I am happy to present to you our sixth local business spotlighted in the Pay it Forward feature – Sky Shop Autobody & Detailing.
Our recent Lake County business featured was Kyle Karlsson, owner of Terped Out Kitchen, who chose to Pay it Forward to Alexander Szeliga, owner of Sky Shop Autobody & Detailing.
The catch is that I will not choose the next business to interview, but the current spotlighted business will choose who I will interview next. Local businesses will Pay it Forward.
Sky Shop Autobody & Detailing is a local family-owned and operated automotive collision repair shop. They offer high-quality, honest repairs in Lake County, California and surrounding areas. Alexander’s detailing talents are top-notch, using the best materials on every job. They recently won awards in two categories in the Best of Lake & Mendocino; receiving a GOLD in detailing and SILVER in auto body repair, where he is equally talented as well. Sky Shop Autobody & Detailing is located just past RED’S @ the Skyroom Restaurant. All insurances are welcome and they guarantee every job they do!
1. Why did you decide to start your own business?
I wanted to give back to my community and the younger generation in a way I knew I could. I knew opening my own shop and being able to be in control was a surefire way to get it done. I love teaching. I hope to incorporate a full training facility to my shop program someday. Our industry needs people. Teaching correctly is the first step in reviving our trades and creating the next generation’s workforce.
2. How do you deal with fear and doubt?
I pray. Also, I’m not trying to be the biggest; I just want to be the best. By maintaining high-quality repairs and strict repair policies mixed with confidence in my abilities. I am able to push out any fear or doubt I may have. Absolutely knowing what to do is another developed trait that helps in stressful times.
3. How does your business look different now vs. when you first started?
A little over two years ago, when I first opened, we had one shop bay with an office above it. When I did everything by myself, from estimating, repairing, detailing, & painting – to now, with seven bays, an office, a waiting room & a storage yard. Also, we have three employees plus myself. We truly are one of those “started in a garage” success stories. It took years just to get to that first bay opened. Give me two years and I’ll make you an overnight success.
4. How do you set your business apart from others in your industry?
We just recently won in two categories in the Best of Lake & Mendocino contest, gold in detailing & silver in auto body repair. We are proud of that. Also, I strive to go above and beyond with every job no matter how big or small it is. I have personal one on one interactions with all of my clients. I think that makes a big difference! Cleanliness in my shop is a big deal for me. Organization & Communication are also key. College business classes, mixed with my trade abilities, have really come into play.
5. What is the hardest part about being an entrepreneur?
Starting out, I was never worried about being able to complete the work by myself. As I got busier and needed help, shifting gears from owner/operator into owner/operator/boss threw in a whole new aspect for me having to deal with employees. So, to sum it up I’d have to say the most difficult part is all of a sudden you have to become your own Human Resources Department. Haha. Fixing vehicles is easy compared to filling a staff schedule.
6. What is your favorite part of being an entrepreneur?
The small freedoms that it has given me. Being able to arrange my own schedule, have more family time, to stop and buy lunch for my employees, to give back to our world the way that I want to give back. Being able to give back to the community, as simple as gifting a detail or paying someone’s deductible… or paying someone’s dinner or fuel bill. I feel blessed from above & want to help where I can. Hard work pays off.
7. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I actually have a list! I’d love to go to Madrid, Spain for the architecture, culture & food! Also on my list – Brazil, Mexico City, and Panama.
SKY SHOP AUTOBODY & DETAILING
800 B & C Sky Park Drive, Lakeport, CA 95453
Hours of Operation:
Mon – Fri, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Alexander is Paying it Forward to Marisol Fernandez – owner of The Men’s Place Barber Shop.
Stay tuned for The Men’s Place!