IDA Founder's Club Member Spotlight: Richard Umbrell
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Richard Umbrell is the President of Buff and Shine Mfg., Inc. in Rancho Dominguez, California and a member of the IDA Founder's Club.
International Detailing Association (IDA): How did you get into the detailing industry?
Richard Umbrell (RU): Back in the 1980s, my father was the owner of a prominent car wash chemical manufacturing company and would always comment about the quality of buffing pads. Simply stated, he felt that buffing pads just fell apart too quickly. This began my quest to improve how pads were designed and manufactured. I began with the pads that were available at that time and committed early on to dedicate myself to consistently building the highest quality buffing pads in the industry. Buff and Shine Mfg. was thus born in 1987.
IDA: Tell us about Buff and Shine Mfg.
RU: I actually started Buff and Shine Mfg. just a few weeks after I graduated high school at the age of 18. The first few pads that I was able to develop were actually right out of my parents' garage. It was definitely a work in progress, but with years of hard work and commitment to keeping my passion for the development of perfection in craftsmanship, sales and the Buff and Shine Mfg. brand name began to grow and grow. My main goal was to build a quality name brand that customers could trust and depend on. With a constant commitment to keeping this dedication and work ethic, 31 years later we still maintain our position as a market leader for the best buffing pads available in the industry.
IDA: What do you feel makes Buff and Shine Mfg. unique?
RU: What makes us unique is our comprehensive approach to the buffing pad industry. The company manufactures a full line of buffing pads for all power tools and holds well over a dozen buffing pad patents. All of our buffing pads are manufactured in the USA and with the highest quality materials available. Pads are designed, engineered, and manufactured in-house with custom-built production machinery available nowhere else.
IDA: What do you think is the most important factor to being successful in the detailing industry?
RU: Staying on the cutting edge of technology and listening to our customers. Staying on top of what is going on in the industry does not come from a large meeting room — it comes from communication beginning with our end users and distributors. I believe our philosophy all these years has worked, which is to consistently manufacture innovative, quality made pads right here in the USA.
IDA: What professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
RU: Being part of the Air Force One detailing team and nominated as the buffing pads used on the Air Force one restoration project. Also, being nominated for IDA Supplier of the Year [in 2017] and joining the elite list of IDA Founders Club members.
IDA: What is the best advice you have ever received?
RU: The secret to success is hard work. Never give up no matter how difficult something is.
IDA: What advice do you have for detailers?
RU: ALWAYS have an open mind to learning. There is so much information readily available now that staying up to speed on innovation, new products, techniques, etc. is much easier. Becoming a better detailer will always take learning, no matter how long you have been in the industry. Help pass on your learning and knowledge to folks in the industry to keep our industry growing strong.
IDA: What has been one of the most memorable moments in your career?
RU: Shortly after I started Buff and Shine Mfg. (again I was just 18 years old), I had my first out-of-town business trip to see a potential new account, who was a huge industry leader. I had already booked my flight, but when I tried to rent a car, I was shocked to find out that I wasn’t old enough. I couldn’t miss this meeting! Not sure what to do since Uber didn’t exist yet, I ended up taking a taxi. It was quite funny and slightly embarrassing to arrive in a Yellow Taxi cab, and since cell phones weren’t around, I had to have someone at the company call a taxi for me to be picked up. That customer is still a valued account to this day!