THE SHOP

October '21

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30 THE SHOP OCTOBER 2021 I n 1991, when Derek Stankovich, CEO and president of DMP Fasteners, was out of high school, his parents advised him to either get a job or go to school. Instead, before he knew it, he was run- ning his own company. "I was hanging around a friend's body shop, because at that time I was into hot rods and VW cars, and I was asked to metal-polish some Triumph motorcycle parts," recalls Stankovich, who at the time was simply a hobbyist. "One thing led to another, and soon I had customers coming from everywhere to get their parts polished." With the help of a $300 loan from his parents, Stankovich purchased a used piece of equipment and some tools, all of which allowed him to do a better, faster job. Soon he had a name for his new company: Dis- tinctive Metal Polishing. "My parents also let me use a metal 10-by-10 shed in their backyard. Within a year they suggested I upgrade to a 10-by-20 Tuff Shed because the business was going well, and within two years I moved into a 1,000-square-foot commercial business in Reseda, California, where I stayed for 10 years crafting my trade." HOLDING TRUE One day, Stankovich was looking through a street rod magazine and saw a Gardner- Westcott advertisement for fasteners and thought, "Why not stock some key sizes, since every time a customer picks up his shiny new parts, they ask me where to get new shiny bolts?" He proceeded to purchase a six-bin drawer full of chrome and stainless bolts. He soon saw the ongoing demand and kept buying more new sizes as customers asked for them. "Then, one day, I was buying some sheet metal stainless screws from a vendor in Maryland, and the guy who owned the business said, 'Are you reselling my screws? Why not buy direct from the source?'" Focusing more on retail and less on pol- ishing, the business—now one of the oldest in the Los Angeles area—later found itself tucked away in a small, 3,200-square-foot building that was hard for customers to find. "In 2011, we moved to a 6,600-square- foot building in Chatsworth on a major street with plenty of traffic and cut the building inside in half—making one side parts and the other side installs and storage," Stankovich says. Fast-forward to present day, and the newly named DMP Fasteners now produces its own polished chrome bolts in-house and stocks most items customers need to build or finish a car, boat or race vehicle. The company specializes in fasteners and AN fittings, wiring products, mandrel-bent tubing, engine dress-up accessories, per- formance engine components, suspension a Firm Grip DMP Fasteners has secured its place in the aftermarket. By Maura Keller Derek Stankovich, CEO and president of DMP Fasteners, got his start in metal polishing. DMP Fasteners now produces its own polished chrome bolts in-house and stocks most items customers need to build or finish a car, boat or race vehicle.

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