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Performance & Hotrod Business - April '15

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April 2015 n Performance & Hotrod Business n 69 ket. I believe being a talented trimmer is only part of owning a successful shop. It is kind of a package deal. You will deal with all kinds of people, so it is important to develop good customer relations. You need to have good commu- nication skills whether it be email, phone, letters, etc. You should act and dress pro- fessionally for the trade. I believe that you and especially your workspace is a reflection of your work as well. Your customer must feel that his proj- ect, whatever it is, is in good hands. And try to give each customer more than he is expecting. 10. What has been your proudest moment as a shop owner? And where do you see Dan Kirkpatrick Interiors in 10 years? It is impossible to single out a proud- est moment; there have been many. In a larger sense it is when a customer sees his completed car for the first time. Since the interior is usually the last major work, the customer can finally see what his vision and money has turned into. It is a very special moment when you are told your work is the icing on the cake. I think the future for me is pretty much as it is now, only with a more manageable pace. I would consider another opportu- nity if it were to present itself, but I have invested so many years trying to get good at trim work I really don't see myself doing anything else. On one hand, it looks as though the trade of trimming automobiles is dying— Detroit automakers have killed a lot of good business for trim shops. But I hear constantly that people are looking for good, skilled, craftsmen but can't seem to find any. After following The Hog Ring for a couple of years, I am convinced that there are plenty of very competent trim- mers around the country right now. I have been extremely frustrated for many years over the fact that auto trim- ming is a largely misunderstood and underappreciated trade. The average car guy has no idea what different mediums trimmers have to be good at, nor under- stand the learning curve involved in mas- tering such a meticulous craft. I can't tell you how many guys I know that will build their own engines and drivetrains, try their hand at paint and body work, do body-off restorations by themselves, but very few will attempt the upholstery. Go figure. There is a tremendous amount of trim- ming to do: aircraft, marine, auto and commercial. None of us can get to it all anyway. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Before we wrap things up, is there anything else you'd like to add? Just a word about The Hog Ring. I love this site. I am 61 years old now and have been trying not to embrace technology. I just started Facebook earlier this year and just launched my website, not knowing if any of it will help business. Many, many times I wonder about what other shops are doing, and what others are charging for their work. The Hog Ring has helped me tremendously with my own per- spective, and I won't give any details but I have picked up some pretty neat tricks, too! Naseem and Nadeem, Thank You for The Hog Ring—outstanding work! The Hog Ring is the auto upholstery industry's news website and online community. Visit to net- work and connect with other auto upholstery shops. Simple elegance: Kirkpatrick's treatment of a 1972 Lamborghini Espada interior. 1951 Jaguar XK-120 Roadster interior. 1929 Duesenberg J-108 Murphy disappearing top convertible interior. 1930 Packard 734 Boattail Speedster Runabout interior.

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