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Mother and son duo can make any vehicle spotless

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Dynamic duo: Anna Hammond and her son Dan have opened Spitfire Detailing near Spencerville, a multi-vehicle-cleaning business which is taking off with a roar. BUSINESS NEWS PHOTO/BURCHELL

SPENCERVILLE - If you want to keep your vehicle looking like new, or just want your older vehicle to look as new as possible, then head to Spitfire Detailing where they put the shine back in your life.

Anna Hammond has built a business doing something she enjoys - cleaning and detailing cars, boats and motor homes. She and her son Dan are getting their new cleaning company off the ground to rave reviews from customers because they go that extra mile. There is an art and a science to cleaning on this scale and they excel at both.

"This is something I have enjoyed doing for a long time - I've been into cars all my life," says Anna, formerly of Great Britain, who immigrated here 15 years ago with her husband and son. "My husband and I love cars and we always spent hours detailing our own." Ironically, one of her husband's first jobs was as a clean-up/detailer for a Nissan dealership in England.

Anna is a member of the Certified International Detailing Association. This is an international group which issues a certificate to its graduates to insure people know they have mastered the art of detailing. She also holds a certificate in marine detailing. As well, she is a graduate of last year's new business class at Brockville's Small Business Enterprise Centre.

"My husband was off work in 2015 with health problems and I had been doing a lot of things from home. One day it just hit me that I have all the equipment here and I have always loved cars, so why not?" explains Anna. "I saw the advertisement for the Small Business Centre, so I decided to take the leap and work on making it into a proper business."

She credits the centre with offering a very in-depth and informative course which allowed her to put together a smart and inclusive business plan. She had the drive and the interest, and they supplied the business savvy around such subjects as marketing, bookkeeping and accounting. She says she wouldn't be doing this if it weren't for the knowledge gained through the course.

"I can't say enough about them. The information they give you is fantastic, and they work with you every step of the way."

Her husband Andy is now a police officer, but is also a former member of the Royal Airforce, so the name 'Spitfire' was Anna's first choice for the business. It also describes her as well. With energy and interest to spare, she and her son spent hours researching the idea before setting up shop.

They started their own pilot project last fall to see if the business would succeed and to judge the local market. They had customers immediately but had to stop during the winter. When things were just getting underway again in early spring, they were faced with COVID-19 restrictions. It is only the last few months they have been able to open up to new and returning customers, but they are quickly building a grateful clientele.

One reason for that is the extent to which their service goes; every cleaning is preceded by a treatment with an ozone decontamination machine, which pulls bacteria and viruses out of upholstery and carpets. It even takes away the residual smell from cigarette smoke. During the pandemic, the use of this machine is thrown into every cleaning, free of charge.

After that comes a full cleaning of interior and exterior. Carpets look new again and the paint literally glows when they're done. The pair once cleaned a 20-year-old pontoon boat and the owner couldn't believe how much like new it looked when finished.

The next step for this burgeoning business is going mobile. When the pandemic is over and/or things change, their plan is to bring their service to you offering the utmost in convenience.

"We really do love what we do," says Anna. "Making your investment look as new and special as possible really gives me great joy, and being the only certified car detailer between Kingston and Cornwall shows people that I am serious about what I do. We intend this business to grow and we are in it for the long run."

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