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Old 11-08-2009, 01:58 PM   #1
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Interview with Dodo Juice


Pic: pj and Dom at work, Ford Fair 2009, pic courtesy of Laura S

DW: Can you start by telling us a little about yourselves?

PJ: Well, there is Dom, the man behind the idea and the marketing, and there is pj, the crazy creative bazaar salesman who makes everything look as delicious as possible…
We work in tandem and in almost entirely opposite directions for a lot of the time. We both have very strong ideas about where the Dodo should be headed. In fact, the arguments would scare even the hardiest of Dragons, BUT it’s quite a productive relationship. After we’ve made up (no sex, the girlfriend would object) we usually have another flood of ideas, product names or other kinds of useful thoughts, all of which help propel the Dodo forwards.

DC: I’m not sure whether it’s more yin and yang or Ren and Stimpy. We both have a huge passion and enthusiasm for Dodo Juice and detailing in general, and it’s this love for what we do that keeps the momentum up. We create, we argue, we improve, we provoke, we challenge, we react, we promote… it’s some kind of perpetual cycle that we happily submit to... Dodo Juice has a loose and uncorporate structure. If we’re having fun and people are buying our products, we generally think we’re doing the right thing.

DW: Where’s pj’s accent from. I can’t place it?

DC: pj is a Norwegian guy who went to college in America and spends enough time in the UK to do a very bad cockney accent. My accent is nowhere near as exotic.

DW: How did you ‘get into’ selling detailing products?

PJ: I like to think it all started with a dodo-sucking mosquito encased in a lump of amber, found on a beach in Mauritius…

DC: Well, it’s a nice thought. But the honest answer is from being bored at work and from being fascinated by high end waxes. I’d written a website for a Z***l detailer and created a press release that marketed him as the most expensive ‘car washer’ in the world. I got to play around with the top end waxes he had, and was really intrigued by this thing called ‘carnauba’. The detailer had some good media exposure from the press release and wanted me to work with him but I couldn’t detail cars at that point, so I decided to create a car wax to make myself useful. Branding and marketing was more my thing. The job with the detailer never came to fruition, but I left my day job anyway and developed Dodo Juice with pj in my spare time, whilst running a friend’s Porsche servicing centre. After a while, I had a usable homemade wax, but it was missing something… expertise… so I enlisted some chemists to help us, the JAK crew as they became known, and eventually, the Dodo started to fly.

DW: How long have you been selling detailing products?

PJ: We just celebrated our second year of selling imaginatively named, opulently coloured and ridiculously addictive car care products. We look forward to accomplishing world domination of the car care market at some point within the next millennium. That would have been much harder had we started in 1999.

DW: Tell me about your first product that you sold?

DC: It was a glass pot of Rainforest Rub, to one of our early resellers. After checking my records, the first line of the first invoice says ‘Rainforest Rub, 24x units…’ to Alex at Elite Car Care. He’s still selling our stuff today, which is fantastic. In fact, Ultimate Finish, The Polishing Company and were all with us from those early stages.
DW: What do you do when you’re not selling detailing products?

PJ: In order of ‘time spent’, excluding stuff like marketing and customer service: forum posting, social networking, sleeping, driving, detailing, eating and travelling. Oh and the missus has *requested* I slip her in at the top of the list.

DC: Like pj, I spend an unhealthy amount of time on the business. It’s a way of life, really. Detailing has become my main hobby and I really love the technical side to it. I’ve wasted hours machining cars with suncream and toothpaste, just to see if they work… I’ve clayed and sealed shower screens… in fact, that’s all the housework I do. Beyond that, I like track cars and going out with friends.
DW: What do you drive and how often is it detailed?

PJ: We are found either in the rent-a-wreck Peugeot 406 which is the runaround, or the road bruiser Blingo delivery van. Hear it coming and watch it go! The Blingo gets a going over whenever we have a chance and the Peugeot is the test bed for various products… not to mention Dom’s unorthodox machine polishing techniques!

DW: What is your favourite car and why?

PJ: BLINGO! BLINGO! Hands down, the best van on the planet and the flagship of Team Dodo. Then there are the dream company cars… I’m holding out for American muscle and Dom wants a set of supercars. Until such day as these dreams come true, the Blingo is the way forward (and reverse… it goes backwards too, but watch out for the tailpipes).

DC: Who wouldn’t want a Veyron? Apart from pj… a pimped Hummer is more his style. But more realistically I intend to build an Ultima GTR one day. And if I can afford a Skyline GTR or a Porsche 997 GT2 as a replacement for the Peugeot, then my numbers will definitely have come up.

DW: How did you ‘get into’ detailing?

PJ: I was brought into the scene by the Dodo.

DC: Writing a website for a detailer, finding out about Detailing World… and then having some machine polishing lessons from Andy C. A ‘small world’ contact, as it happens. He popped his head around the door of the Porsche service place I was working at (on a non-detailing matter!) and spotted a glass jar of Dodo Juice on the desk… I think he then left about an hour later after we had chatted each other to death about Detailing World!

DW: How long have you been detailing at ‘this’ level?

PJ: About a year or so. I get better every day. There’s always something to learn or improve upon.

DC: I knew the basics from the day Dodo Juice was born, thanks to the aforementioned detailer, but didn’t really get properly into detailing until 6 months in. Then, when I got my hands on a rotary, it became a lot more intense. To be honest, I am at a comfortable ‘medium’ level when it comes to detailing. I love pads, compounds and my Chicago Pneumatic rotary, but I only have the patience to do panels at a time, rather than whole cars. I love the research too much, rather than the hard graft. Maybe I’ll master wet sanding one day and buy a Mirka, but for now, the rotary, a wool pad and a development compound is paint correction nirvana for me.

DW: How did you learn to machine polish?

DC: Oops, mentioned that earlier… Andy C. A lovely gent and a patient teacher. I think he still worries about what I do to that Peugeot with a wool pad!

PJ: Dom is the machinist among us, but I have undergone various lessons to master the rotary and the wool pad. Hologramming, pah, the Lime Prime makes quick work of that.

DW: How many cars have you detailed over the years?

DC: Hmmm, you’d need to add up the panels to see how many whole ones I’ve done. Not many from nose to tail. I prefer to socially detail and spread the work amongst friends with a pizza and some beer. So do shared details count? I have fond memories of fully detailing the Blingo van before the livery went on with Epoch and Bigsyd. And yes, pizza and beer did come into the equation. We created quite an orchestral arrangement that day – the sounds of a Flex, Chicago Pneumatic and Rupes all humming and whirring together.

PJ: Some, but not a lot. I mainly do demos on bonnets and wings of people’s cars… but memorable ‘full’ details include an orange Boxster, 800bhp Skyline GTR and the family Volvo. I got through a LOT of clay bars decontaminating that old thing!

DW: Tell me about your first detail:

DC: Technically, I suppose it was back in the days before Detailing World or Dodo Juice. It was ‘pre-crunch’, so I had remortgaged whatever I could get my hands on to afford a second hand left-hand drive Porsche and decided to treat it to some Z***l. I shudder as I think back to that detail… single bucket, no claying or pre-wax… just straight from shampoo to wax. And then I left it on for too long in the sun. Not a glorious occasion. Mind you, it looked ok but I didn’t know what a swirl mark was, so it would have done. Hit it with a Brinkmann and you’d have seen more swirls than a seventies carpet.

DW: What is your favourite car to detail and why?

DC: The Peugeot 406 test shed. Because I have no fear when detailing it. I’d happily sand it with P180 grit sandpaper and then try and remove the marks with my wool pad and rotary as a personal challenge. New TFR? Let’s leave it on the bonnet a week and see what happens. I guess that’s why I don’t get many detailing requests from friends or relatives!

DW: Do you prefer to detail a supercar or everyday car?

DC: Neither… give me a Vauxhall Vectra bootlid (our demo panel) and a dozen interested customers gathered around our gazebo. In fact, give pj a Vauxhall Vectra bootlid and a dozen interested customers…

PJ: Only a dozen? What shows have you been going to? When I’m selling, you’re just crowd control!

DW: What piece of detailing kit do you think every detailer should have in their arsenal? (excluding the obvious stuff like wash mitts, etc.)

DC: A decent washing machine back home… everything has to be so clean and nothing can be reused if dirty. Applicators, buffing towels, drying towels… all must be meticulously washed.

PJ: In a Norwegian winter, a Brinkmann comes in handy. But clay bars are very useful.

DW: What are your current favourite brands and why?

PJ: DODO JUICE is the brand that first comes to mind, but I am aware there are others out there.

DC: We always keep an eye on who’s ‘best of the rest’, if you like. Plus we get on well with a lot of the other manufacturers, like Autoglym, G-Techniq, Meguiars, Raceglaze, Swissvax and Zaino. Any favourites? Well, we have always had a soft spot for Bilt Hamber as they are another small UK company who make their own products and regularly take on the big players in the market. Internationally, Nanolex is probably in pole position. Florian is charming and his products are understated yet high performing… you can’t help but like him and his company.

Ferrari or Lambo?

PJ: Hummer or Mustang!

DC: Ferrari are doing great things at the moment. The new 458 and California look really special.

Wax or Sealant?

PJ: Somewhere between the two. A Dodo hybrid.

DC: Both is the sensible answer… there’s little real distinction anymore as the recipes have such huge crossover. For ease of use, a nice basic wax like Rainforest Rub. For durability, maybe a covalent sealant that we’ll get around to inventing at some point!

Fish and chips or bangers and mash?

PJ: Bangers and mash for the big man and a nice slice of cod for the lanky one… remember to salt those fries.

McDonald's or Burger King?

PJ: I don’t do either anymore…

DC: Burger King ever since McDonalds stopped adding salt to fries. They are as bad as the KFC ones now.
Coffee or Tea?

PJ: 4 spoons of coffee, 4 sugars and a splash of water…. I like the kick of caffeinated sludge.

DC: I love a good cup of tea, but I rely on fully caffeinated coffee these days for refreshment and drive. Shameful.
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Old 13-08-2009, 08:08 PM   #2
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lol excellent entertaining read dodo's

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Old 13-08-2009, 10:05 PM   #3
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Excellent read there! I was there that day, that's me in the background in the blue jacket on the picture. If your wondering why my expression is like that it is because PJ had just explained the whole Dodo range in 60 seconds

Both of the Dodo boys have tonnes of knowledge, and will answer ANY questions you have. PJ is very very energtic & speaks very very fast, but he sure sold me the products.

Keep up the good work
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Old 13-08-2009, 10:14 PM   #4
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A relaxed insight into how things run down at the Dodo Factory - brilliant!
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Old 13-08-2009, 10:14 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. Pj was definitely a Moroccan carpet salesman in a previous life. He even got offered a sales job by one guy at a Porsche event!
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Old 13-08-2009, 10:17 PM   #6
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Good read guys and why doesnt it suprise me that Alex was your first customer.

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Old 13-08-2009, 10:27 PM   #7
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Excellent read chaps very enjoyable
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Old 14-08-2009, 12:55 PM   #8
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Dom and his trusty Woolie, what will you do when she's gone? lol

A good insight to the world of Dodo
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Old 14-08-2009, 01:20 PM   #9
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Thats a really funny read Dom and PJ
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Old 14-08-2009, 01:26 PM   #10
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Good interview
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