Heart of the Entrepreneur: Trevon Ewing
Rachel Lock | Photographer
Three years ago, Trevon Ewing was in corporate sales. He had always wanted to make his way as a business owner, but had never found the right opportunity. When an old high school friend offered to sell his auto detailing business, Ewing hung up his suit and tie and jumped on the opportunity.
TAKING CARE OF "ANYONE"
“I saw the potential in the business. I saw Topeka had a growing need for this business,” Ewing said. “I’ve always had a passion for detailing. I thought, why not take a shot at being my own boss?”
A lot of detailers have limits on the messes they will clean up, or the types of vehicles they will work on. In order to differentiate from the competition, Ewing decided Rockstar Auto Detailing would have a policy of taking “anything.”
By “anything,” Ewing literally means anything. Ewing has run across objects from every walk and species of life, from dead animals to curdled milk. Although the thought of dead animals may sound horrifying, the smell of rotten milk accompanied by a swarm of maggots, is far more challenging.
“I always tell people not to be embarrassed, because no matter what their car looks like, I’ve seen worse,” Ewing said.
REFINISHING HIS TRADE
In order to become an expert on detailing, Ewing did his research. He focused on the process and ways other people in the field conducted business. After the prior owner showed Ewing the ropes, he found himself becoming obsessed with the art of auto detailing.
“I’m an extremely competitive person. If I’m going to own a business, I want it to be the best,” Ewing said.
Ewing found the tight-knit community of detailing practitioners to be a great side benefit of the car detailing business. While detailing world contains a great deal of competition, Ewing has found that people are not generally trying to hoard trade secrets. They share information because every vehicle and detailing job is different.
"We’re in the business of bringing life back to a vehicle,” Ewing said.
Ewing recognizes that a vehicle is an important part of a customer’s life— therefore, Ewing believes in creating a home-like environment within Rockstar Auto Detailing.
“I want my company to have a family feel and to let customers know we are here for them, not just their business,” Ewing said.
Ewing believes customers often buy the experience as well as the product itself. Being able to talk with customers and understand their needs is an important part of his business strategy.
This strategy appears to be working. Rockstar Auto Detailing is detailing in excess of 1,200 vehicles a year. While he currently has a pick-up and delivery service, Ewing is hoping to expand soon with an on-site detailing van.
REAPING THE REWARD
Ewing says owning a car detailing business has been far more rewarding than he could have imagined. Whether the car owner is bringing in a prized, classic vehicle, or a mini-van that has just had too much “life” happen in it, Ewing finds that people are very appreciative of having their cars returned to mint condition. He enjoys putting a smile on their faces.
When he was in sales, Ewing felt like he was only as good as his last month. As an entrepreneur, he is working harder than he has ever worked before, but says it does not feel like work. As a father of four, he likens his work to being a parent.
“With your kids, you always want to do what’s best for them and help them grow,” Ewing said. “With the business, I also want to work hard to see it grow. It not only helped ignite a fire I always had, but helped me to become a better person and realize my dreams of being self-sufficient.”