Brazel's RV Peformance: The Beginnings Part 2
This is part 2 and a continuation of how Brazel's RV Performance came to fruition.
As I explained before, when Steve purchased the property at 3912 Harrison Avenue Centralia, WA 98531 from the Port of Centralia, we were all a bit skeptical of how it would turn out...I mean there was a mobile home and a greenhouse garden in the middle of the property! Well that quickly changed, as Steve had the mobile home hauled off and he and his brother Mike set out with the families Case 480C Backhoe to transform the property into his vision.
I guess at this point I should explain a little about myself as I make an entrance into this story. My name is Jonathan (Jon) Brazel and I was born into the Brazel family on April 9, 1988 to two loving parents Steve & Holly Brazel and older brother Jeff. For the sake of your time and sanity we will fast forward past all the details of my upbringing but there are certain things that I will go over to help you understand my connection in the family business. For starters, I was definitely daddy's boy! Whereas my younger brother Steve Jr. was big time momma's boy, I couldn't get enough of spending time with my father. He introduced me to a few things that have become staples in my current life, such as big game hunting, motorcycle riding and tinkering around on projects. When I was younger and my father was building his first automotive shop in Olympia, I was right there at his side brush hogging the hillside before he first broke ground. When the excavators were there, so was I....overseeing operations of course! One other interesting thing to note is I was the referred to as the "Questions King." "Dad, how does this work...?", "Dad, why does that do that...?", "Dad, when we will be there...?," I think you get the point! I was always curious about things and never could ask enough questions to satisfy my thirst for knowledge. As I grew a bit older I still spent a considerable amount of time with my father and even considered him my best friend. This connection that we shared in the same interests and personalities has lent greatly to our ability to work well together today and always explore new options and possibilities in coming up with new products, services and advancements for the RVing world.
Ok--enough about me! Back to the construction of the world's first and greatest RV repair facility!
Steve decided that he wanted to utilize the same building he had built in Olympia but in a different configuration. Instead of having the bay doors on each end of the shop, he designed it so that it would have 4 large bay doors on the long side of the front with an additional bay door in the side end and a bay door in the back behind possibly the greatest tool Steve would purchase for the shop and later lend a great deal of help in developing some our most popular products and services, a Taylor TD-24S Chassis Dynamometer!
The chassis "Dyno" is a computer controlled tool that is used to compute horsepower and torque on a vehicle and also to simulate loads and conditions. This enables us to diagnose engine problems much quicker and more accurately than other shops.
As things progressed in the construction phase of the shop, Steve started focusing on plans of how to make this business unique and simply the best place to go for RVing service and solutions. With that idea he approached Mike Bronzini, who he had dealt with previously buying RV suspension upgrades from Henderson's Line-Up and SuperSteer Products, and offered him the position of General Manager. The Brazel & Bronzini family actually joined forces on a houseboat trip at Lake Pend Oreille in the summer of 2004 where Steve and Mike settled on his employment. Mike would bring with him years of experience in the RV chassis arena, and also a customer base that would get things quickly rolling for the infant business. Along with Mike came his wonderful parents Al "Big Al" Bronzini and Kathy Bronzini. After Mike relocated his family to Rochester, his parents shortly later decided to sell their house in Grants Pass, OR and buy an RV and live at the shop and help out in any way they could. Not long after the business also acquired two amazing technicians from Henderson's Line-Up, Ken Perry and Alan Sanders. This was to be a "dream team" and it certainly proved itself that in that our first year open the business had outperformed the projected sales by over 50%!
Well, time to get back to "work", I guess we will have to split this into a couple more "parts"! Man, who knew there could be so much to talk about!!!
Adios from currently the wettest place on earth!
P.S. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were able to spend quality time with friends and family...from our family to yours Happy Holidays!