Saturday, April 10, 2010

Starting a Shop

I am working on the basics of starting my own shop. Working with someone else is great and I am learning a lot. It's better than school because I'm sort of thrown in, sink or swim and I don't have any debt or school grades to worry about. What I am noticing is that I have some major choices to make. I can start a shop from scratch, get the booth, offer full custom paint on motorcycles etc, or I can just focus on airbrushing.
Starting the shop sounds great. I would be my own boss, sort of do my own thing, and not have to rely on many people to get my product out. If I need body work I can do it my self or, if demand demands it, hire someone on the side. I would be in charge of my deadlines and not have to worry about someone else giving me a good product that I could airbrush on. The downside is that it's freaking expensive. At best, I can get away with starting a shop with around $10,000. That's with a half assed, open faced booth that I would rig up to be fully enclosed and fire safe. At worse, I'm looking at something closer to $20,000 with a full sized booth and all the fixings. That is not really including rent and the upstart materials needed to offer onsite airbrush supplies. The lottery is out of the question and I'm a ways off from winning the lottery, so that brings me to my other option:
Focusing on the airbrush. This is what I love to do. This is the part I actually want to do. You can save all that other stuff about the primer and bondo and filler and sanding and sanding. What this would mean though is that I would have to work with an existing shop, rely on their ability to fit in my projects as they come, and consistently turn out a good product. That makes my hair stand up on end. Right now, I paint and prep all my work, I then transport it to my apartment where I airbrush it. I have already experienced the deep, gut wrenching pain of seeing something wrong happen during transport and can only imagine what it would be like to worry about each and every project. One benefit is, I wouldn't have to worry about VOC levels or having the paint mix room or having the government check my shop for fire regulatory conditions. Plus, there wouldn't be a need for a $4,000 paint booth because I could just properly ventilate the room I paint in. Sounds great, but it would be less of a guarantee to my customers, which I really don't like the sound of.
There really isn't much of a choice of which one I want to do. But, there is a choice as to which one is actually possible. There is still a lot I need to learn to operate my own spray shop, but I am learning it. There is also quite a bit of money to be found, though I am finding places that sell certain things for less. At the moment I am looking at the best equipment I can find but I am also looking at what would work just as good. I'm finding out a lot about what I need and I am testing my fortitude and willingness to go forward with this. This will happen, though I am seeing that it will take a little longer than tomorrow. Sucks, but I'll deal with it.

Todays Video of The Post is from Ed Hubbs and his airbrush tutoring:

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