All in the details: Teens spend summer starting an auto detailing business
In the middle of a Dickinson industrial park is a renovated building, fully equipped with niceties and necessities, and above its door is a professionally designed sign for a new business that already has so much business the owners often work 12-hour days, they say.
But their hours will change in late August when the two owners — ages 17 and 18 — need to go back to school.
Collin Bren, 17, and Kass Dvorak, 18, are entering their senior yearr at Dickinson High School this fall, but they don’t plan to shut their business down this fall, they said in a recent interview. Their company, X-Stream Detailing, at 227 22nd St. E, will just have new hours — open during the after-school hours.
That time of year, they said, should be slower for auto detailing businesses, so they think they’ll be able to manage.
But there still will be hours of work. Dvorak and Bren say they spend eight hours or more sometimes on just one car or truck — their mission being to clean every corner, crevice, door jamb, vent, then remove panels, or whatever they need to, then wax and buff until it looks new. After high school graduation, they still plan to keep X-Stream going.
By the time they’re off to college — where both plan to get business degrees — they hope to have secured a third partner who will keep the business running for them.
“We feel we could expand in the future,” Bren said.
One of their regular customers is Wade Weidner, general manager of Dvorak Motors, a used car dealership.
“They’ve done an excellent job,” he said. “They do all the little details. I’m very happy with their work.”
Bren said the business idea popped into his head last winter when he was mulling over where to work this summer. He heard that this building was going to be available to rent and thought a detailing business would work there. When he told his good friend and hockey teammate Kass Dvorak about it, they decided to give it a go.
Both say their favorite motto hangs on their high school locker room wall: “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky said that.
“I was a little nervous,” Bren said, about starting the business, paying rent and managing a budget.
At first, when they started operating in June, their customers were mainly their parents’ friends. Now, word of mouth has spread and they even had a Montana man passing through town that called to make an appointment because he had heard about X-Stream.
They said they generally work about 12 hours a day, with little to no lunch break. But it can be even longer than that. There have been days that have gone from about 4:30 a.m. to 8 or 9 p.m., they said.
In addition, Bren, who is a cross-country runner in addition to hockey, still fits in weight-training sessions, while Dvorak has afternoon football practice. They say they’re tired at the end of the days and weeks. Generally on the weekends, they’re doing a lot of nothing, resting near a lake where both of their families have cabins.
They said some of the most challenging vehicles have been so dirty the pair couldn’t see the carpeting or seats.
Bren said they’ve had vehicles where everything was covered with ground-up graham crackers and chips. However, pen marks are the partners’ bane. Those are pretty impossible to get out, they said.
They love their pressure washer to get out tar and bugs. Sometimes, they miss a dead bug or two or more. They see them too late, during waxing, and so have to wash that area again, and then wax again.
“We usually end up laughing,” Dvorak said about dealing with those issues.
Local detailing businesses also have helped. Being too busy, they’ve given X-Stream some of their cars to clean and have also offered cleaning tips. Because of those kindnesses and because of long weeks of experience, the pair think they’re better at this work now than when they started.
They said some friends and family think it’s crazy — crazy wonderful — that the boys already own a business while in high school. And some of their customers are surprised when finding out the business owners are teenagers.
The duo sometimes get surprise lunches and cinnamon rolls brought to them from supportive family members.
It could be the beginning of another long-term legendary Dickinson partnership. Both say they plan to establish themselves in their hometown after college and they think they could be long-term business partners.
“Collin is hard working, keeps me moving and I can rely on him for anything,” Dvorak said.
What: Auto, truck detailing
Owners: Collin Bren and Kass Dvorak
Address: 227 22nd St. E, Dickinson
Phones: 701-290-3528 or 701-290-0287
Facebook: Search X-Stream Detailing
- $50 to $100 for an exterior wash, undercarriage scrub and mud/tar removal and quick vacuum and dusting.
- $100 to $150 for either a full exterior or interior detailing.
- $200 to $300 for a full interior and exterior detailing.
- Prices vary depending on such factors as vehicle condition and time allotted to do the work. They also pick up and deliver vehicles.