Santa Fe Springs, CA Detailer Named 2020 Detailer of the Year by IDA
SANTA FE SPRINGS, CA – Santa Fe Springs detailer, Claude Harris, Jr. of Final Appearance Detailing & Protection won Detailer of the Year at the International Detailing Association’s (IDA) 2020 Annual Business Meeting and Awards Banquet during the Mobile Tech Expo in Orlando. Harris was nominated by peers from within the IDA membership, and the field was narrowed down to three finalists by the IDA Nominating Committee. Harris won the 1st place honor by an open vote.
The Detailer of the Year award is presented to a detailer who has demonstrated superior knowledge, technical skill, and professionalism in the detailing industry. Harris is a certified member of the IDA, but neither nominees nor winners are required to be members, although the selection of finalists does take certification into consideration.
“I was flattered to be nominated but having recently attended SEMA in Las Vegas, I decided not to attend the Florida show. The most humbling part of winning is that it came from among my peers in the industry. I know so many of the professional detailers I was competing with for the award and I can assure you they are all high-quality detailers with successful detailing businesses. I am honored to have taken the top spot.”
The Mobile Tech Expo is the largest international tradeshow focused completely on the appearance and repair-reconditioning industry in the United States.
Harris’ story is a genuine success story.
He started his first detailing business during the 1990s. He had loved cars from an early age and became interested first, in the mechanical aspects of the business before realizing his real passion was for the beauty of the car’s shape and lines, especially hotrods.
“I originally wanted to design cars, and I had always wanted to own my own business,” he said. “I saw a sign at a Long Beach college for an Introduction to Entrepreneurship class and decided to sign-up. That was where I learned that most businesses are started from a hobby. I consider myself a student of figuring things out, so I got myself some equipment and I was in business!”
Originally completely mobile, Harris started Claude’s Personal Touch from the trunk of a 1979 Chevrolet Caprice loaded with wash buckets and a car vacuum. His wife made him a t-shirt with a logo, and he was on his way!
It didn’t take long however for him to discover he couldn’t make a living just washing cars. He needed to get into full detailing.
He took certification classes from Meguiars on Saturdays as well as detailing classes at the local community college where he met people with his same passions and desires. There he began to develop the meticulous skills required to become a professional detailer and where he discovered the importance of attending tradeshows like Mobile Tech and SEMA and getting involved in professional organizations like the IDA.
“All these people began to take me under their wing and expose me to people like famous car designer Chip Foose and legendary hot rod builder, Boyd Coddington. The next thing I know I am invited to work alongside Mike Phillips with AutoGeek on the TV show Competition Ready,” he said. “It has not always been easy but when you win a national award like Detailer of the Year from a major professional organization like the IDA, you wouldn’t give anything for the whole experience!”
Very successful in the mobile detailing business for the past 28 years, the rise in popularity of automotive ceramic coatings changed Harris’ focus. Needing a dust-free, clean-room environment in order to properly apply these durable, long-lasting coatings, he opened his new Final Appearance Detailing & Protection Coatings Studio last June at 13630 Imperial Highway, Suite 8 in Santa Fe Springs. It also gives him the near sterile environment needed to apply paint protection film, a protective process that works well in conjunction with coatings themselves.
For more information about Claude Harris, Jr. and his winning IDA’s Detailer of the Year, contact him at (562) 607-3026 or FinalADetail@gmail.com. You may also contact PR representative Kimberly Ballard at (256) 653-4003.