CARLYLE - Professional car detailing is the art and the craft of cleaning and restoring a vehicle to like-new condition.
Darlene Hoffmann who owns and operates Dar’s Impressions Custom Auto Detailing and Engraving out of Carlyle has been in the business since 2010.
Hoffmann had been working for Mel and Lorna Hill for a few years when he decided to sell the business and that’s when Hoffmann decided to make her move.
“So I just picked it up and brought it home!” says Hoffmann of purchasing it from Hill.
“I just decided that because my kids were still in school I needed to be at home and still working.”
So this worked out good!
In the summertime Hoffmann can do her work right in her own driveway if the weather cooperates. So when the temperatures rose to 38C, working on the pavement felt like 53C!
And when it’s raining or otherwise, she parks her project in the garage, out of the elements.
Working from your driveway makes for good advertising! Passerby traffic just might stop in and book an appointment!
From when a vehicle is dropped off to sometimes up to 6 hours later, depending on the condition of the vehicle, when Hoffmann has the finished product ready to go to its owner she says it’s definitely a feeling of ‘satisfaction’ when the vehicle is cleaned from top to bottom.
Hoffmann says she’s had some vehicles brought to her in ‘pretty rough shape’.
“The dirtier the better!” she says with a laugh. “It takes more time of course.”
Hoffmann says it makes her feel pretty good when one of her customers make comments such as “It looks better than when we bought it new.”
So that’s a feather in her cap!
Hoffmann says her customers are usually doing a ‘happy dance’ when they come to pick up their vehicle once she’s finished with it.
She has her repeat customers every six months or yearly.
Some of the most difficult areas to clean will depend on the make of the vehicle from the slope of the dash or the space between the seat and the console.
Due to COVID, Hoffmann says she feels like she ‘lost her job’ with both the detailing and the engraving. People were staying at home and cleaning their own vehicle and with the all surrounding schools and clubs not having any events happening, there were no awards or trophies to engrave.
Business has been starting to pick back up again.
“From June until now, I have been fully booked,” explains Hoffmann. “It’s been wonderful. All my customers came back including some new ones.”
Hoffmann sees herself in this business for many years to come.
“I’ll do it for as long as I can and as long as the customers keep coming.”