The Davies Allen Biz Buzz Blog: Wiggy Wash
This week we sat down with Davies + Allen client, Sue Hailstone, one of the founders of Wiggy Wash, a successful car wash center here in Utah with locations in Spanish Fork, Springville, and a third location coming soon in Orem.
D+ A: Could you tell me a little bit about your business? What got you into this?
Sue Hailstone: We launched six years ago, but we had the dream for 4 or 5 years before that. We were in the construction business and my husband always thought a car wash looked interesting. When the markets crashed, we were kind of in the process of working on some things, but we were so busy with construction that we never really pursued anything more. When things started to slow down, we thought “Maybe now’s the time.”
We had some ideas, but we didn’t know much, so my husband and my son went to a car wash convention back in Florida to check it out and see what it was all about. Everyone started asking them the name of the wash, and they were embarrassed and didn’t really know. My son’s nickname in high school was Big Wig and Wiggy, so they started saying “Wiggy Wash”. Everyone said that was a cool name, so that’s how it started.
From there it was just hard work, effort, and energy. It was 2010 when we opened, so just in the downturn of the economy. We found a piece of property in Spanish Fork at the south end of town. Everyone thought we were crazy, but it just felt right.
D+ A: And you have several locations, is that right?
Sue Hailstone: We have two, and our third one is in production in Orem. It’s set to open the first of January. So in six years we’ve had a lot of growth. It’s been fun. When we started out, my husband, my son, my daughter-in-law, and myself all had a part. Now, thankfully, my daughter-in-law and I have been able to step out a little bit and hire some really great team members to come in and help us to continue to grow. We love the home-town feel and the employees all seem to have a really good comradery.
D+ A: Could you tell me a little bit about your business model and how you’ve managed to step out of it?
Sue Hailstone: Being able to hire someone to do the hiring. Also, someone to take on the bookkeeping and the house accounts. There’s so much behind the scenes, it’s hard to comprehend. The unlimited programs, the monthly charges that occur, and all of those things, so being able to oversee that instead of having to be hands-on. I used to be here from daylight to dark, six days a week and now I can come in once a week to look over everything.
D+ A: What kind of person are you? Do you like to keep lists?
Sue Hailstone: I’m a list person (Laughs). It’s hard for me to let go and let people do my job, but I realized that if we wanted to grow, we had to find key people that would be able to help us. You only have so much time in a day. You cannot micromanage and do everything yourself if you want to grow.
D+ A: What’s your favorite part of the business? What do you enjoy the most?
Sue Hailstone: There’s a lot of things I like about it. I like feeling like we’re providing a nice work environment for employees. We always grow within our business first, so they have opportunity to move up if that’s what they want to do. I like feeling like I can come in and they’re not afraid of me and it’s not like “Oh, there’s the boss.” I like to feel comfortable with them.
Sometimes I’m really busy in here, and I have to remind myself to smile, and that’s it’s not going to be the end of the world today. So I like the interaction with the employees, and I like watching them feel like they’ve accomplished something. When there’s a whole bunch of cars lined up and you can just feel the energy level go up, it’s exciting. I like to be able to get away and see it from a distance and feel like I don’t have to do everything myself.
D+ A: What are you plans for the future?
Sue Hailstone: Our goal has always been to grow. It’s interesting when I get to this point in my life and we’re all different, we all have different personalities. Every time we start something new, it’s really hands on, but then we enjoy the challenge. This Orem project has been really fun to get started, but it’s amped everything up, and we’ve had to put aside some of our free time. We have a couple of other sites we’re considering right now, so we do have plans to grow in the future.
Sue, thank you so much for sharing with us. For more information and to check them out in person, visit www.wiggywash.com.