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-   -   Starting a new business selling car wax (http://forums.acuralegend.org/showthread.php?t=32753)

Vic Cardenas 01-16-2015 04:42 PM

Starting a new business selling car wax
 
I have an exciting announcement for my legend brothers (and sisters? :dunno:).

I have been working my butt off the past few months and I'm finally starting to see the fruits of my labor materializing. I have developed an excellent carnauba car wax and a very nice leather conditioner. I will release the wax very soon and shortly after that, the leather conditioner. I am starting small but in the future I will be competing against companies like Dodo Juice, Zymol, Swissvax, Palm Beach Motoring Group's brands and the likes.

The name of my business is "Auto Alchemist".

The biggest difference between me and them is that I am operating in a state with strict VOC laws that were recently enacted. I do not have the luxury of being "grandfathered in" like these companies, so all of my products will be Non-VOC, Low VOC or VOC exempt! My first wax uses only VOC exempt ingredients that replace the harsh solvents that are usually used (and still used, despite the laws!) to manufacture wax. My process is quite innovative and I will be seeking to patent it.

I am in the process of licensing the business right now (government workers are so slow!) and getting all my ducks in a row to open up shop. I am working on my website and have containers on order and working on getting my graphics/logo done. I spent like $1500 yesterday on equipment and consumables, so it is getting pretty serious!

I will be doing facebook giveaways and promotions to get the business started, so watch out for that. I'll also do some sort of group buy on here so all the forum members can get a discount.

I will be updating this thread with my progress (and links) once more things materialize and I start to look a little more professional. Stay tuned...

ThirstyTree 01-16-2015 07:01 PM

I really cant wait for that leather conditioner. Almost out, too👍. Any new teaser pics?


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LowPSI 01-16-2015 09:07 PM

Very interested in becoming one of your first customers. Don't need the leather conditioner for my '93 5sp "itch", but Will's '94 could really use a cleaning. They both need a good buff and wax. Congrats on your new venture!


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Chrispy 01-16-2015 09:17 PM

Count me in Vic! I am set in my ways when it comes to compounds and sealants, but I do try out lots of different top coat waxes. Pretty cool youve figured out a way to make all that stuff.

rwheadon 01-16-2015 09:45 PM

Sounds great Vic!

I would like one tub of your special "wax once every 2 years and look like glass" formula that is so slick water, dirt and rocks are instantly repelled. Of course 3whp and 5mpg improvement is expected too.

rich

Chrispy 01-17-2015 07:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rwheadon (Post 540698)
Sounds great Vic!

I would like one tub of your special "wax once every 2 years and look like glass" formula that is so slick water, dirt and rocks are instantly repelled. Of course 3whp and 5mpg improvement is expected too.

rich

Aerodynamic mod :rofl2:

holyabish1 01-17-2015 09:06 AM

Sounds like a pretty awesome adventure. As soon as I have Maxine up and going, I'll have a good enough paint job to deserve such treatment, lol!

Vic Cardenas 01-17-2015 11:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThirstyTree (Post 540691)
I really cant wait for that leather conditioner. Almost out, too👍. Any new teaser pics?


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while pooping

I have a new camera on order but here is a quick teaser for you...
On my $1000 Canterbury Green ka7...
Paint is not prepped a lick but this stuff has been holding up, and beading, for a few months already. :excited:

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/a...psc9551495.jpg

Quote:

Originally Posted by LowPSI (Post 540693)
Very interested in becoming one of your first customers. Don't need the leather conditioner for my '93 5sp "itch", but Will's '94 could really use a cleaning. They both need a good buff and wax. Congrats on your new venture!


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Thank you! I look forward to you trying it out.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chrispy (Post 540695)
Count me in Vic! I am set in my ways when it comes to compounds and sealants, but I do try out lots of different top coat waxes. Pretty cool youve figured out a way to make all that stuff.

Thanks! Which ones do you like? Have you tried any Dodo Juice, Son1c Wax, Bouncers or Rubbish Boys products? That's kind of how I got into all this was reading all the threads. Now I hope to compete with them on all levels but I will be undercutting their prices a bit so hopefully that drives sales. I really think you will like my wax though. It performs quite well and a tub should last a good long time.

Quote:

Originally Posted by rwheadon (Post 540698)
Sounds great Vic!

I would like one tub of your special "wax once every 2 years and look like glass" formula that is so slick water, dirt and rocks are instantly repelled. Of course 3whp and 5mpg improvement is expected too.

rich

LOL... I can say it will look glassy and will repel water. Not so sure about the rest... :mhihi:


Quote:

Originally Posted by holyabish1 (Post 540718)
Sounds like a pretty awesome adventure. As soon as I have Maxine up and going, I'll have a good enough paint job to deserve such treatment, lol!

Thank you! Thanks for all the support guys! I can wait to get my gov'ment papers so I can start selling.

Chrispy 01-19-2015 07:51 AM

Vic, after my sealant cures I top with various waxes depending on color and finish Im looking for. Some of my favorites are Wolfgang Fuzion, Pinnacle Souveran and XMT 180. Dodo Juice Blue velvet, diamond white, and hard candy, and Blackfire black ice. I have some Blackfire midnight sun that I havent tried yet.

That said, each of those waxes will create different depths depending on the base paint. I will say it gets VERY expensive having to keep all these different waxes on the shelf for different finishes. Id be VERY interested in a single go to wax that will give me the finish I want every time, without having to keep multiple waxes around for each different finish Im looking for. But that can be really difficult. Im real interested in what you come up with and I will give any of your stuff a try and give you honest feedback.

Dreams94coupe 01-19-2015 09:20 AM

What color does this wax look best on? My car is midnight blue and I almost pissed myself after I put the blackfire black ice on my car. It left my paint nice and glossy. I'm always looking to try new stuff so I'm curious as to how well yours is.

Not sure if you know but autogeek festival meet is coming up soon. That maybe a good way to get your foot in the door.

Vic Cardenas 01-19-2015 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chrispy (Post 540782)
Vic, after my sealant cures I top with various waxes depending on color and finish Im looking for. Some of my favorites are Wolfgang Fuzion, Pinnacle Souveran and XMT 180. Dodo Juice Blue velvet, diamond white, and hard candy, and Blackfire black ice. I have some Blackfire midnight sun that I havent tried yet.

That said, each of those waxes will create different depths depending on the base paint. I will say it gets VERY expensive having to keep all these different waxes on the shelf for different finishes. Id be VERY interested in a single go to wax that will give me the finish I want every time, without having to keep multiple waxes around for each different finish Im looking for. But that can be really difficult. Im real interested in what you come up with and I will give any of your stuff a try and give you honest feedback.

Excellent... I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. I have yet to test it on all shades of paint but it seems to be performing quite well on the ones I have tested it on. I've been impressed with the depth and gloss but it will be good to hear some more feedback from somebody who has a lot of experience with these products. I'll send you a sample. PM sent.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dreams94coupe (Post 540785)
What color does this wax look best on? My car is midnight blue and I almost pissed myself after I put the blackfire black ice on my car. It left my paint nice and glossy. I'm always looking to try new stuff so I'm curious as to how well yours is.

Not sure if you know but autogeek festival meet is coming up soon. That maybe a good way to get your foot in the door.

I have tested it on Nighthawk Black Pearl, Canterbury Green, Frost White and some sort of Hyundai blue-green-purple metallic paint. I would say it performs really well on the black and the dark colors really well. The metallic flakes just pop like crazy on the dark colors, the canterbury seemed to darken a hue and give it more of a blueish color. I really liked it on the canterbury. It really brings out the metallic in it and brings out the flakes. Same with the NBP, the flakes were very dull before but after the wax they really start to show especially the purple flakes. It give really good gloss, IMO, on all the colors. I haven't had too much time to test it on my white cars but from what I have seen it really enhanced the gloss on those too but both my frost white cars are seriously neglected. I'll do more testing with those. On the Hyundai it was the same... really good flake "pop" and good gloss. I think it's safe to say that it would work really well on your blue car. If I add it to the product description, I will say that it works really well with darker colored metallic paints but I think it's safe to say it works well on all colored paints at this point in my testing.

I did read about the festival on their forum. I'm afraid that I am still waiting on business licensing so that is not really an option for me yet. Thanks for the heads up! Once I am licensed I will be ready to start selling though. One of the next things on my list was to contact them to inquire about carrying my products on their website. We'll see how that goes.

Vic Cardenas 01-22-2015 01:04 AM

I really need some public input here. I need some ideas for a name of my first car wax I will release. I have hired a graphic designer that is designing my brand logo and my labeling and one of the questions he asked was what was the name of my first car wax. I do have a (IMO stupid) name. But really it is just an internal name at this point and without a good name, I guess, in a way I am jeopardizing my entire company branding. I want to go about this the most professional way that I can and in a timely manner because I am starting to work on another professional's timeframe. This guy is good and I can see I have to step up to the plate for him and offer him something better than what I have at the moment so we both can have clear focus on the rest of the branding and keep it all cohesive.

If somebody can come up with a good name for my car wax and I decide on using it, I will send them a free 250ml pot of wax worth $60!

There are some things to consider before blindly naming off hundreds of names. This will take some thought on your part as I have been racking my brain the past two months trying to name my product. Hopefully someone here is more talented than me in this respect.

Name of the business is Auto Alchemist.

I am trying to convey my product as "green" but I do not want to brand it as a super hippie, whole foods crowd with blond dreadlocks attached. I don't think that brand image will work well with the detailing and automotive enthusiast crowd. Plus, I think that type of branding is very played out in 2015.

But again remember, I am trying to brand it as "green" because my product does contain No VOC's which is unusual with car waxes. The ingredients are high quality and mainly natural. No harsh solvents are used. The process I am using is innovative for a small wax maker. The ingredients I use to replace the solvents are VOC law exempt.

My target demographic is gravitating towards "technology" and state-of-the-art chemical sounding names lately. Those brands are gaining traction, it seems.

I want to incorporate this "techy" branding somehow but the "green" branding is difficult to commingle with that. If I can get an idea for a "green tech" style name for my first premium carnauba wax then that would be ideal.

So, who will win the pot of wax????????????? :auto:

bboarder711 01-22-2015 07:49 AM

Subscribed and looking to try some stuff out. I need a full color correction on my new c30

Vic Cardenas 01-22-2015 08:03 AM

Nice! Can't wait to start getting some wax on cars. I've got to correct the paint on my RL too and am just starting to learn about DAs and polishing pads and compounds and what not.

Quaraxkad 01-22-2015 08:07 AM

Since the company name is Auto Alchemist, why not use some Alchemy related names? Names of historic alchemists, metals, elixirs, etc. Only problem is that many of those are unpronounceable! I had to look these up, so nobody assume I'm an alchemy nerd... There are four main "processes" to alchemy, and two of them seem to be a very good fit for a wax product. The third is called Citrinitas, and its name relates to transforming silver into gold. And the fourth is Rubedo, which is the last step to finalize and perfect the item/product/process. Any of these "real" alchemy terms may have symbols associated with them that you can use as the product logos.

Vic Cardenas 01-22-2015 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quaraxkad (Post 540861)
Since the company name is Auto Alchemist, why not use some Alchemy related names? Names of historic alchemists, metals, elixirs, etc. Only problem is that many of those are unpronounceable! I had to look these up, so nobody assume I'm an alchemy nerd... There are four main "processes" to alchemy, and two of them seem to be a very good fit for a wax product. The third is called Citrinitas, and its name relates to transforming silver into gold. And the fourth is Rubedo, which is the last step to finalize and perfect the item/product/process. Any of these "real" alchemy terms may have symbols associated with them that you can use as the product logos.

That is actually really good input and a great idea for a cohesive branding strategy. I really like it! I did develop some formulas that utilize D-Limonine (or "Citrus Solvent" as it is commonly known), as a type of solvent. I scrapped that formula for the time being but was planning on developing a D-Limonine formula as my second wax I release, since I have become familiar with that ingredient. The trouble with it is, it tends to be greasy and hard to spread evenly and very slow curing. But I'm sure I can formulate a way around those very easy to overcome traits... :thumbsup:

"Citrinitas" would be a perfect name for that!!!! :excited:

Thank you, Jason! I am really going to ruminate on this one.

EDIT: Actually, there is a very, very small amount of limonene in my first formula, the one I am trying to name and of course it does have a bit of a citrusy scent although not very pronounced and the main scent like my other "orange oil" or "tangeringe oil" formulations that really do smell very citrusy and would be more suited to the "citrinitas" label (although citrinitas has nothing to do with "citrus" it definitely conveys that in our language as far as my limited understanding of word is concerned.) The top notes in my current formula are lemongrass/coconut
and of course lemongrass, also known as citronella, does smell very citrusy to a lot of people. Me, I think orange, lemon, lime, tangerine is a citrus smell and lemongrass however smells like asian food and less like citrus. But of course I am a cook so that may be where I have that smell association from. I'm sure nearly everyone would disagree with me and say that lemongrass does in fact smell very citrusy.

Vic Cardenas 01-22-2015 09:52 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Going along with that alchemy branding theme I found some artwork that really intrigues me. But then again I've always had a fascination with occult style artwork.

Quaraxkad 01-22-2015 12:08 PM

I had another idea as an extension to that... On the back label of each container you could have a little description of what the word meant in alchemy, and how that correlates to the product inside. It would tie it all together for the customers, they'll see how there's a common theme to naming everything and it's not just random words you pulled from a scrabble tile bag.

Vic Cardenas 01-22-2015 02:17 PM

For sure. If I were to name my product citrinitas, I would describe that it is the process of changing silver to gold. Which, that all does make sense in the marketing of a car wax anyway. Also, I am looking more into the symbolism in alchemy and have gotten some pretty good new ideas I can give my graphic designer for the company logo which tie into some of my other older ideas that were already taken or not original enough. All good ideas and I am leaning more towards branding myself in this manner. I owe you big time either way!

Vic Cardenas 01-23-2015 03:23 PM

Tease...

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/a...psmno3pqu6.jpg

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/a...ps3ppxdae6.jpg

Vic Cardenas 01-23-2015 03:30 PM

^That was some beading from my product 3 weeks after application. I applied it on an unprepped, very swirl marked surface. The car has been getting quite a few contaminants on it lately for testing and I have not washed it since then either. I'd say the wax is holding up pretty good... would you?

Also, I'm figuring out my product labeling. I think I picked what I really like and will use but the graphic artist did warn me they are expensive labels. I'm not sure I can settle for less though. It's a pretty durable label with a matte (more like satin) finish. That's not my label artwork, just a sample, FYI.

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/a...psqy90yccd.jpg

kotetu 01-27-2015 04:53 PM

Nice!

Vic Cardenas 01-27-2015 07:24 PM

Thank you! Not much to update, just been dealing with all the boring side of starting a business. Like waiting on the final step for my business licensing. Waiting on my graphic artist. Also been dealing with finding that perfect cardboard box to ship it in. Exciting! :-/

smokinfastlegend 02-01-2015 06:40 AM

Very cool to see you taking on this adventure Vic. Waxes are a very large market, but the specialty waxes are definitely in a game of their own.

Limonene i know is a common tar remover (think goo gone and stoners tarminator) but didnt think it was a solvent in wax. Hmmm.

Ill be honest though, I have not used a wax in well over a year, instead coatings have become quite popular. Something you might want to look into creating.

Vic Cardenas 02-01-2015 11:03 AM

Thanks Joey and thanks for the suggestion. That is in the plans is to make a liquid sealant product in the future. My wax I am about to release is a hybrid synthetic/carnauba wax utilizing silicone polymers to enhance the durability and spreadability. The jury is still out on how long it will last on a car but I am approaching 3 months on one panel that has been sitting outside all winter and it still beads! I am currently going to advertise that the wax lasts 3-4 months under normal conditions but I may change that if it lasts even longer like it looks like it may. I am going to market it as a "hybrid" carnauba wax because it really acts and spreads and smells like a carnauba and the synthetic ingredients are very minimal (and are more "green"). And like I said, the jury is still out on how long it will last on a panel. The way sealants are marketed, they say they last 6 months usually and most are in a liquid state and usually have not too many natural ingredients. I feel I should market my first product as a carnauba, albeit "hybird". But for sure, I will be releasing a whole line of products once I figure out how to make them. Which is only a matter of time (and money). You being a pro detailer, I really value your input! Thanks!

Vic Cardenas 02-09-2015 12:22 PM

Not too much to update as far as the business is concerned. I'm still waiting on my graphics to be designed, it's been a slow process. Then, I'll be getting labels printed and hopefully that will be my final step, then I can start selling. Officially, I am in business though. I have all my business licensing in order. Only took a month to get that. :dunno:

Thanks to Chrispy and his wonderful advice, I was able to polish out some scratches on the RL. I'm new to machine polishing and he was super helpful getting me on the right track to correct my paint. It's been a long process correcting the paint on the RL but it's coming along alright. Just did a full correction on the passenger side doors and reapplied my wax. It's like a mirror now! :fut:

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/a...psgqiekyou.jpg

Chrispy 02-09-2015 05:35 PM

That looks really good Vic! Glad I could help. Anytime you need to chat, let me know and we can compare notes.

I didnt get a chance to detail my daily this last weekend like I had hoped. I'll def be doing it this week sometime though. Im anxious to give your wax a try!

Vic Cardenas 02-09-2015 06:01 PM

Thanks man! For sure, we'll be talking. I'm getting really immersed in the detailing world, trying to know what the pros know to make my business and future products better.

One question. Do you use a work light while you detail? I'm thinking about picking this one up http://www.amazon.com/Snap-on-Work-Light/. Just wondering if you have any other recommendations? At $50 that one's a little pricey but it seems like it's quality and puts out a ton of light and the right kind of light to see imperfections. It just seems that anything in the $30-40 range only puts out 1/10th of the light that thing does and are pieces of junk. Not sure if there is anything comparable to that Snap-On one that's a little cheaper or should I just buy that one? I want multiple LED's because that seems best to me to see swirls.

Chrispy 02-09-2015 06:14 PM

Thats a legit deal on that light. I do use work lights, all of mine are led as well. I would go with that snap on light, thats a good deal on that light. I have one similar that I paid 3 times as much for.

Vic Cardenas 02-09-2015 06:45 PM

Alrighty then. It's a done deal.

Roxyyy03 07-21-2020 06:31 AM

Car detailing company nowadays really is a good investment. I am part of a detailing company for years now. We are specialize in car paint protection. 🚗 :excited:


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