Entrepreneur’s brings eye for detail to New Milford
NEW MILFORD — Local entrepreneur Kevin Awalt has turned more than a decade of experience detailing cars and a true passion for the trade into a successful business.
Awalt, who has been detailing cars since he was a teenager, opened Arkham Shine Paint Correction and Detailing on Danbury Road just north of The Home Depot last year. After working on research and development with GTechniq, a company that makes a variety of auto coatings and other products, Awalt decided to go out on his own.
“We opened in March and we’ve been doing well ever since,” he said. “Rather than focusing on the volume of business, we prefer to focus on the quality of products and services that we provide to our customers.”
“There are thousands of us in the country who take detailing very seriously, but we struggle with the fact that people can pick up $50 worth of products at a discount store and call themselves a detailer,” he said. “Detailing could really be defined as anything from a wash and wax to the kind of true paint correction that we provide our customers with. We want our customers to have quality products that provide long-lasting protection for the vehicle.”
Awalt said he has a variety of coatings at his disposal that can correct blemishes in a vehicle’s paint job through a chemical process that tactically bonds to the paint.
“When it cures, it’s actually harder than the clear coat,” he said. “We then add an hydrophobic layer that provides a slick surface that nothing can stick to.”
Depending upon the product used, Awalt offers his customers anywhere from a two-year up to a lifetime guarantee on the work.
“Unlike most waxes that will last one season, these products will last for many, many years,” Awalt said. “A vehicle is often the second-biggest investment most people make. Our services help to protect that investment for the long term.”
Besides operating his own shop, Awalt also serves as the regional manager for Splash Car Wash’s Five Star detailing program. As part of the job, Awalt recently traveled to Texas to train a car dealership’s preparation department on the finer points of detailing.
“It’s something I’m looking to become even more involved with,” he said.
Jeff Ginty, who recently had his 2006 red Ford Mustang GT serviced with Awalt, said he couldn’t believe the results.
“I thought the car had been in mint condition, but he redefined what mint condition means for me,” he said. “Most of my friends are asking me if I got a new paint job.”
Ginty said he was most impressed, however, with Awalt’s knowledge and efforts to education his customers.
“He really has an extensive knowledge, even in terms of what his competition is offering and how it compares,” he said. “Kevin is a true professional with a real eye for detail.”