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News & Press: FOCUS

AW Body Shop: A Return on Investment

Thursday, October 5, 2017  
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In 2013, the Palmer family purchased an old printing company building that would become AW Body Shop. It was a bold move and success was not guaranteed, especially in the midst of the Great Recession. They had previously leased half of the building and after two years, decided it was time to take their business to the next level.

“After we purchased the building in 2013, we began renovating the old print shop into the fully-functioning 11,000 square foot auto body repair facility that it is,” said Tyler Palmer, the shop’s manager. “We’ve put basically everything we had, put all of our eggs in one basket, and swung as hard as we could.”

That risk paid off. As the economy recovered, business picked up, and with quality service and a little elbow grease, AW Body Shop has quickly become a leader in the industry. Today, the shop is a full-service collision repair facility, specializing in insurance claims and handling everything from car accidents to deer collisions. They guarantee that customers will be completely satisfied with their work, offering a lifetime warranty on all repairs.

“Being here for five and a half years now, coming to work every day and doing the best job we can, that’s seemed to translate into a lot of success,” said Palmer. “We’re experts at going step-by-step through the claims process to get your car back in perfect condition as fast as possible,” says Palmer.

Pushing AW to the front of its industry has been far from a solo effort - it has taken a village and three generations to raise the shop. Grandfather, father and sons have worked hard to get the shop to where it is today and are still proudly involved with the family business.

“Family owned, family operated, we’ve been that way ever since we started, and before we opened up here in Lansing, it was just me and my dad,” said Palmer. “We were doing this behind his house in St. John’s in his pole barn. So, from our inception, we’ve been family owned and family operated and we intend to try to keep it that way as much as possible.”

Almost six years ago, the Palmer family decided to open their shop on Lansing’s northside and have put in the hard work required to see a return on their investment. Although successful, AW is still relatively young and Palmer foresees the potential for growth in the next five years, including setting their sights on a new investment - the community. The family has already cultivated a positive relationship with the City of Lansing and has sponsored local teams in the past, but intends to expand this effort.

“We’d like to provide a lot of jobs for the community. And, give back to the community as much as we can. Sponsoring more golf outings, more softball teams, more cheerleading teams, high schools, middle schools,” said Palmer. “As we grow and become more established within the community, the community is really going to feel that coming back from us as well.”

Click here to download the October issue of FOCUS.

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