My wife’s favorite hobby is complaining about the dust and crud that accumulates in our car, a Kia Soul. She completely blames me for 1) cats 2) eating/drinking in the car and 3) leaving footprints on the glove box when I cross my legs. I feel unfairly maligned, so it was a stroke of luck to come across Solo Mobile Detail, a detailing company that comes to your home. It is lesbian/woman owned, environmentally friendly, and a massive time/energy saver.
We scheduled about three weeks out. The owner, Amanda, asked us to give her access to an outlet and that was it. I parked the car in the parking pad behind our house, took the key to her when she arrived, and went back inside to do my stuff. No chemicals were spilled in our parking pad. No trace really that she had been there except the sparkle of the car.
I asked Amanda to do a Q&A to share this very cool business.
Name: Amanda Hrubes
Name of Your Business: Solo Mobile Detail
How do you describe your identity? Music lover. Hard worker. Cis. Lesbian.
Tell us about the first LGBTQ person you met and the impact they had on your life. My uncle is gay and I have had a close relationship with him since I was a teenager. I moved to Florida for a little bit to be closer to him at one point. I think knowing and seeing how free and confident he was helped me feel more comfortable with myself. I also owe most of my great laughs to him.
Your company provides auto detailing services. Let’s start with how you began working in this industry. A friend of the family owned a detail shop and needed some help right as I had been laid off from a job. It wasn’t something I thought I’d be doing for long, but with the gained expertise and an obsession with having things clean.. I became an excellent auto detailer.
What inspired you to start your own business specializing in detailing? Lockdown and my partner. She had been encouraging me to start my own thing and really giving me the confidence to do so. I wanted to do things on my terms. Remove all the toxicity that is found in that atmosphere from products to culture. Things started to open back up and there were a ton of people working from home. It wasn’t possible for me to have my own garage, but I saw an opportunity to go mobile. As of now, I’m a year and a half in business. I love working in different locations each day and meeting new people and their dogs. More so the dogs. I truly have the best clients. I’m grateful to my partner and everyone I’ve encountered along the way.
Your business comes to the vehicle and you only need an electrical outlet to do everything. How does that work? What about water? I use a waterless foam wash to clean the exterior and I bring heated water for shampooing the carpet and seats. The goal is to use as little water as possible.
Do you detail the engine? The engine bay is not included in the detail. It’s an upcharge add on with the client’s request.
We have a parking pad so that was fine as a space for you to work. What about folx who don’t have a driveway or similar space? Can you safely work on the street? If it’s not a busy street, yes. I rarely come across that issue, but if it arises I can pick up the vehicle and return it detailed. I am insured.
What is the impact on the environment of your products and your process? I try to be as non toxic and biodegradable as I can be out there. The average car wash uses between 10 to 30 gallons of water. The foam wash I apply is a zero water cleaning solution and saves time in my detailing process. This is an issue I care about and will continue to learn of and purchase new products and equipment.
What geographic area do you serve? Is there a typical customer? What days/hours are you available? I’m in Regent Square so I try to keep it within a 20 mile radius from there. I detail Monday through Friday 8-5. I can’t say I have a typical customer. I do have a lot of work from homes, but I also go to people’s workplace. There are repeat customers that just want to have a clean car and don’t have the time. A couple people just made that final car payment and they call me to give them that new car feel again. I have business owners who get their employees vehicles taken care of. Everyone appreciates the convenience and the luxury treatment.
Your prices are competitive especially when factoring in the convenience of not having to take the vehicle somewhere, get a ride home, etc. Tell us about your pricing. My priority at this stage in my business is growing my customer base and building name recognition in the Pittsburgh market
My main service is the Lux Detail. That’s the full interior and exterior. It starts at $200. The price increases with the size of vehicle and certain conditions like excessive pet hair because it keeps me on site longer than the average detail.
Detailing can help with resale value. How often would you recommend someone have their vehicle detailed as part of their routine maintenance? At least once a year for the full detail and every couple months do a spruce up. I have clients that schedule a Lux Detail with me twice a year. One headed into winter and one coming out. Personally I’m a fan of a fall detail. Give your paint protection against the lovely Pittsburgh weather.
The bane of our existence is keeping the windshield free of distracting streaks. What do you recommend? Ha! Windows. My arch nemesis. I strongly recommend brand new microfiber towels. One for cleaning and one for drying. The waffle rags are excellent as well. If I can name drop…I currently have Maguires Perfect Clarity glass cleaner in my arsenal.
What is the number one thing people can do to keep their car interior in good condition for their own comfort? Invest in protective floor mats. Also, keep a microfiber towel in the console/glove compartment. Give it a wipe down once a week even as you’re just sitting in the driver’s seat.
What are some of the most interesting things you’ve found in vehicles? Freddy Krueger’s glove was definitely a highlight.
Please share your social media accounts/website/contact information.
I’m hoping to spend more time this year upping my social media game. Reach out and follow!
Is there anything else you’d like to add? I just want to say thank you to all my clients. They have been so supportive. Most of my business has been due to word of mouth. Also, thank you for what you do. Giving people a voice. Making Pittsburgh proud!
Thank you, Amanda. We’ll see you in the fall!
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