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Snap Shop: Pronto Body Shop

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Pronto Body Shop
A virtual tour of Pronto Body Shop.

SHOP STATS: Pronto Body Shop   Location: El Paso, Texas.  Operator:Tiffany Menefee  Average Monthly Car Count: 50  Staff Size: 11  Shop Size: 7,500 square feet; Annual Revenue;$980,000

1.Decorate on a Budget

Three years ago, Tiffany Menefee took over the retro Pronto Body Shop. She wanted to keep the shop’s “everything is done with a handshake” motto and revamp the small facility in order to make the staff accessible to customers and create a comfortable space.  

The furniture in the shop is all antique and was found at the salvage yard down the road from the shop, at Menefee’s house or her grandparents house. In the corner of the waiting room stands an antique paper safe that now contains small parts, which Menefee orders for her customers.

Menefee orders inexpensive, $10 parts and then often has her team replace the parts for free as a “goodwill” service to customers.

 

2. Encourage Good Business Practices

On display in the waiting room is a cat stuffed animal. This black-and-white cat represents one of her encounters with a customer.

A customer was driving his RV on a cross-country trip and passed Menefee’s shop. Along the one-way street, a piece of his vehicle fell off. Menefee’s team waved him into the shop and welded the piece back on for no cost. They joked, however, that payment could be in the form of the man’s black-and-white cat, Patrick. Of course, they didn’t get the cat, but soon thereafter, the customer sent the shop a cat stuffed animal so the shop could have its own Patrick the cat.

 

3.  Jam to the Neighborhood Beat

One guitar hangs on the wall in honor of the shop’s first owner, who used to sit outside the shop and strum tunes. So, Menefee found her own guitar to hang on the wall, as well. A local radio station, Magia radio, was giving out a free guitar to the first person to visit the station. Menefee and her coworker arrived first.

 

4. Take Care of Your Surroundings

On the right side of the shop’s brick exterior, Menefee chose three murals to represent the El Paso neighborhood roots. “Viva la Huelga” means “Live the Fight” in Spanish. This is in reference to the neighborhood’s immigrant and farming community. The image is inspiration of Cesar Chavez marching for farm workers’ rights in the early 1900s.

The “Make Art Not War” poster is a famous art image by Shephard Fairey, American contemporary street artist, which the shop requested rights to use. The last mural of women’s suffrage showcases how the shop is run by women.

On the left side of the building, local artists decorated the walls. This was to share the shop with the community as well as prevent any future graffiti.

 

5. Create a Multi-functioning Space

During the day, technicians will bring one of the roughly 15 cars on the property’s lot and work on it in the shop. To utilize the 7,500 square feet, customer’s cars are kept parked in a lot next door. At night, the tech’s tools, which are on rolling carts, are pushed to the far wall of the shop. Then, the techs bring in the cars from the lot and secure them in the building overnight.

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