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Impacting the community, one clean vehicle at a time

Backwoods Interior Detailing, LLC is owned and operated by the Gresses – a husband-and-wife duo from Hatfield

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April 29, 2024

HATFIELD – A keen attention to detail, Scott Gress said, has proved to be an integral part of his success as a United States Air Force weapons instructor, warehouse manager for a local distributor and vehicle detailer at a dealership.

So much so that when he decided to start a vehicle detailing business with his wife Sharon in June 2022, no one was surprised.

The couple owns and operates Backwoods Interior Detailing, LLC on their property (N1105 Sterling Ave.) in Hatfield – not too far outside Neillsville, where Scott grew up.

The business, he said, has brought him full circle – since he entered the workforce as a detailer at a local auto dealer before enlisting in the Air Force.

Now, in the twilight years before retirement, Scott said he is focused on the business full-time.

Sharon said she helps out with the business part-time – using the years of experience she gained as a parts and service advisor at various auto dealerships and with a heavy-duty truck company.

The Gresses said they complement each other.

“She does her fair share of detailing,” Scott said. “We both know our way around vehicles.”

Sharon said she also manages the bookkeeping and invoicing.

Gradual growth

Scott said Backwoods Interior Detailing started as a part-time endeavor until he quit his other full-time job last summer to commit to the home-based business full-time.

The detailing work, he said, takes place in the couple’s three-car garage they converted into a workshop.

The location – conveniently located right off Highway 95, two miles north of Hatfield and an easy drive from Neillsville, Merrillan, Black River Falls and other nearby communities – Scott said has proven advantageous.

When he began researching the idea of opening a business, Scott said, at that time, the nearest detailer was in the Marshfield area and another one beyond that in Stanley.

“There was room to take care of part of the market without bumping arms with someone,” he said.

The local dealership he worked for previously, Scott said, didn’t offer detailing to the public –  rather focused exclusively on trade-ins and their own vehicles.

Scott said most of Backwoods Interior Detailing customers reside in the Neillsville area but said they draw customers from all of Clark and Jackson counties, as well as other surrounding areas.

“People hear about us, find out how we compare to other pricing and decide we’re worth the drive,” he said.

Years of expertise

Scott said he aims to offer thorough but affordable detailing, tapping into years’ worth of experience and an arsenal of favorite pieces of equipment, including steam cleaners, carpet extractors, air compressors, toothbrushes and microfiber towels.

“We use lots of microfiber towels,” he said.

Backwoods Interior Detailing’s focus, Scott said, is on cleaning vehicles’ interiors, including an emphasis on stain removal and pet hair removal, as well as cleaning carpets, floor mats, seats and Sharon’s specialty – door panels, dash and consoles.

Though the business focuses on vehicles’ interiors, Scott said they’re open to also cleaning exteriors during the summer, if their schedules allow.

The Gresses said they can also repair windshield stone chips at a per-chip cost.

At the end of the day, Scott said the goal of Backwoods Interior Detailing is to restore pride of ownership to a car’s interior – bringing it back to how it looked when it rolled off the showroom floor.

However, he said, that is no small feat, as vehicle interiors often take abuse from kids, pets, meals on the go and so much more.

“I’ve been doing this all my life, and I’ve seen it all,” he said.

Every cleaning job, Scott said, is unique, with most requiring a minimum of four to five hours of work and others – much more.

“I had one mini-van that took 16 hours – it was a two-day job,” he said. “It was full of candy stuck to floors, pet hair, mud and (messes) from everything from kids to dogs.”

Scott said he credits patience and experience for producing excellent results.

“You have to have patience because a lot of times, you’re (cleaning) things like stained seats, and you think they look good, but then they dry and you realize you have to do another round,” he said.

Scott said his preferred working environment varies – some days putting on music or the TV; other times, he said he’s so busy vacuuming he just gets into a work zone. 

The Gresses said they rely on Backwoods Interior Detailing’s Facebook page, word of mouth and a bit of radio advertising to spread the word about the excellent work they do.

Spring, Scott said, is a busy time for the business as people begin realizing how much winter wreaked havoc on the exterior and interior of their vehicles.

“People are ready for spring cleaning and getting the winter mud and salt out of their vehicles,” he said.

During the slower winter months, Scott said he supplements business with detailing work for a local dealership. 

Fulfilling work

Scott said he and Sharon find great satisfaction in a job done well, with their favorite comment being, “it’s cleaner than the day we bought it as a new car.”

As such, he said, they have a lot of repeat clients, with whole families bringing in their slew of vehicles for cleaning.

Other customers, Scott said, bring their vehicles in on a quarterly rotation, maintaining things before they “get too bad.”

“People get busy, and life gets in the way of (maintaining) a vehicle sometimes,” he said. “You don’t want that. If dirt and stains sit too long, it’s harder to clean and get out and it costs more. We have several people who bring in their vehicles every three months – that way, they’re always driving a clean vehicle.”

The steady flow of detailing work, Scott said, was what allowed him to quit his full-time job last summer – which also allowed for more time to give back to the community.

At the beginning of every year, the Gresses said they pick a charity to support – with a percentage of proceeds from the first three months of the year being donated to that cause.

In the initiative’s first year, Scott said, a part of the proceeds benefited a Neillsville High School student battling leukemia.

This year, he said, their efforts will benefit Smiling for Samuel, a nonprofit out of Neilsville that honors a baby named Samuel who was born with Trisomy 18, helps families who suffer infant and child loss and parents going through the journey of Trisomy 18. 

Backwoods Interior Detailing, Scott said, has benefited other fundraisers for families, as well as the Hatfield Volunteer Fire Department. 

“It gets our name out there, and it’s for a good cause,” he said.

For more on Backwoods Interior Detailing, visit its Facebook page.

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