaned and Dressed Removal of Light Scratches & Oxidation Paint Polished to Brilliant Shine Wax Applied to Protect “Showroom Shine” Bug and Tar Removal Dried with High GSM Count Microfiber Towels Full Vacuuming Floors/Seats/Trunk Heated Extraction of Carpet & Floor Mats Cleaning of Center Console & Cup Holders Cleaning/Dressing of Dash Board Cleaning/Dressing of Leather and Vinyl Dusting of Air Vents Streak Free Windows & Mirrors Removal of Dirt & Grime from Door Jams Apointments for this service must be made at least one (1) day in advance & allow 5-6 hours to complete allow 5+6 hours to complete.
- We now offer our premier mobile auto detailing services for San Diego and Orange Counties in Southern California. Whether it’s your home, office, or commercial business, So Cal Auto Detail Center™ will meet you and your vehicle at the location of your choosing. We provide the same high-quality auto detailing services performed at our shop in San Diego. **Requires a 2 (two) car minimum purchase. Detail services must be scheduled in advance and approved by management.
- Address: 7610 Hazard Center Drive, Suite 113, San Diego CA 92108
- Website: http://socalautodetailcenter.com/
- Phone: (619)683-7420
- Email: SoCalAutoDetailCenter@gmail.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/SOCALAUTODETAILcenter/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/socalautodetailcenter
- Twitter: @SoCalAutoDetail
- Yelp: https://m.yelp.com/biz/socal-auto-detail-center-san-diego-3
- Other: www.youtube.com/channel/UCs3rOviXg1IJ67WyDKbdgkw