William “Will” Burnett has waxed, Armor All’d and shampooed his way to the top of his success ladder. As owner of Diamond Shine Detail, Burnett said making his way up was not an easy task.
“I used to work at the drug and alcohol center, and a lot of the employees there liked the way I detailed my car. They would ask me to detail their car, and I took extra time to do that, and the rewards were pretty good. I liked to see their smiles and then one thing led to another,” he said. “I started detailing cars around 1996 at Empire Auto, which is now Southside Tire and Brake on North Columbia Street. I leased a spot there to detail customer’s cars, and then I moved to our old location next to Dollar General in 1998.”
After moving to their new, upgraded facility just down the street at 1617 N. Columbia St. on April 26, Burnett said it was just time to advance his business.
“The reason we moved was because they [the owners of the old location] wanted to go up on the lease. Here at this new location, we have a great sitting area for the customers, a big parking lot so customers don’t have to worry about bumping their cars, it’s easy in and easy out, and basically it was just a good sign from God,” he said. “We needed an upgrade, and once our customers come and see our new facility, they will know that we have made an upgrade because now we have heat and air and a nice bathroom for the ladies.”
With six full-time and four part-time employees constantly turning out vehicles into their original shiny luster, inside and out, the workers are more like a family.
“My business is different because of the longevity of my workers and the quality of work is top grade,” Burnett said. “I’ve had one worker working for me for 15 years and others for nine or 10 years.”
Burnett’s youngest brother, Facility Manager Shawn, has been standing by his brother almost since day one. He said even though some days are tough, he finds the strength within him just by looking up to his older sibling.
“I’ve been working here for about 10 years and I used to go up to Empire and help Will at the time. We have our up days and down days because if a family doesn’t argue, then person doesn’t care for you. My brother has a real hard work ethic. I played basketball [Wednesday] and I sprained my ankle and I still came to work because Will would work no matter what with no excuses. In the end, we’re family and nothing can change that,” Shawn said of his family away from home. “By working here, I’ve learned that customers are always right. I always tell my customers when they leave that if they have any problems on their car, then jump on me and I’ll fix it. The biggest thing I appreciate from customers and they appreciate from us is trust and honesty.”
The Diamond Shine family continues to make sure they not only have a customer’s business for the day, but for the next 20 years.
“We detail a customer’s vehicle like it’s our own. Other than a home, the most expensive purchase a person is going to buy is a car, and to leave that big of an asset with us is all about trust. We have customers that come in once a week and some of them are the same customers that have been coming in since day one. As the Diamond Shine owner, I would like to thank them, and we will bring them even better service at this new location,” Burnett said. “One thing I teach my employees is to know your customers. We make sure we give first-time customers 150 percent because the first impression is the last impression. Another thing I stress is not to bother customer belongings.”
Long time customer Margaret Franklin said the reasonable prices keep her coming back.
“I come here because they treat my car right and they’re good to the customers,” she said. “I think they are doing everything right, and I already recommend other people to come here.”
Diamond Shine Detail offers full detail service with vacuuming and basic in-and-out car washes to shampooing, waxing and engine cleaning. Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed on Sunday, wax specials will be available during the slated grand opening Saturday, May 22. A Ladies Day will kick-off every first and last Wednesday of the month where ladies will receive a $5 discount on a basic car wash.
“The busiest days of the week are Thursday, Friday and Saturday. People can make an appointment if they like, but most people just drive up. Each employee can do everything up here except for buffing; I’m the only one who can buff,” Burnett said. “Diamond Shine Detail is not always about work. We have lengthy meetings at work and we have teachings about life. I taught my employees how to fill out an application, how to go on job interviews, how to dress, how to keep their personal hygiene together, how to stay out of trouble, how to open a savings and checking account and how to buy automobiles. This has been a wonderful experience overall, and I’ve met some nice people that I never thought I would meet in my life since I’ve been in business.”
With the recent move, Burnett continues to inch closer to achieving his goal — having a newer facility as a hand-me-down for his three children.
“My biggest plan is to be able to build a state-of-the-art facility that can take my kids well into the future. The only way I made it this far is through prayer and people praying for me, especially my father,” he said. “Prayers go up and blessings come down, and I know that through all my trials and tribulations through life, God has had a hand on my life.”
Sherad Taylor, Burnett’s oldest son, oversees daily operations and makes sure sponsors are accommodated well, including Beckham’s Used Cars, Butler Honda, Southside Tire and Brake, Skyline Construction Services and a host of
“I wash cars like I eat,” Taylor said. “Other people wash cars, but we bathe them.”
For more information, call Diamond Shine Detail at (478) 453-2075.