David Fenner, the owner of both locations, couldn’t be happier with the productivity of both shops during this challenging economic period. The Fasulo family originally approached Fenner about buying Fasulo’s Paint and Body a few years ago; Fenner has been renovating and growing the business ever since he purchased it in 2005.
“We’ve actually been growing in Beaumont as well as in the Silsbee location,” said Fenner.
Fenner and his wife, Lisa, have managed to preserve the family-run shop feel while still growing the business and even opening a second location.
“Usually if I’m in one shop, she’s in the other so one of us is always at each location,” said Fenner.
The decision to start up another location during a declining economy came easy to Fenner, who said several insurance companies he works with expressed to him a need for a good repair shop to service clients in the Silsbee area.
The Beaumont location boasts a 22,000 square-foot facility, employing 18 people and pulling in about $2 million in revenue per year. The Silsbee location operates out of a 7,500 square-foot air-conditioned facility and employs 6 people; Fenner hopes this location will be able to draw in about $1 million annually once it gets going.
Both Fasulo’s locations are all about making the customer’s experience easy and enjoyable; including their use of insurance Direct Repair Program (DRP) referrals and trying to keep a neat, clean, organized facility at all times. Fenner said the shop really cares about their repairs and they want to get them done as quickly and precisely as possible to accommodate customer needs. The Beaumont location employs 2 estimators while the Silsbee location employs 1 to better service incoming customers.
“We care, we do good work, and we treat the customer right,” said Fenner.
Fasulo’s has a lot of great female employees, which is somewhat out of character for a local body shop. Including Fenner’s wife, Lisa, who has been working with both shops’ finances since Fenner bought the company, Fasulo’s also employs two female customer service secretarial employees, Pamela Cooper in Beaumont, who has been with the company for 3 years and Betty Jo Fertitta in Silsbee who has been with them for 3 months; Johnna Lea, who has been a parts orderer with Fasulo’s for two-and-a-half years; and Jimmie O’Brien, an autobody painter who’s been with them for three years. Jimmie and her husband Russell, who also works at Fasulo’s as a body man, are a husband and wife team and often work together on repair jobs.
Fasulo’s has been working with waterborne paints as of late; they decided to make the switch from solvent-based to waterborne paint when the new Silsbee location opened to coincide more with factory paint standards. Fenner said that since factories are now using waterborne paints when they manufacture cars he wanted to work with it as a repair shop.
“It’s just the newest thing, they’re putting it on all the new cars,” said Fenner.
David Fenner has had a diverse auto background; he graduated from Texas State Technical College and started out working as a technician. Fenner then made the switch to teaching high school paint and body courses. He also worked as an insurance claim adjuster shortly before moving in to the shop side of the industry. Fenner’s diverse background has helped him to become very knowledgeable in the industry.
In addition to starting up a new website for the business in the coming months, Fenner also said he is planning to shoot a commercial to promote Fasulo’s and the new Silsbee shop.