August '17

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AUGUST 2017 THE SHOP 65 been a co-driver, but it's time for me to be in the driver's seat. SM : I would like to be a SEMA Board member. If you could change one thing about the automo- tive aftermarket, what would it be? TC : Making people more aware of how important it is to be part of local or national associations like SEMA. Some think that a $100-a-year membership fee is too much to pay, but in reality, you get so much back as a collective industry. SEMA is constantly at the forefront of current events that affect our marketplace, and protects us as retailers. SM : Whenever I think that a change needs to be made, I try to make that change or ask a lot of questions to better understand it. What's one thing most people in the automotive aftermarket don't know about you? TC : I love to work around the house. I started mowing the lawn when I was 9 years old, and we had a house on a half-acre. I love gardening and interior design, which is probably what I get most from my mom. SM : I'm shy. When it comes to business, I am not shy; I speak up. But outside of that I am shy and it comes off like I don't want to be friends, but the truth is I do. I try to see the good in everyone and feel there is enough business for all of us. I love my industry and my industry family. What's your advice for speed shops seeking long-term success in the aftermarket? TC : Know your customer, stay true to who you want to be in the marketplace, but understand that you need to grow and change as well. As long as you are in a business that you love, it will grow, because your customers will see your passion. Consumers get excited about something when you are excited about it. They are coming to you as an expert—for your knowledge of what's happening in that segment of the industry and suggestions of what they should do. SM : Build slow and easy; don't rush and purchase everything. Build great relation- ships with your vendors, support vendors that support you and push products that you have great margins on. If a company doesn't have time for you, work with companies that do. Great cus- tomer service is key in all aspects. And don't over- or under-promise you vendors. Be honest about what you can do and what you hope you can do. Sara hits the trail in her Jeep.

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