We had the good fortune of connecting with Cristian Bueno and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cristian, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
One of favorite quotes is by Jeremy Clarkson, he said, “It’s what non-car people don’t get. They see all cars as just a ton and a half, two tons of wires, glass, metal, and rubber, and that’s all they see. People like you or I know we have an unshakable belief that cars are living entities… You can develop a relationship with a car and that’s what non-car people don’t get… When something has foibles and won’t handle properly, that gives it a particularly human quality because it makes mistakes, and that’s how you can build a relationship with a car that other people won’t get.” This quote resonates a lot with my business and the customers cars. Customers come to me with no care or knowledge to their cars and they leave knowing more about the car detailing industry. You will be surprised on how many people do not know how to properly wash their vehicles. For those who do not know, you should never wash your vehicle in circular motion and never take it to automated car washes since it creates swirls and scratches your vehicle’s paint. What surprises me is that I see many cars from your daily drivers to high end cars on the road that are super dirty and not well taken care of. This is where detailing comes into place because your car is your second major expense just behind your house purchase. When you buy something that expensive, you should treat with dignity and respect and several of non-car people will not understand that. Since I have a huge passion with cars, I like to inform and share my passion of cars with others. What I like to on my free time do is research and test out detailing methods and products so I can make my customers more knowledgeable on taking care of their vehicles. Even if a customer isn’t interested in my service and they decide to do it them selves, I give them the proper knowledge and procedures on how to clean their vehicle. When I detail a customers vehicle, I treat as it was my own vehicle and give their vehicle back like if it was new! Like Jeremy Clarkson said, “ They see all cars as just a ton and a half, two tons of wires, glass, metal, and rubber, and that’s all they see.” And that’s what gives me the motivation to perfect my craft in detailing and pass on my knowledge to others to make them see that your vehicle is more than just a piece of machinery.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
So a little about my business is that there was no thought process to my business when I first started. By that, I mean that I went into this business with no plan and just action. It all started when I found out that I had passion for cars when I was 17, that is where everything fueled my drive. At the age of 17, my dad was planning on gifting me a car, at that time my dad was struggling financially and he explained to me that he did not have much to spend. So I went and searched on Craigslist to find used cars. It took me a few weeks to find a vehicle until I found a flooded 2008 Nissan Altima with a salvage title . I showed my dad and told my dad, “this is the one I want”. My dad responded, “are you sure son”. I said “yes I want this to be my first car and its not worth much and it’s selling for 2,800 compared to other cars in the market. The car needs to be fixed but I think we can fix it”. About a week later we go take a look at it and the body and interior was close to mint condition and we negotiate with the seller to sell it to us for $1,850. Since we didn’t have much money for a tow truck, we towed it ourselves to the house. At the time, I didn’t have much knowledge on cars, so i had to research and do my homework to fix that car. It took me about a month to figure out how to unlock a flooded engine with a little help of my dad. The original engine only lasted about 2 months and it blew the motor when driving it. After that, we went to the salvage yard and found a donor engine and we swapped the engine ourselves at home. At that point, I found out that I had fell in love in the process of fixing broken piece of machinery and making it alive again. After all that, it trickled down to taking care of the car and making it as shiny as possible. If it wasn’t for that I car I wouldn’t ever found out my passion for cars and detailing. The funny thing is that with detailing it almost a similar process because when you understand detailing, you see an open canvas on how to approach and problem solve issues with a cars paint and bringing it back to life. Im, currently 22 years old and to this day I think that car gave me a perspective in what I wanted to do with my life and thought me that I always wanted to do to a business dealing with cars and it led me to my detailing business named ONX Auto Detailing & Wash. The company started with 2 of my friends, but parted ways due to life situations at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the is my best friend, Christopher, he helped start the business by investing some money into the business. Both of us had to find out where to get the money so we worked for it. I had to take money that I had saved in my stocks form my brokerage account I had saved, use my available credit line, and my work paychecks to invest in the detailing equipment and supplies. One of my other friends, Hector, helped with investing his time and working with us to get the business going. We all came up with the logo and name. Everything in the company is unique and built from the ground up with no plan, just action. I truly believe that ONX Auto Detailing & Wash is a unique business by not only being built from the ground up , but high quality results, service, and value to our customers. Through the service we provide the appropriate information to our customers on what will be done to their vehicle to bring it back to life. We will professionally recommend what is best for the customer and the car based on the customers needs and wants. We also like to connect with our customers through the service by talking about cars or whatever the case may be. In addition, we provide the opportunity for our customers to participate in events that we may be attending as vendors, so they can network with people and show off their cars at car events. The culture behind this brand is that I want it to be inviting, trustworthy, and make customers feel like they’re part of a family by connecting people through our brand.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t consider my self successful just yet because there is a whole lot more that I want to achieve and conquer, but I do thank everyone that has helped get to where I am today. There is a couple of people that helped me through this journey and I keep learning different methods for detailing vehicles more and more as I go. One of them is Vic Mora from Jaxwax Houston. He has been super informative on detailing products and detailing methods that he knows of. Every-time I go to the store to get products I need, he mentors me to the right direction on ways I can properly clean a car by using the right products for the job. Also, he has helped learn the paint correction process on his own time when he is available. There was this one time he told me to come by and help detail and polish this black Cadillac and I told him yes. Before that I had some practice and an idea of how to polish thanks to Ricky from ER Quick Service and Nick McQueen from Rupes. When I was detailing the Cadillac, I was super nervous because this was actually my first car personally polishing for a customer and I was super scared that I was going to burn the clear, but nothing like that happened thanks to Vic’s guidance and knowledge. After that day I felt more comfortable with polishing and paint correction. Furthermore, Ricky from ER Quick Service helped me see the business side of detailing, he mentored me on how he talks and acquires potential clients , being informative in your craft and how to price correctly depending on your personal goals and the business expenses. Ricky has way more experience than me, since he has been detailing cars for most of his lifetime, I had to listen to what he had to say and learn from him. I also want to thank Colin and the Jaxwax company for allowing Nick McQueen from to come to Houston and help the detailing community to learn how to properly polish and paint correct a vehicle. Without that guidance, I wouldn’t know if I was properly correcting the paint, but thankfully I took the course to learned the proper way. The Jaxwax company has also helped me with graphene or ceramic coatings. Throughout the process and now I am a certified installer with them, so I can professionally install graphene or ceramic coatings for my clients.
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