THE SHOP

Performance & Hotrod Business May '14

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BUSINESS 96 n Performance & Hotrod Business n May 2014 After about three years in the pole barn, I was forced to move locations. I purchased a commercial facility three-times bigger than our original 40-by-60-foot shed. Travis and I were both nervous about the upgrade, but we really didn't have any choice, and in hindsight, it was the best decision we've made. However, we didn't start making money until about two years later. We were both pretty broke while building the business. What are some of the sacrifices you have made? TS: Severe lack of personal time and doing anything other than work was nearly nonexistent for me the first five years in business. Every cent I've made I've put into my business. Luckily I had a clear vision to work toward. I think a lot of people wondered if we could really make a living in this busi- ness. Travis has been with me from the beginning, as the body and paint manager. We cut back to about 60-hour work weeks when he got married in our sixth year. Your best advice for struggling shop owners: TS: Establish your vision and focus, then hang in there. There is a fine line between only doing what you do best and specializing to the point you run out of work. We have grown enough through word of mouth that we can now pick and choose our projects and our customers. Anyone starting out needs to understand that with- out good help and good customers, you have nothing. I am dedicated to keeping Legacy Innovations (www.legacyinnova- tions.com) standing apart from and a step ahead of our competition. I strive to make LI the best option available for our team of employees and our customers. Your best advice for people who want to start their own custom shop: TS: Go big or go home. If you give people what they want, they will be happy to pay you. My biggest regret is not realiz- ing our value sooner. We gave a lot of time away to people who didn't appreciate what they got and didn't care about where we were trying to go. A good customer will see your future and will want you to succeed. JoAnn Bortles is an award win- ning custom painter, airbrush art- ist, welder/fabricator, tech writer, and photojournalist with over 30 years of experience in the auto- motive industry. She is the author of seven books on automotive, motorcycle, and custom painting. Her work has been featured in numerous automotive and mo- torcycle publications, NBC News, The Today Show and on Musclecar TV. She also serves on SEMA's SBN Select Committee. JoAnn owns Crazy Horse Custom Paint. Legacy did an incredible job on this 1963 Corvette, installing a supercharged LS9 ZR1, Tranzilla T56 6-speed, carbon fiber hood, and many other custom details. This 1958 Corvette from Legacy Innovations has won a number of awards, including the Goodguys Gold Bar Award at the 2013 SEMA Show. Recently it took home a First Place at Detroit's Autorama. This '58 was rebuilt from the ground up and also features a Legacy Innovations Rod Saboury edition chassis. PHBMAY.indd 96 4/2/14 2:00 PM

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