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The art of detailing…

December 17th, 2010

The art of detailing...

As we predicted last November, our relationship with professional photographer Tim Wallace has evolved significantly over the last twelve months, from a simple licensing arrangement to eventually having Tim visit us in person and shoot for us in our own detailing studio. Tim’s work is often described as dramatic and conceptual, and is highly regarded within both the commercial photography and advertising industries. Indeed, Tim’s unique style and ability to precisely capture the essence of his subjects has recently resulted in him being named as one of ten most influential photographers in the world today. Accordingly, we are absolutely delighted to be continuing to work with him on an ongoing project to capture the essence of detailing and showcase the work that we do.

Introducing Swissvax car care products…

November 30th, 2010

The Swissvax Master Collection Kit - Everything you need to maintain your car in concours condition, meticulously developed over three generations

The last eight weeks have been an exceptionally busy time at Polished Bliss, reflecting our best ever October sales (it’s great to see so many people finally taking winter preparation so seriously!) and a number of exciting additions to our store, the most surprising of which is the full range of Swissvax car care products. We say surprising, simply because the invite we received from Swissvax UK to stock the line came completely out of the blue; no doubt like everyone else, we had always assumed that Swissvax products would only be sold by Swissvax and nobody else. To say we are very happy with this change in direction by Swissvax UK is an understatement; we have long felt that our store should carry a well established, world renowned, flagship brand and Swissvax now fulfils these criteria perfectly. Furthermore, it has also been an absolute joy learning to use the full range of products in our detailing studio; the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ has never been so true, as all of the products in the range are very easy to use and deliver exceptional results, reflecting the quality and rich know how that has been developed and acquired by Swissvax over the last eighty years.

Is your car ready for winter?

October 5th, 2010

Is your car ready for winter?

This month we were originally planning to post John’s thoughts about the polishing process but, given the time of year, we thought it more appropriate to address the issue of winter preparation, and in particular why and how you should protect your car if you decide to run it all year round. Indeed, with the nights already drawing in and the brutality of last winter still fresh in our minds, now is the time to get busy before the temperature drops and the gritting lorries make an appearance (assuming your local council hasn’t completely run out of money)…

Alan’s open day photo album…

September 24th, 2010

Last weekend, on a rather grey and wet Saturday, we hosted an open day at our premises in Kintore for the first time in nearly eighteen months. The turn out was far better than expected given the weather, so our thanks go out to everyone who came along and made it such an enjoyable day. In the past, a laid back approach was often taken when organising such events, but this time round we followed a structured timetable of demonstrations and activities, and we feel the day was much more successful as a result. So much so in fact that we are now already planning a similar event for spring next year! Despite all six of us being constantly busy throughout the day, our new detailer Alan did manage to capture a nice selection of images showing what went on – hopefully these will whet some appetites for future events!

Polished Bliss Open Day – 18/09/10

September 10th, 2010

Polished Bliss Open Day - 18/09/10

Printable Version (Adobe PDF)

John’s thoughts on decontamination…

August 20th, 2010

Aquartz Iron Cut in action, dissolving bonded iron-based contaminants...

Moving on from my previous post about safe washing, the next natural step in the detailing process is decontamination, which is a somewhat narrower topic but one that is often misunderstood. Prior to discussing decontamination with Rich I had an understanding of what decontamination does and how to do it, but didn’t know how it actually works…

To be honest, I was a little worried about being blinded by science when Rich started talking about organic and inorganic particles, electrolysis, charges and so on; he’s got a PHD in hydrochemistry whereas I scraped my way to a Standard Grade in Chemistry! However, I needn’t have worried as the basic principles are just that – basic.

After washing your car, there is every chance that the paint will still be contaminated with particles which can’t be removed by shampoo alone and these fall into two categories: organic (carbon-based and generally more ‘natural’ like honeydew and pollen) and inorganic (sometimes still carbon-based but in a highly processed form, or everything else that doesn’t fall into the organic category).

Nanotechnology car care products…

August 6th, 2010

Introducing Aquartz Car Care & Detailing Products...

Every now and again the car care rulebook is torn up and rewritten by innovative new technologies that come along and redefine what we can expect from car care and detailing products. Currently, we are in the midst of such a period of change, this time brought about by the application of nanotechnology to surface coating science. At the most basic level, nanotechnology can be defined as the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale. In relation to car care, nanotechnology can be used to make advanced protective coatings that do not just adhere to vehicle surfaces, but rather become part of the surfaces themselves. As a result, surface properties of interest and importance (such as etching resistance, scratch resistance, hydrophobicity, etc) can be altered on a semi-permanent basis; we are now moving into an era when car care coatings will truly last years rather than months.

John’s thoughts on safe washing…

July 28th, 2010

The importance of thorough pre-wash rinsing should not be underestimated...

A very warm welcome from all of us to John Sorrie, who recently joined the PB team in a sales and marketing role. John is currently being intensively trained in all aspects of car care and detailing, and as part of this process we thought it would be nice for him to share his thoughts and contribute some diary entries to the blog. Without further ado we’ll hand over to John…

“As the newest addition to the Polished Bliss team, it’s fair to say I’m on the bottom edge of a rather steep learning curve and one which seems to have a particularly high summit. Over the coming weeks, as I ascend this mountain, I’ll update the blog with my progress, thoughts and discoveries. I should point out at this stage that I’m not a detailer, more an ‘enthusiastic amateur’, so I’m fully aware that I have a lot to learn. The first stage of my training has focused on the wash process; pre-wash rinsing, pre-wash foaming, hand washing, post-wash rinsing, wheel cleaning and drying.

Rich and I agreed that pre-wash rinsing is often not done properly. The basic principle of the pre-wash rinse is to remove the maximum amount of dirt and grime possible before starting the wash process proper. Like all parts of detailing, the wash process should be systematic, working top-down and ‘chasing’ as much dirt, and therefore dirty water, off the car as possible – it’s not just about wetting the paint and Rich and I both felt that anything less than ten minutes of rinsing, assuming the use of a power washer, was insufficient. You only have to look at the image at the top of this post to see why thorough pre-wash rinsing is so important! Pre-wash foaming, whilst it has its critics or ‘non-believers’, is a useful process and one which can remove yet more dirt before contact is made with the paint.

So, you want to be a detailer do you?

June 18th, 2010

We are looking for a trainee detailer to join the Polished Bliss team as soon as possible. However, before we outline the benefits the position will offer, it is really important that we take a moment to be brutally honest with you. Many people seem to think that being a professional detailer must be the coolest job ever, and in some ways it is. Working on amazing cars day in day out and doing something you love to do for a living is pretty awesome, but there is also a harsh reality to being a detailer that we must be clear about from the start. If you think that detailing is just a job think again, because it isn’t. It’s more like a lifestyle choice, and the spirit of what it involves will need to run deep in your veins if you are to succeed and thrive as a Polished Bliss detailer. If this doesn’t put you off and you know deep inside that you will work as hard as it takes no matter what to meet our standards and become one of the best in the business, read on.

Detailing to our standards is extremely challenging. If you think you are fussy think again. Plenty of people claim to be fussy, but you will only truly begin to know what fussy means if you secure the position with us. If you think you are physically fit and your body can take a lot of hard work think again. For the first six months with us you are going to ache and be sore like never before. In addition, you are going to need boundless enthusiasm and a hugely positive mental attitude to get through your training period with us, as you will receive daily feedback on how best to improve your skills. To be able to thrive and develop a broad set of detailing skills you will need to have bundles of energy and a burning desire to learn. You will need to work as many hours as it takes to get every car finished to the right standard (40 hours per week is the target, but sometimes you will need to work many more). The main duties of the role will be as follows:

• Detailing prestige and performance cars to the highest possible standard, in line with the service options currently offered to Polished Bliss detailing customers

• Maintaining your workspace to the highest possible standard, i.e. sweeping and mopping the floor after every detail, cleaning your tools and equipment, tidying up at the end of every day, etc

• Dealing with detailing customers, mainly in person when vehicles are dropped off and collected, but also occasionally on the phone to make or rearrange bookings

In addition to the above, the new team member will also be expected to help out in the retail warehouse from time to time and to attend car shows and other promotional events as and when required. Although no previous experience of detailing in a professional capacity is required (as full training will be given), it will obviously be of benefit if applicants have a keen amateur interest in proper car care. The position is full time (40 hours per week, Monday to Friday, 0900 – 1730), although additional evening and weekend work will sometimes be required. The starting salary will be £16k per annum, rising over time on the basis of annual performance reviews. Our annual leave allowance is currently 30 days per annum, although any periods of leave must be booked well in advance due to the continual waiting list for our detailing services.

To apply for the role, please download and complete the application form linked below (MS Word and Adobe PDF options available) and then either e-mail it or post it back to us along with an up to date copy of your CV. All applications must be received by the close of business on Friday 2nd July.

Application Form (MS Word version) Application Form (Adobe PDF version)

Porsche 911 Turbo photo shoot

June 14th, 2010

Last month we were visited by Tim Wallace from Ambient Life, who spent two days with us shooting two Porsche 911 Turbos belonging to two of our clients. This was the highlight of our year so far, and an event we had been looking forward to for a long time. In order to make the shoot as interesting as possible, we tried to incorporate several themes into the imagery. For starters, we chose two iconic models; the air-cooled 993 Turbo, in this case fitted with the extremely rare X50 factory upgrade, and the current water-cooled 997 Turbo. Secondly, we opted to contrast light against dark by choosing a Basalt Black 997 as the second car (the Arctic Silver 993 was the primary car chosen before the details of the shoot were finalised). Thirdly, we decided to shoot on location as well as in our studio, in order to capture some interesting textures and landscapes in the shots. Finally, we chose to shoot out on the open road too, in order to try something new – as far as we know nobody else in the UK has shown off detailing results in such a dynamic way before.

Fancy a career with Polished Bliss?

May 19th, 2010

We are looking for a dynamic and highly motivated individual to join the Polished Bliss team as soon as possible. We need someone with a flexible nature who is happy to work within a well established team structure, albeit with a high degree of autonomy. Excellent communication skills are absolutely essential to the role, as the new team member will be required to absorb a substantial amount of technical information and relay it appropriately to customers from all walks of life. The main duties of the role will be as follows:

• Dealing with customer enquiries by phone, e-mail and in person, answering general questions, resolving issues and giving technical detailing advice

• Dealing with orders placed online, by phone and in person, processing payments, booking courier/pallet collections, maintaining computerised order processing systems

• Assisting with stock control, placing orders with suppliers and unpacking deliveries

In addition to the above, the new team member will also be expected to help out in the detailing studio and to attend car shows and other promotional events as and when required. Although no previous experience of detailing or proper car care is required (full training will be given), it would obviously be of benefit to the role. The position is for a full time role (40 hours per week, Monday to Friday), although additional weekend work will occasionally be required, and the salary will be negotiable dependent upon on the successful candidate’s skills and experience.

To apply for the role, please download and complete the application form linked below (MS Word and Adobe PDF options available) and then either e-mail it or post it back to us along with an up to date copy of your CV. All applications must be received by the close of business on Friday 28th May.

Application Form (MS Word version) Application Form (Adobe PDF version)

How to floor a detailing studio…

April 30th, 2010

As part of our plans for expansion in 2010, many changes have been made to both our existing unit and the two additional industrial units we have also taken on. Whilst we are not quite ready for a proper show and tell yet, we thought it might be nice to show you the changes that have recently been made to our existing unit. Many of you will have been familiar with the old layout of a single well equipped detailing bay and a small partitioned off stockroom, and this format certainly served its purpose well for the last three years. However, in order to double our stockholding and make room for another detailing bay and more overnight storage, we recently moved the stockroom into one of the new units and then set about taking down the partition to make the detailing space fully open plan again. We didn’t record the demolition process as it was very dusty and thus not camera friendly, so this post picks up afterwards and shows how we have transformed the feel of the new open plan space by fitting an ecotile floor.