Mark and Brady Anderson still laugh about one of their most memorable detailing jobs — cleaning melted crayons out of the backseat floor of a minivan.
“It looked like a rainbow across the carpet,” Mark recalled. “But, we were able to get it all out.”
Melted crayons, pet hair, coffee stains, ground-in sand and salt, hard water streaks, sticker residue… it’s all just another day at work for the Andersons. Nothing the right equipment and a little elbow grease can’t handle.
The father and son team opened Diamond Detailing of the Lakes about a year ago, in August 2019, and since then, they’ve tackled a stream of dirty cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, RVs and other recreational vehicles, cleaning and polishing them up, inside and out.
“We’re a full automotive and recreational vehicle detailing service,” said Mark. “We try to accommodate people in any way we can.”
Brady brings five years of professional detailing experience to the business. He started in the field right out of high school, working at Nyhus Family Sales, a used car dealership in Perham. Then he worked as the head detailer at Auctionblock in Audubon. Most recently, he did detailing at Outlet Recreation in Detroit Lakes.
“I’ve worked all over,” he said.
Mark did some detailing work himself when he was Brady’s age, but has spent most of his life as a self-employed construction worker. He’s putting that “on the back burner” for now, he said, as he focuses his attention on building up Diamond Detailing.
The business operates out of a red-and-white garage facility at 600 North Washington Avenue, a block north of the Highway 10 intersection. There’s some signage up now, but Mark said they’re planning to add even more in the near future. They want to really grab people’s attention and let the community know they’re here.
“I think the biggest thing right now is still just getting our name out there,” Mark said. “We’re open, and we welcome people.”
They also plan to add off-site detailing services in the future, including campsite and dockside services. Right now it’s just the two of them and one part-time employee, but as the business grows, Mark said, he’d like to have as many as three full-time workers on staff, and might add an evening shift.
“We just want to keep getting busier and busier, and just keep moving ahead,” he said.
He added that this first year of business has been “up and down” for them, as they’ve enjoyed some really great weeks and then had to wait out some slower weeks. He thinks the COVID-19 pandemic has “most definitely” impacted business, but things are still going well overall.
This time of year, “probably 75-80%” of customer requests are for vehicle detailing, the Andersons said, while the spring and fall are more popular seasons for boat and recreational vehicle jobs, as people want those cleaned up before and after putting them in storage for the winter.
“The most requested service is interior detailing — that’s the biggest one we do,” said Mark. “We do exterior, as well, but I think a lot of people just have a hard time keeping up with the interiors.”
Working side-by-side as father and son can create “a little pressure sometimes,” Mark admitted — “Oh, we have our moments.”
“But the biggest goal is to build this into a family business,” he added. “We’re trying to create a good business for the family.”
That family includes a sister, Bobbi-Jo, who along with Brady came up with the name Diamond Detailing, and wife and mother Connie, whom Mark said will hopefully join the business herself one day, helping with the books and other office work.
The Andersons have lived in Detroit Lakes since 2008, when they moved up here from the Twin Cities. They’d spent time here in the summers for years prior to that, at a family lake cabin, so they were already familiar with the community, and fond of it.