COLUMBIA — Rodney Gaines is not only the boss of his car washing and detailing business, he is also a hands-on employer who isn't afraid to get in on the action.
As a never-ending line of cars pulls in and out of the small lot on the corner of Illinois and Colorado avenues, Gaines directs traffic like a cop at a busy intersection. When he’s satisfied with the placement of each car, he shouts a few orders, grabs a soap bucket and begins hand-washing one of the vehicles.
Gaines, 40, opened Gaines Car Detailing and Moving and Delivery in 2000. Hard work helped Gaines build his business, and it’s also what keeps it going.
Gaines’ slogan, “it can be done” is not just a company motto — it’s also a life motto.
“When I was thinking about opening up my own place, I just had to keep reminding myself it could be done,” Gaines said. “As long as I showed up every day and worked hard, it would all be OK.”
Gaines began washing and detailing cars in his hometown of Fayette when he was 10. One of Gaines’ family friends noticed his talent and helped him realize that his summer job could blossom into a career.
“I remember one day he said, ‘Rodney, you can take this and make a business out of it and make all the money you want out of it,’” Gaines said.
As Gaines approaches his 11th year in business, he said the most important thing he’s learned is that slowing down is not an option.
“You get what you put in, and you just have to keep on going.”