Ceramicare Limited paving the way for the automotive industry
Troy Grant and Ithamar Thorpe are no ordinary business partners, as they formed their relationship through a magical moment. “Originally, it was to be three of us holding down the fort, as auto mechanics. But, the individual that introduced me to Ithamar no longer believed that the business would be impactful in the Jamaican market, so he pulled out of the partnership.”
Grant, a specialist in applying ceramic coating over vehicles, stated that Jamaica didn’t have a proper detailing service that offered professional maintenance and satisfaction for the customer, and so that influenced them to pursue their business.
They shared not only a common goal towards the company, but both men trust and respect each other. “We meet eye to eye and this partnership is not something you can find. It is better than gold, money and diamonds. Also, this bond has helped the business to excel,” said Grant.
Both colleagues shared that if either of them had an idea, they presented it to the other and worked towards it. “We share the same amount of love for the business; most nights we sleep at work to get the job done but we never complain,” emphasised Grant.
Because of their love and passion for what they do, it has also allowed them to receive compliments from customers, as they portray positive energy and function like brothers.
“We each serve such a good role towards the company because when we are in a situation the first thing that comes to my mind is that I’m glad I have Ithamar because it’s not everything I’m going to know and will deal with and always prepare for, so we help to balance out each other,” said Grant.
He continued, “Some businesses can be run with one person, but it depends on the type of business. If you want a business to excel, hire a manager and other employees to be there for you.”
Coating and maintaining the vehicles
When coating a client’s vehicle, they look for imperfection first before they make any changes. “We have to deal with the issues before any correction can be made or before the ceramic coating can be applied.”
Thorpe stated that after the first two weeks of coating, the clients would come back for their first washing of the car or check-up, to ensure that the coating is good. Following this appointment, they can start cleaning the car themselves or go to the mobile wash area.
He highlighted that they are also recommended to use ceramic soap and special rags so they don’t damage the coating. “Our clients have just invested money into their vehicle, so they have to continue the trend of protecting it,” said Thorpe.
Grant and Ithamar stated that they work on both low-end and high-end vehicles, but the type of service is more directed to luxurious vehicles. However, they stated that this was not mainly their focus.
“People’s interest in their vehicle varies and so our primary aim was to target vehicle lovers who wanted to care for and protect their vehicles. We cater for every vehicle and we look at most of the famous cars in Jamaica, such as the Lamborghini and Porsche 911. We have a relationship with the Porsche dealership company and BMW.”
Experience in the business
They highlighted that in the beginning, business was slow, as they had to wait for cars to come to the garage, but gradually the support arrived. “We were focused on branding and having Jamaicans know what ceramic coating is. We didn’t make any money and could hardly pay our rent and bills, but our landlord was very understanding. Though we weren’t earning, our families also remained supportive and motivated us.”
Thorpe mentioned that they were not only focused on making a dollar, but they wanted to ensure their clients were comfortable and had trust and confidence in them. “Every time we do a job for them it should always be perfect and great.”
He continued, “Though we are still not where we want to be, we are giving thanks for where we are at.”
Grant further adds that the most important thing is to believe in yourself and in what you want to do in life, and once you have that support, you will be inspired.
Though their business started on a rough patch, not once did they feel discouraged. “We got up early to come to work and even when the service area was empty, we still went despite the circumstances,” said Thorpe.”
Tools used in the vehicles
Grant and Thorpe highlighted that tools are very expensive, but that they are selling a service that people are spending their money to receive, which means that they have to provide quality tools and quality products to their clients. “We wouldn’t buy the cheaper tools and then offer a more expensive service. We have to buy the tools that will benefit the driver and get the job properly done. That being said, all our tools are top tools.”
They also share that they purchase buffers, chemicals, carts, and ceramic washes from Griots’ garage, which is a top industry in North America.
Despite the growth of their business, they highlight that starting a business is not always easy, so when others see entrepreneurs driving a nice car or living in a big house, they should know that they put work into it.
“There is going to be some teething pains you’re going to fail, but it doesn’t mean you should quit, instead try again. Look where you went wrong and work on it. Believe in yourself and the product you are offering,” said Thorpe.