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‘We’re more than just a business – we’re family’

Local entrepreneur moves at-home detailing business to its own shop on Main Street

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February 19, 2024

RICE LAKE – Jaime Jacinto – owner of Wash Me! Vehicle Detailing – said for him, Rice Lake has always felt like “home.”

“In my opinion, I feel like I’m from here – I moved here when I was 11,” he said. “This is home for me.”

Moving to the area in 2001, Jacinto said his family opened Casa Mexicana.

“More so my parents, I was more the busser at 11 years old,” he said. “But that is what brought us here – moving here for a better opportunity for our family.”

Jacinto said his family eventually opened another Casa Mexicana location in Rhinelander where he eventually served as manager.

However, he said Rhinelander never felt like home the way Rice Like did.

“Between that and – I mean, restaurant stuff is cool, but it’s not for everyone,” he said. “I felt like I wanted to do something that would give me more time with my family on weekends and nights.”

With that in mind, Jacinto said he made the move back to Rice Lake in 2017 with his wife Mercedes.

The next year would be filled with many firsts for Jacinto – as he contemplated what the future would be for him.

“In 2018, we had twin girls and I started doing detail work from my home,” he said. “It was an idea at that point. I did a few cars for friends and did some work on my own cars.”

As the idea started to take off, Jacinto said “things started to get real.”

“I threw a bit of money into my garage trying to make it as professional as possible,” he said. “Now, we are decently known here in town, and I think I’m the go-to guy for detailing, which is awesome.”

Much of the growth Jacinto said he saw in the beginning was through word of mouth – “it’s tremendous.”

“I think it helped I was from here,” he said.

Waiting for the right time

Jacinto said business steadily increased, eventually prompting discussions about moving from his garage location to a stand-alone facility.

“I kept thinking, ‘oh, we could do more stuff, bigger things, but we don’t have the space,’” he said. 

As he contemplated the future of his at-the-time home-based business, Jacinto said timing was the most important aspect of the decision.

“The biggest thing about doing something new is waiting for the right time,” he said. “Too early, and it might be premature. Then there is finding the right space to move into and saving up financially.”

When Jacinto said when he found out the property at 1330 S. Main St. – a former car dealership – would soon be available, he said growing the business at that time made sense.

“I knew the guy who owned the building we moved into, and he was talking about letting it go and doing something else,” he said.

Jacinto said one thing led to another, and before he knew it, he was moving Wash Me to Main Street.

“It was a big transition for me because even though I ran restaurants, (growing a new business) is a whole different chemistry,” he said.

Though the building formerly housed a car dealership – which meant there were already bays installed – Jacinto said a lot of renovations were still needed.

“We invested everything we had into it,” he said.

Since its inception, Jacinto said Wash Me has seen some significant growth.

“We started as a detail shop only detailing cars, then moved into accessories, like WeatherTech mats,” he said. “Then we added undercoating services last year, so we’ve been doing that for one full year now. We are looking at doing bed liners and things like that in the future as well.”

Much of the additional services the business has added thus far, Jacinto said, has much to do with being located in Wisconsin.

“Wintertime is slower for detailing, so we have to look for other ways to keep us going strong for years to come,” he said.

Creating a foundation

Starting Wash Me and deciding to expand and add more services, Jacinto said has been and will continue to be intentional.

“The goal after you reach a certain age is, I have to leave my mark, not for me, but for my kids,” he said.

The decision to move Wash Me out of his home garage, Jacinto said, was inspired by this goal.

“If I continued to detail out my garage, and in 15, 20 or 30 years, whenever I retire, I wouldn’t have had anything to pass on (to my kids),” he said. “So, the goal here is to be able to do something and be part of the community and have something for my kids – whatever path they choose in their future years – that I will be able to help them with in any way possible.”

‘Always been a car guy’

Though he grew up working in his family’s Mexican restaurant, Jacinto said he’s “always been a car guy.”

“I like fast cars,” he said. “I like cool cars. I like older cars, too, that have had something done to them or someone has made it their own. It’s always attractive.”

Jacinto said he’s also always been cognizant of the importance of taking care of your car.

“I’ve always thought a clean car is a nice car – so, keeping them clean and up to date with maintenance is important,” he said.

As a small business owner, Jacinto said he appreciates that he can make an impact.

“I love it when someone brings me a car and then you see their face when they get it back,” he said. “It’s a good feeling when you get that gratitude from people. In this industry, people are typically happy when they get their car back in such a nice condition.”

Jacinto said the team at Wash Me – three to four employees at any given time – is a “tight-knit group.”

“My guys here – I’m sure you might hear this a lot – but we’re like a family,” he said.

Set up for success

Describing his parents as “old school,” Jacinto said growing up, he was provided with the tools to carve out his success in the world.

“They gave me direction, but they gave me minimal direction,” he said. “They wanted me to figure it out on my own, but said, ‘here are the tools.’”

Jacinto said he is the person he is today – a successful small business owner – because of the guidance his parents provided him.

“Thanks to them, I am a people person,” he said. “Thanks to them, I speak good English. They don’t, but they did everything they could while we were young to put us in special programs (so we could speak English well). My family is from Jalisco, Mexico, but I was born in Georgia.”

Jacinto said his parents – even if they don’t know it – helped shape his managing style as well.

“I feel like I’m a good manager, but I don’t know if I would call it managing,” he said. “I treat people with decency and respect because that is how I was raised.”

A bit more shop details

Jacinto said Wash Me offers a variety of services.

Detailing services include:

  • Exterior (bug removal, clay bar, wheel cleaning, foam gun wash, tire and plastic shining, etc.)
  • Interior (vacuum, clean and disinfect interior, leather conditioning, pet hair removal, etc.)
  • Combo services (interior and exterior)
  • A la carte services (engine cleaning, boat services, wheel cleaning, carpet/upholstery cleaning, etc.)

Rustproofing services are available through three packages – full-proof, undercoating and cavity wax.

Wash Me also carries a variety of accessories, including floor mat liners, mud flaps, leveling kits, fender flares, bug deflectors, tailgate LED bars, etc.

For more on Wash Me Undercoating, Detailing, Trailer Sales & Accessories, visit or check out the shop’s Facebook page.

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