Have you ever thought about starting your own powder coating business? In episode 12 of RossKote’s Powder Coater Podcast, guest Sean Shreve shares his journey into the industry and offers valuable insights on reputation management, outsourcing, and profitability. Sean emphasizes the importance of being honest with customers and building relationships with other businesses in the industry. He also advises those interested in starting a business to first try it out as a hobby and outsource their blasting needs to save on equipment costs. Tune in to learn more about the risks and rewards of starting a powder coating business and how to succeed in the industry.

RossKote (Kim Scott (00:00:05) – Just like a good old American slasher movie, your company’s hard earned profile can get axed on social media. Yep. Say one thing wrong, and you could be that guy who gets it first in the thriller. How can you come back from a murderous reputation in this two part episode of the Powder Coater podcast? We’re talking about what happens when a bad reputation follows you home and climbs into bed with you. Our featured guest has crawled through some of the worst things that can happen on the World Wide Web and live to tell about it. Not all of what you think you know is as bad as it seems. Find out when we go to places unknown and cover reputation, reviews, results and rankings on our continued series about publicity and branding featuring a famously unknown custom coater. Get ready to level up your powder coater game. Welcome to RossKote’s Powder Coater podcast. I’m your host, Kim Scott. And this is episode 12. Yes. I can’t believe we’ve made 12 episodes. This weekly podcast interviews influencers and industry people and covers trending topics in Powder so powder coders can effectively learn and grow their businesses.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:01:54) – Last week we featured an episode with Jace Kaser, of Kaser blasting and coating, who takes a kaleidoscope view or rather a 30,000 foot view of approaches to coating. Today’s guest gives you a practical manual to the finer details of powder coating and running a shop. The Daily Grind. He’s fond of dogs and runs a successful YouTube channel and business known as known as being mad, famous for being unknown. Please welcome Sean Shreve from Unknown Coatings to the show. Hi Sean. How’s it going?

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:02:36) – It’s wonderful.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:02:37) – Did I mess up your last name? I forgot to ask for the show.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:02:40) – No, it’s Shreve.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:02:41) – So it is. Okay, good. I said it right. Okay, good. Well, now, how long have you been coding? And what compelled you to be a powder coater?

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:02:56) – I technically started December. Actually, I got my big oven or the, you know, my 4×4 by six oven. So that’s not really started in my opinion. Um, December 22nd of 2008. I remember it for a completely ridiculous reason, but do remember that that’s the date for some reason.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:03:15) – Um, as far as why I started was. There was a couple of things. I was building a car. I worked. I was working as a contractor. I did used to do commercial sign design. I was working out of state on a job that we were doing, and I was building a car in Utah when I had just recently moved to Utah. I think I had only been here for a couple of months before I took off to California for almost a year. So, um, once we did that, I started building a car here. I was trying to get parts powder coated. Um. Called around to the couple of people that I could call here, and there was nobody willing to give me any sort of reasonable pricing. And when I say a reasonable pricing, I didn’t know what the pricing would even be, but most people wouldn’t even quote me. They wouldn’t give me any sort of quote. And I wasn’t asking for anything. Be wild. I didn’t think or especially now, knowing what I know now, um, I had just looked.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:04:08) – I wanted an intake manifold for a four cylinder car, a valve cover, and for a four cylinder and four brake calipers. So nothing in my world now, nothing too crazy. And I think out of the four places that I called on, they one would give me a quote and he would only quote the valve cover. And he told me $400. Wow. And I was just like and I you know, I had no idea what the price would be for, you know, I was completely new to it all. And, um, you know, I wasn’t happy, I guess, with the answers that I was getting or not getting, mostly not getting. And I just like, this can’t be this hard, you know, like I’m a mechanical, you know, I’ve done mechanical things since I was a little kid. And I was like, I’m sure I can figure all this stuff out. It can’t be that hard. And I bought I think I bought a harbor freight gun. I only had that for about three days before I threw it away.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:04:58) – Um, but I think I started technically powder coating my own stuff for myself with a craftsman gun, which I don’t think they have them around anymore. Um, craftsman didn’t actually make them. They were rebranded craftsman guns. But, um, there’s if you go to summit racing, you can still buy that exact style of gun now. And it’s like this. It doesn’t use an air compressor. It’s got a fan inside. It works like a hairdryer. Oh, wow. A little cup underneath it that holds. If I said it holds a quarter pound of powder, that would probably be pushing it. It’s literally like the epitome of hobby gun. And I bought a couple of those because I knew that they were going to discontinue them. So I bought a few and then I was able to order the replacement cups for them so that I didn’t have to keep stopping and refilling them. I would just like, you know, like a gun would just change the clip and the gun basically, and keep going so I can do full parts.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:05:53) – And, um. Even the first little bit that I was working, I was I didn’t want to work for anybody else. I didn’t want a powder coat for anybody else. I was working in a pretty good job at the time. That paid really well, gave me quite a bit of free time. And you know, it was more or less a hobby for myself. I was, you know, when I first got the systems, I was powder coating anything metal in my garage. There was nothing saved at that point. And. Just finally, I think it was about six months in, I finally agreed to powder coat for somebody else. Um, the first set of wheels I ever did were in a house oven. There were 16 inch wheels in the house of it. And knowing what I know now, I have no idea how they came out. And the weird part is I still have those wheels and they’re still in great shape, which makes even less sense knowing everything I know now.

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Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:06:40) – It’s it’s one of those things that makes you question all the things that you’ve learned and heard stories about as far as like adhesion and cure times. And I mean, these wheels have held up great and there’s a 0% chance that they were cured correctly. So…

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:06:54) – Yeah, I know sometimes it’s like that first time you nail it and then it all goes downhill from there and you’re like, Wait, what? Was I just lucky? Or did I actually what did I do right? And why can’t I replicate that? That’s a common, common thing. But go ahead, continue your story. It’s it’s it’s interesting.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:07:13) – Uh, you know, I did some wheels. I was very much into dodge neons at the time. First generation dodge neons. The one that nobody liked. And I had some really crazy sparkly gold. You know, there’s anything anybody knows about me. It’s the sparkles. Anything sparkly. I’m into it. I don’t know why. I’ve no idea. It’s always how it’s been. Um, had these crazy, just high metallic gold. 

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:07:35) – Um. Wheels that I did. And that was the first set of wheels I did before the next set of wheels that. Did were for a customer that I reluctantly took on. It was my very first customer, um, a gentleman. And I was posting my build information. I was on a bunch of local forums at the time. This was before Facebook. Was that cool? Um, and I had my, you know, my project Cars, I had kind of listed on forums and one of them was a Nissan Forum was pretty active in Utah. Nissan’s because of a G35 Infiniti G35 that I was driving. And um. A guy contacted me just kind of out of nowhere and said, Hey, I saw that you had a Go Wheels. And I said, Well, not no, not really. You know, and at this point, I’m not even part of coating for my friends. Friends are asking me and I’m saying I’m saying no. And. I tell him basically no. And then he’s like, Well, you know, I see that you live in Harriman. 

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:08:36) – That was the city I was living in at the time here in Salt Lake, just south of Salt Lake. And he said, Do you mind if I at least come by and show them to you? And I was like, Sure, man. You know, like whatever. Like, I’m just going to say no in person, but I’ll meet somebody new, you know, Like, it’s whatever. He he showed up and he pulls up in a brand new Gt-r. Now, this is 2008, so a brand new Gt-r is literally a brand new Gt-r. We had just got him here that year. And, you know, I think he I later found out he was one of the first people in the state to have one. And it was like $140,000 to get this particular car, um, way above sticker price just because they were so desirable. Right. And he pulls up super nice guy. I mean, just I mean, he’s still a customer to this day but I mean super, super nice guy.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:09:25) – And he said, you know, we talked back and forth a little bit, just, you know, small talk about whatever. And he came in and was checking out one of the cars that I’d had been working on and, um. I said, All right, well, you know, did you want to show me these wheels? Thinking like all at least look, you know, he was nice enough guy. He explained his situation. His situation was kind of unique. He was visiting his brother’s restaurant, and next door is a large wheel company here called Wheel Works. They’re kind of the the go to for high end wheel stuff here. Um, or at the time they were and. He said that he had gone into wheel works, who he had dealt with countless times, and they weren’t able to help him because they’re the powder cutter that they have been outsourcing work to. Had become pretty flaky and they didn’t want to take on new jobs. Um, so he explained that situation to me a little bit. 

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:10:18) – I said, okay. I said, Well, do you want to show me the wheels? You know, like, I’ll at least take a look at them. Maybe I can help you out, whatever. And he’s like, Oh, it’s these ones. And he points to the Gt-r, and I’m just like, I was like, Oh, no, no, absolutely not. Like, there’s a 0% chance that I’m gonna touch those wheels. And he’s like, Dude, I’ll tell you what, I’ll bring you just the wheels. I’ll hand you $400 to do them. And I don’t care what they look like. I just want them matte black. And I was like. And, you know, it wasn’t a money thing to me at the time at all. It was more just like a I could step out and try to do this and see how it goes. But I didn’t have a ton of confidence. I mean, I’ve been doing it for six months at that point, but I, I had never dealt with anything that big.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:11:02) – I think there were 20s from the factory and my oven wouldn’t even compensate for those. But I had just ordered a new oven. I knew that it was coming from Ted’s fab and would be here, I think, within a couple of weeks. And so I explained to him the situation, said, Hey, if you can wait till the oven gets here, I’ll, I’ll do it. And I wasn’t sandblasting any of my own parts. I had like a harbor freight cabinet. But I hate sandblasting even to this day. I hate it. And, you know, I lucked out. I have a girlfriend who seems to enjoy sandblasting almost. I mean, she definitely does it. Yeah. So I’ve lucked out quite a bit in that regard.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:11:36) – I better get Ross another girlfriend. 

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:11:40) – It’s pretty great, honestly.  

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:11:41) – One for sandblasting, one for doing social media.  

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:11:45) – All the things. And then. You know, he eventually he brought the wheels. And, you know, it’s once again, knowing what I know now. 

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:11:53) – I don’t know how they turned out as well as they did. Um, but he was and they they came out flawless, you know, and. And I. I thought that that would be a one time thing and I was going to keep just kind of doing my own thing. And, you know, maybe now I’ll let friends bring their stuff over or something. Well, it turned out the restaurant that he was visiting, his family owns all of it around here. It’s like a burger joint around here. And he owns a bunch. His brother owns a bunch of his dad owns the bunch. And the one that’s next door to We’ll Works. He’s down there all the time because that’s where they have their meetings. And so the owner of Wheel Works walked out and said, Hey, I saw you got your wheels powder coated. Um, you know who did them for you because they look nice or whatever. And, um. He said, Oh, it’s some guy in his house in Harriman.  

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:12:44) – You know, I was working out of a think my garage was a little over 1800 square feet. It was a huge garage, to be fair, but it was just a garage. You know, I was legitimately still just working out of home. And he he said, Well, do you mind if I get his phone number? And so he called me and asked if it was okay to get my number out. And I said sure, thinking there’s no way that this company that, you know, every time you drive by, they have nothing but $100,000 plus vehicle In my parking lot, I was like, There’s no way they’re going to deal with that. Why would they? You know, they have so many other options that they could go with and. Right. Um, he called me the owner. It was super nice. He said, Hey, I want to send you up four wheels, four completely different wheels. I want to pick four colors to have you powder coat them, you know, one of each color.  

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:13:26) – And I just want to see the quality and make sure the color is what we need. And if those were, he’s like, I’ll pay you for them, you know, no matter what. And then if if they’re nice, maybe we can send you some work. And I said, okay. You know, I mean, what can really go wrong at that point? You know? I mean, they’re going to pay for him no matter what. They’re picking the colors. I don’t have to stress about like, you know, matching anything or anything at the time. Right. Uh, you know, once again, I’m not sandblasting, so I actually, I was outsourcing all my sandblasting. I actually outsourced all of my sandblasting for the first eight years, I think was busy. Yeah, really.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:14:01) – Risky. I mean.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:14:03) – I lucked out. I’ve only had one really bad experience, which we can all get to that. But I had a really, really bad experience with the same blaster cost me.  

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:14:15) – I want to say about $50,000 in the end, which sounds outrageous from a sound blaster, but, um, we had, you know, I took them over and I had them sandblasted. I explained. I was like, Look, guys. And they always did good work for me. But I gave them the speech. I was like, Look, I really want these to be perfect, you know? And they’re like a big industrial blaster. They do mostly giant things constantly. So wheels isn’t really their thing. Um, but they had the media for it and, you know, the equipment to do it. And I said, This is what I need. I got them done for me that day because that was kind of their thing. They would always turn my stuff around pretty much the same day and I coated them. I think they brought them to me on a Thursday and I delivered them to them Saturday. Wow. Which is still something I tend to try to do. I’m not going to pretend that I always make a 48 hour deadline, but, um, in this area, I’m definitely the one that flips the wheels fast. 

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:15:08) – Um, I did the wheels. They were happy with it, and that led to within three months, I think I quit my job my full time. My full time job was. Very cushy, you know, So it was it took a lot to get me to quit. I mean, I knew that this was going to be the thing was, I’m going to have to dedicate a lot of time to this. But I have this job where I don’t have to dedicate hardly any time to every day and get paid pretty well. You know, like, do I really want to give that up? Um, but I’ve always had a thing where I disliked working for other people. Even as cushy as my job was. I mean, I worked from home, you know, it wasn’t like I had to go deal with a boss. I had to answer to somebody probably once every couple of weeks. But it was still like somebody telling me what to do, which I’ve. Yeah, I’ve always struggled with, for whatever the reason is. 

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:15:53) – I think a lot of us do you know why we’ve been doing it for so long to It’s. You know. Yeah, it’s long hours, but they’re mine. Yeah. Yeah.   

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:16:05) – And if they’re long, it’s my fault. They’re long, you know, like. 

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:16:08) – Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Um, that reminds me of, um. Victor Pate from Black Label. Same thing. He. Him and his wife were coming from really good jobs and then just decided to jump off a cliff. You know.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:16:24) – Think I’ve known Victor or, like, you know, talk to Victor since. Right when he first started. He was in I think he got dumped into I don’t even know if it’s still there. I might not even just be in the group anymore. There was a powder coating group that was just custom powder coaters, and it was a pretty tight knit group of people. And I remember somebody invited him in and I think he’s military, right? He’s ex-military, if I remember correctly. 

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:16:46) – And he had that kind of vibe to him when he was posting. And I was like, Oh, I like this guy. Like, you know, like he’s not as, you know, some of the guys in the group, I didn’t I didn’t have a problem with him. We just, you know, we looked at life a little differently, think. And so there was somebody, I think, a little closer to to how I look at things, I guess. So I kind of sided with him a lot of things. And yeah.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:17:07) – Yeah, I can certainly relate to him and his story, but also his attitude towards life to, um, and for a lot of guys that are just getting started out there, you know, that maybe are on the fence about being a coater or whatever, I mean. I guess that’s kind of what I’m, I’m really on this podcast and stuff and what I’m trying to find is sort of there’s this element or this essence of what makes a great powder coating company or a powder coater attitude or a mantra or something.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:17:42) – And so I’ll probably end up asking you that question towards the end. But um, you know, you do have this YouTube channel. Um, it’s taking off.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:17:53) – Yeah. Yeah, it’s, it’s growing much faster, much faster than I ever could have imagined. And I know that most of my audience is powder coaters, so I know that at some point there’s kind of a threshold that that will hit to where there’s not more people to grow. Um, but. A lot of the people coming onto my channel are people that have never powder coated in their life and they’re now looking at doing it. So I guess I guess it’s a thing that I can help that growth a little bit. Um, but yeah, I mean, it’s when I was making videos for Instagram just because I thought they were fun. They’re more fun than boring pictures on Instagram. Right. And, um. It ended up being a thing where I was like, Well, you know, I watched a couple videos on YouTube.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:18:40) – There’s not a ton of powder coating videos on YouTube, especially. There’s definitely people powder coating on YouTube. There’s tons of that Just, you know, you see them spraying down a wheel or whatever, but there’s not a lot of construction. There’s not a lot of there’s not a lot of there’s basically a lot of people from what I could see in the comments, a lot of people not willing to give up information.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:19:01) – Um, yeah.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:19:02) – I can’t even imagine a world where I’m going to be secretive about information for something that’s I figured it out on my own, you know what I mean? So it’s like it’s not like it’s that hard. And if somebody has a question, I’m happy to help them with it, you know? And that’s that’s kind of where the channel grew to. And it. It was kind of funny. I, I, I had done a couple of how to’s that people had asked me about. Um, I had basically no issue at all. Um. And I would explain it like I had no no issue at all, just putting out random powder coating videos.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:19:38) – Then a couple people ask me for how tos and I was like, Sure, yeah, I’ll show you how I do it. And then I went back to just putting out powder coating content. You know, it’s not that easy. The thing that’s like how tos’ are a little bit hard for me just because although I don’t, you know, I don’t. I don’t know everything. Um, when somebody asked me how to do a how to I already know all the information that I’m going to tell them, but I don’t. I’m always uncomfortable because I don’t know if I’m explaining it in a way that somebody who doesn’t know powder coating will understand, right? Because I already know all the questions. So it’s like, you know, I was telling my girlfriend, I was like, I want to start making these videos that has her powder coating with no experience and she can ask me the questions that she needs to know because I don’t know if I’m asking myself the right questions to answer on a on a how to or a tutorial or right.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:20:27) – Because you’re coming from that other side. And yeah.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:20:31) – And I just assume like, you know, I already know all these other little things, so I skip over stuff all the time. I see myself after I’ve edited a video and uploaded it. I’m like, Oh, I probably should mention this and this, but in my head I was like, Why did he know all that? You know, And so everybody else did too. But I know that that’s not real. Um, but when I had went back to just putting out just powder coating content, you know, with no how tos everybody is like, well, where are the how tos? Like, can you do more? How tos, you know, like more, more tutorials? Can you show us how to do this or this? Then I started, you know, I got a bunch of videos that were a bunch of comments on videos that were like, Can you show us all your equipment? And I was like, Yeah, I mean, I guess I don’t know how that could be even moderately interesting video to anybody.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:21:13) – But sure, I think it’s one of my best view or highest view.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:21:17) – I almost clicked on that one. Yeah. Last night. When was looking at your, your channel. Yeah. And stuff. Yeah. You know, um. It’s funny how it’s gone from just ten years ago to everything being in the forums to Facebook groups and Instagram and YouTube where people want it now, you know, and they don’t necessarily want to participate in some conversation about it. I mean, aside from groups, yeah, they just either want to watch it and be done and move on or, you know, it could just be the nature of Internet itself or just. Yeah, that’s how busy people are.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:22:01) – That’s how we are in life now. I think in general, I think I mean, yeah, I’m, I’m legitimately mad if I look something up online and I can’t find how to do it or fix it or assemble it or whatever, I’m like, nobody’s ever put this online before, you know, that was that real idea.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:22:16) – Let me blog about that or let me let me write it, you know, and that’s for us, you know, because we’re content drivers and we’re resource drivers, you know, that’s a cue for us to say, hey, maybe somebody could be looking at something for that, you know, or needing a video on that and stuff. So it’s amazing how much it’s changed in ten years. And I think it’s only mean. Where do you see yourself or your channel or business going in the next 5 to 10 years? So I’m kind of curious.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:22:48) – If I tell you you’re going to think it’s a terrible answer. Um, my whole goal since I was 22 years old was to retire at 40. Oh, and that’s a good that’s.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:22:59) – A good goal.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:23:01) – Kind of. Everything I have done, um, in that time has been geared towards that. Like I. Yeah, I make, you know, pretty okay money. Um, I don’t spend money. I don’t have any dumb toys or I shouldn’t say dumb toys.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:23:17) – I don’t people like all their fun stuff, but, um, do any of that stuff. I have one expensive hobby, which is golf. Um, and that’s about it, you know, like, I just all my money just kind of goes away. And I’ve done some investing safe, very safe investing in a few things and, you know, lucked out on a few other opportunities. And um, so ultimately, like in ten years there won’t be an unknown coatings, I’m sure, um, I doubt there will be in five years, but. I don’t know. I mean, there’s a lot that changes. I have a bunch of rare Japanese wheels in storage that my plan was to. Move back to Seattle, where I’m from, and then one set a week, I would restore a set of wheels and put them up for sale just to keep my sanity basically. Right. I have a really hard time. I don’t know how much, you know, I just. I recently just had surgery on my wrist.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:24:11) – It wasn’t able to work. Um, it’s from a car accident back in 2017. And not being able to, like, do things for a month was much harder on me than even I expected. And I knew it was going to be rough. So I can’t imagine going to a world where I’m retired and don’t have to do anything. I just like I mean, even vacations, you know, day three of a vacation, I’m like, Well, maybe we could go back a little early, you know, like, like to work. And and that.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:24:37) – Happened to Mister Clarity, too. Same thing.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:24:40) – He don’t know.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:24:41) – Yeah. I mean, the guy that does all the breaks and brake calipers and stuff think the same thing happened to him too. Yeah. Um, with that, he was in an accident. Um, which is how he. Yeah. Yeah. Anyways, yeah. Mean that’s hard. I can’t imagine a setback like that. I’m always worried about, you know, with the chemical burns from, you know, 17 and.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:25:06) – Yeah, yeah. No, but, uh, you know, just, you know. Yeah, it’s always but that then that’s a really. I like what you just said about your goal because I think, I mean, I don’t know, uh, powder coaters in general, what they’re, what they’re thinking when they get into this. Obviously, not having a boss is really important. I mean, you and I both agreed on that a moment ago, but like, having something outside of just being a powder coater or what your ultimate goal is, is what you should always be having in the back of your mind. Yeah. And stuff. And think that if you can bootstrap this business, the profitability on it is is ideal. It’s it’s probably why most most a lot of people don’t know do you think a lot of guys are just getting into coating today because it’s cool or do you really think they are thinking about um you know the the the profitability to be made in powder coating mean it is all labor.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:26:12) – I mean it’s probably a pretty mixed bag honestly. I mean, you have people that are, you know, they’ve seen the the cost of equipment has dropped significantly mean you can get pretty decent equipment now. I mean you can you can have a full setup for well under $5,000 at this point. You know, if you’re willing to cut corners in a few little areas and still be able to do stuff in your garage with no effort, you know, stuff out for yourself all day. Um, but I think it’s, you know, it’s like any, it’s like any hobby in that regard, like somebody might get into themselves, like I did maybe like, oh, I guess I could make this a business. But then you also have the people that jump into it and it’s just going to be a business like that’s all they want, you know? And honestly, I think the people who jump into it like you have to have. A pretty ridiculous work ethic to jump into a business that’s this labor intensive and.

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RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:27:06) – True.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:27:07) – And can be this volatile in regards to I mean, you’re in an environment that’s not exactly friendly most of the time you’re around blast media, chemical, hot ovens. You know, it’s you have to really yeah, you really have to be able to work like work past that stuff. And I don’t I’m not saying anything negative about people today versus years ago. I just I don’t know how many people are really willing to put themselves through that. Um, so to jump into it as a business to me seems way riskier than jumping into a hobby and then taking it to a business. And that’s, you know, I’ve told people countless times like, Oh, I’m going to go buy the best of the best of the best for all my equipment and start doing this. I was like, Wait, you better make sure you don’t hate it before you do all that, you know? And it’s it’s kind of funny that that advice actually comes from my dad with golf clubs, of all things.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:27:56) – Because, you know, golf is golf can be very expensive as far as the clubs go. And, you know, he would always. I. It’s kind of weird. You know, I’m a I’m a pretty good golfer. I’ve golf since I was a child, two and a half years old is when I started and played junior golf tournaments all growing up and was successful at that. But I was naturally good at golf. So I don’t know much about the teaching aspect of golf. Like I’ve had friends and girlfriends and stuff like, Oh, can you teach me how to golf? And I’m like, Not really, because I don’t like, I don’t know how to explain it to you, you know, Like I just I’ve been able to do it forever, right? With no, I’ve had three lessons in my life and they were all putting lessons, you know, So it’s like don’t have the ability to teach that. And they’re like, Well, what equipment should I buy? And, you know, I want to buy this and this and this.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:28:40) – And my dad was always like, Why don’t you tell him to go rent some clubs and make sure they don’t hate golf before they go out and do it? Because, I mean, you know, you can loading a bag with even kind of middle of the road equipment, you’re going to be 1500 to $2000 into a golf bag. And what if you do that and then go hate it? And, you know, I’m going to tell you right now, the resale on golf clubs is not great. You know, it’s like a car. It’s like an expensive car. It goes down really fast. So and that advice is always kind of like.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:29:09) – Worse than that. You could buy the you could buy the $500 club and then hate it tomorrow. You know, I mean, you know, there’s.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:29:18) – People I actually just had this conversation with a buddy of mine yesterday, I guess it was I was like he was like, hey, can I borrow your driver? And I was like, sure, you know? And he’s like, Well, I’ve been looking at buying this club.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:29:29) – And this guy was like, Bro, go buy a set of used clubs. There’s a place near us called Uinta Golf. They sell used clubs and new clubs, but they have a really great exchange program where you can buy clubs used, and if you don’t like them, you get the full price back within 30 days to put towards another set of clubs there. You can try you could try 20 sets of clubs, you know, over and over and over. And I was like, Go do that. And then he’s like, you know, can I borrow your driver? And he’s a pretty. He’s a very novice golfer. I know some of the issues that he has with his swing. And I’m like, you can borrow my driver, but you’re not going to love it. You know, like you’re going to hate it probably the entire time because my driver is not forgiving. You know, it’s like if you miss hit it at all, it’s a real problem because it’s designed for somebody who’s played, you know, forever like myself.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:30:14) – So it’s just one of those things like, you know, I try to give people advice about equipment as best I can. And my big thing is I think I had this weird advantage where I had a good blaster near me and I didn’t have to buy equipment for that. So in my head I’m always like, just outsource your blasting for now. Like take that completely out. Because if you can get out of a $2,000 blasting cabinet, you know, a $2,000 compressor, get away from all that stuff, and you find somebody reliable near you who can do it. Um, sure. You got to pay somebody to do it every time, but you don’t have to sandblast, which is, you know, like I said, I hate. And then it’s less work for you overall. You need less space if you’re doing it, especially in your garage, less space. And um, so I, you know, I tend to push people kind of that way a little bit. Some people listen, some people don’t.   Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:31:04) – It’s, it’s all about.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:31:05) – I think that’s really solid advice. I mean it even though you, you know, you may not have. Uh, come. You know, started with sandblasting. A full setup like that. Mean? Yeah. Mean it. Even though you didn’t, you still were giving out good advice because it really is a huge part of the business. But then it doesn’t necessarily have to. You can price it in, you know that’s an easy cost to price in. Yeah.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:31:35) – And the price set, I mean it’s, you know, I was paying $20 a wheel to get blasted, you know, which is right. And that’s not stripped and blasted and that’s me bringing them a wheel. They’d blast it for 20 bucks and give it back to me and be completely bare ready to go. And so, like, I can charge, you know, I think at the time it was $300 for a set of wheels. Like, sure, I have that $80 expense. I might have $20 in powder.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:31:58) – I’m coming out of this. Okay. You know, for a couple of hours of work that I’m putting into it, it’s definitely going well. So I don’t know.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:32:05) – It’s a lot of people don’t think about it that way. And that’s some of the things they should be thinking about, because it seems like every day on these group, uh, pages and group forums and stuff on Facebook that the same question gets asked over and over again How do I get into it? How what do I buy? What’s give me the setup? And it. Kind of floors me. I don’t know what to think about those kind of guys. What do you think of them? The guys.

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Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:32:34) – The guys that are very willing to just go out and blow money on something are somebody that I like. I can’t relate to it at all. And I, you know, I have the money to spend on it and I still can’t relate to it. And like, you know, like I look at these people, I’m like, you’re going to go out right now and you’re going to spend $10,000 on equipment to, like, put you in this place.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:32:54) – And you literally have never powder coated a thing in your life, you know, and just like, what are you doing? You know.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:33:01) – I know.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:33:02) – I was like, go hang out at a powder coating shop for one day and then try to make that decision. You know, it’s like there’s a lot of things that I think people just don’t understand about it. And it’s not, you know, I’m not special in any way, shape or form. I don’t think I’m better than other people, but I know that my friends think I’m ridiculous for the job that I do. You know, they’re like, oh, it’s 110 degrees in your shop and you’re in and out of a 400 degree oven all day, you know, And it’s like and you can’t get away from it mean that, you know, once you’re, once you’re around powder coating at all like the heat to the heat is an element, you know, like it’s playing a role in your life no matter what you do. And, um, the shop that I’m in now, I actually had a shower put in this shop specifically because I was getting too hot in the shop.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:33:43) – The Oh, I know.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:33:45) – Shower.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:33:46) – Yeah. The way the sun comes around this building, it’s on all three sides of my building the whole day. And you know, it’ll be a 95 degree day outside is 110 degrees in my shop. Like my wall. My brick wall that faces south is hot by the end of the day. And it’s just like, you know, you you have to be willing to put yourself through some pretty ridiculous stuff. And, you know, I’m sure there’s tons of other jobs that are just as crappy to, you know, I’m not discrediting that at all. I just the people that just want to jump in with both feet and hope for the best, I’m like, Man, have you ever done anything outside of an office? You know, like, have you ever gone outside when you didn’t have to come back into for a while? You know? And I mean, it is what it is. Like I, I know that my work ethic is pretty ridiculous and I have always just kind of been like, that’s the reason I do this is my, you know, I have a good work ethic.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:34:36) – You know, I convince myself, basically, and, you know, even my my really good friends that would see me working 16 hour days, we’re like, Dude, what are you doing? Or before car shows where I don’t sleep for 2 or 3 nights straight and I’m a, you know, by the fourth day I’m like a full on zombie, you know, like, even I know that the things I’m saying or doing don’t make any sense. But I’m like, Well, I got to finish this stuff for this car show. You know, it’s countless times where I’ve been caught asleep under my table at my booth at car shows because I hadn’t slept in days. And luckily I’ve had, you know, good friends and girlfriends in the past and stuff that have done really well working in booths and stuff. And I’m like, Oh, I’m just going to sleep under here with my dog for two hours or whatever. And right to catch back up.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:35:21) – You can’t even enjoy the car show. No.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:35:23) – Well.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:35:24) – To be fair, I think I stopped enjoying, I think being tied in the automotive industry. I stopped enjoying a lot of things. Automotive, I mean, powder coating for me is pretty much strictly automotive. I don’t do any commercial industrial. I don’t do, um, you know, uh. When I say production work, I’m thinking like line work, like I won’t do a thousand work. And so I do wheels. You know, wheels are my big thing, kind of the go to for wheels. I’m definitely in this area on the go to for multi piece wheels um you know even other powder coaters send people down to me to do multi piece of Yeah they’re tricky. Yeah it’s just been I’d much rather focus on the things that I enjoy. You know I’ve said forever. I just want to be able to enjoy my job. And the second that I have to powder coat 500 black brackets, I’m not going to enjoy my job anymore. And there’s plenty of powder cutters who are super willing to do that exact work, who don’t want to do wheels, you know? So I suggest I have, you know, people that I send work to all the time and I’m like, Hey, you know, why don’t you give these guys a call? They’re perfect for that.

Unknown Coatings (Shawn Shreve) (00:36:30) – You know, they do good work. Just mention that I sent you over there that care of you. Um, and then vice versa. You know, those same companies, when they get something with wheels, they just send them straight to me. So it’s worked out pretty well.

RossKote (Kim Scott) (00:36:43) – Well, kiddos. That concludes part one of going places unknown with Shawn Shreve. Join us for episode 13, Part two as we take a deeper dive into reputations, reviews, results and rankings. Until next time. Aloha.

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