In a SEMA Show with all the fanfare, sales pitches and glitter that is aftermarket car parts and accessories, sometimes it is inspiring to come across a passionate company that seeks to grow through the growth of others. Chemical Guys and CEO, Paul Schneider, personify that mentality.
The sheer volume of offerings for the detailer and enthusiast is staggering: thousands of line items, including both proprietary and over 4,000 private label accounts. Chemical Guys pride themselves on producing “very high quality specialty products at a price people can afford.” This includes, but not limited to waxes, detail sprays, coatings, sealants, ceramic-based coatings, tire dressings and leather care. But they also strive to educate its market in choosing the right product and doing the job right.
Chemical Guys CEO Paul Schneider is a Biochemist, but also an impassioned car guy, “As far back as I can remember, I was hanging around in my grandfather’s high-end tuner shop. I grew up learning from really bright people. I benefitted because my grandparents were engineers and my parents also highly educated. I felt that there was a gap in the automotive industry between the products and educating the end user.”
Inspired by that observation, Chemical guys started Smart Detailing University. SDU is an entrepreneurial-minded vocational school for Professional Auto Detailing & Reconditioning. The coursework provides the knowledge and certification necessary to start their own lucrative auto detailing businesses. There is also an extensive online video collection to help the consumer do the job right.
Schneider gets misty eyed as he considers some of the success stories, “We had a 13 year old student who came in to take the course. His family had lost their house, were living in a hotel. The dad, for the kid’s birthday, brought him to a class and bought $20-30 worth the product. He kept coming in every week and buying more and more product. After two years he came in and told us he bought his dad a Porsche.”