Black Cat Paint & Body
When Bradley Munderloh opened his own auto body shop in spring 2018, his top priority was to replace an outdated paint booth. His investment in a Performer® ES Paint Booth from Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) has more than paid off.
Please introduce your business and tell us your story: Well, first of all, Black Cat Paint & Body is a startup. I am fortunate enough to have participated in a partnership program with a local business called BluePrint. They invest in blue-collar startups and offer back-office services, such as marketing, advertising, legal and accounting. We had a soft opening for Black Cat in March 2018, and officially opened in the spring. The partnership program with BluePrint is a four-year deal, and at the end of it, I hope to have 10 to 20 employees.
What kinds of services do you offer? We are a full collision repair facility and offer estimating services, windshield replacement, final wash, detail and delivery — anything that a collision center would offer. We also offer diagnostics scanning to ensure the safest repairs possible, as well as painting and restoration, which is my specialty. Anything that can be painted, I’ll find a way to do it and find a way to warranty it.
What GFS equipment did you purchase and how has it benefited your business? I went with the semi-downdraft Performer ES Paint Booth from GFS. It’s a huge improvement from what I was spraying in previously, which was a 30-year-old crossdraft spray booth. I was getting dirty paint jobs all the time. The painting wasn’t challenging me anymore, and that’s what keeps me going — getting a better paint job than the last. A slow paint booth with dirty paint jobs wasn’t able to facilitate the kind of growth I wanted. I learned a lot of lessons about what not to do, and I plan to use those to my benefit in my new business. I want to eventually add heat to my paint booth, which is another reason I chose the Performer ES Paint Booth, since it has the option to add on a heater.
How did you decide on GFS equipment? The property I came across already had a paint booth. When I priced it compared to a GFS paint booth, I knew a little bit more money was going to go a long way when it came to customer support, and I was right.
I started by meeting with a GFS distributor, Jim LeFever from Auto Refinish Solutions (ARS), and I knew I made the right decision. He took the best care of me from the very beginning and continues to be super helpful — I can’t stress that enough. His customer service has gone above and beyond an invoice, and I know he will continue to help me down the road.
I also knew a GFS paint booth was the right choice when I was planning my startup. I liked the look of the booth – that’s what initially led me to it. Now that I’m using it every day, I like that the intake is up high, so the air is cleaner, which means my paint jobs are also cleaner.
What is your plan for the future of your business? Right now, I’m working with 3,000 square feet of space. At the end of the day, I can fit six or seven cars inside and three outside. My partnership with BluePrint is geared to grow my business, and everything has been rapid growth. The sky’s the limit, thanks to my Performer ES Paint Booth and my partnership with GFS and ARS. And for a startup auto body shop, it’s comforting to know I have a reliable paint booth from a quality company.