I opened VIP Collision Center in 2003. I have to say that I am happy with the direction we have taken. We are lucky to have both talented and caring employees, along with outstanding equipment, including two paint booths and a mixing room we purchased in 2007.
But that wasn't always the case. To give you a little history of how I got into this business, I really need to start at the beginning. You see, I started in this business when I was just a kid. My uncle had his own auto body and paint business, and I used to help him - mostly by not getting in his way! I watched him, and I didn't know it but I was preserving those memories for when I finally grew up and was old enough to paint and repair cars on my own.
In my early twenties, around the late 90s, I decided it was time to venture out on my own. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. My good friend and I, started a business decided to open our own "business". It was a garage with room to paint a car or two at a time. If you can believe it, I still buy a few materials from the same person. I guess we were both lucky enough to grow our businesses.
The second collision shop I opened was in Vancouver, Washington. It had a nice little office and enough space to work on 10-15 cars at a time. This was the first business where I really was lucky enough to make lasting relationships with customers. I still have customers from my second business who cross the river to do business with me. I could say that it was luck, but really I think it was a little luck and a lot of hard work. Since the very first shop I opened when I was fixing 1-2 cars a month, up to now, I have always believed in honesty and consistent and reliable repairs. So yes, luck, but mostly hard work.
It was a good place, but I wanted to expand a little more. That is how I crossed the river to Portland, Oregon. Portland is such a great place to have a business. The people are friendly and we are fortunate to be located in a great community.
So, the next time you are in an accident, give us a try. Who knows, maybe it will become a lifetime friendship!