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Restyling & Truck Accessories - May '15

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6 Restyling & tRuck AccessoRies | May 2015 restylingMag.coM In the late 1990s, Mike Bartells was con- tent with managing a single store of a large chain of mobile electronics retailers, while on the side making a name for himself in the Decibel Drag (dB Drag) and Sound Pressure Level (SPL) competition circuit. It wasn't long, though, before the natural entrepreneur started seeing bigger oppor- tunities than merely pitting his tricked- out rides against the best in business and toiling away for someone else's benefit. "The writing was on the wall that the chain was going in the wrong direction, so I jumped out on my own a year-and-a half- later in 1999, and Extreme Audio was born," Bartells says. "At the time we were really heavy in the dB Drag/SPL arena. As the years went by, though, the Internet became more prevalent and the business had to grow and shift its priorities. Things like SPL were not really a viable source of income moving forward, so I had to start making more and more business decisions and move away from being merely a hobbyist." Not that being a hobbyist wasn't fun, of course. As a competitor, Bartells pushed the envelope for extreme sound. He even landed a high-profile segment on the Discovery Channel's hit TV show Mythbusters, with host Jamie Hyneman leveraging Bartell's expertise on truly loud sound. "Even though setting multiple world records and being on Mythbusters was a blast, it didn't exactly pay the bills!" Bar- tells laughs. Instead, Bartells started pouring his com- petitive spirit into developing a world-class mobile electronics retail shop. "The store started evolving in its appear- ance and the attention to every detail in our client interactions," he says. "I went from trying to be the best in competition, to trying to be the best at business. We constantly are looking for ways to improve, and although it probably drives the staff crazy, it has paid off." Has it ever. The shop won National Mobile Electronics Retailer of the Year in 2013 and was runner-up in 2014. The coveted award analyzes everything from a shops storefront and install bays to employee policies, business policies and best practices. "While I'll never consider ourselves to be the absolute best out there, it defi- nitely helps keep the drive in you when you get that sort of recognition," Bartells says. "The best way to maintain a sense of humility and at the same time push yourself to always try to be your best is to surround yourself with the best in the business. It's a constant drive to improve and push and refine what you're doing." For 16 years, the award- winning team at Extreme Audio has delighted customers with exceptional knowledge and professionalism, landing them a national profile as a leader in cutting edge sound and more. ExtrEmE Audio By Jake Rishavy Shop profile of High Profile The

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