Student banks on passion for cars

Kade Malone supports education with auto detailing business

A young man with dirty blonde hair washes his glossy black BMW. He loves his car, showering it in expensive polishing and detailing products. Every centimeter is spotless.

This man’s interest in cars stretches from a student-run club to a profitable business. His name—Kade Malone.

Malone is a junior microbiology major with a chemistry minor. He’s 21 years old and lives in West Monroe. 

His down-to-earth demeanor meshes with his sociable nature. He spends time with friends in his studio working away on cars. Other times, he usually is sipping beer and eating pizza with them.

He doesn’t do much else besides his car detailing business and studying. Such is the life of a college student who owns a small business.

“[Social life] doesn’t exist,” Malone said. “I average about 24 hours of sleep a week.”

Since high school, he loved washing people’s cars and the smiles they gave him. When he was 15 and got his driver’s license, something clicked inside his head.

“I’m gonna use all the money I saved up to finally buy a car,” Malone said.

Malone’s hustle is his car detailing service, Grade A Detailing. It pays for his bills and education. 

“I started my business in October of 2018 to help pay for what my financial aid and grants weren’t able to cover,” Malone said.

His services range from exterior and interior washes, to paint corrections, carpet extractions, headlight restoration and more.

He and Cameron Stewart, a close friend and coworker, meticulously rejuvenate customers’ cars with high-quality products. 

“Kade’s a good guy,” Stewart said. “I’ve known him for a long time. He has a big passion for cars, especially modifying and working on them. He’s a great detailer and taught me a lot.”

What exactly is car detailing? Unlike your local automated car wash down the street, the goal is to restore a vehicle to like-new condition. 

Detailing can help increase your car’s value and life by destroying corrosive materials. It is done by hand with tools such as hoses, polishers, waxes and paint clay.

Monroe Midnight is Malone’s student-based car club and more proof of his vehicular obsession. 

He started it with best friend Nicholas Gomez, who works for Weekend Warrior Detailing in West Monroe. 

“We started the car club together in our first semester of college in our biology class,” Gomez said. “We have been very close since.” 

The club has about 30 members. However, it’s not just sitting and fanboying about cars all day.

“We often do collaborations with other car clubs, particularly in Ruston,” Stewart said. “Our meets generally have a high turnout.”

Malone studies microbiology aspiring to be a virologist–a scientist that specializes in the study of viruses. He hopes to focus on AIDS research. 

He also wants to use his chemistry minor to create detailing products for customers. 

He sees life from a do-it-yourself perspective and the potential expansion of his business.

If you feel unmotivated about reaching your goals, take a page from Malone’s book. 

He follows the traditional conservative mindset of the baby boomer era.

“If I don’t work today, I don’t get it,” Malone said. “You can’t just dream about it. In America, you can do anything with hard work.”

Some college goers may be thinking about starting a business. Malone’s advice is to do right by the customer.

“Don’t worry about being better than the competition,” Malone said. “Be the best you can be for your customers. If your customers are happy and leave with a smile on their face, you’re doing the right thing.”

You can book an appointment with Grade A Detailing by calling (318) 557-1645.