What’s a guy to do straight out of high school, when he’s got to start making a living? Well, for a guy like Rick Farnol it had to be something that would help other people. Because helping other people is what Rick does; what he’s always done.
From refurbishing totaled cars to helping friends fix their cars and giving them rides in the meantime, Rick was known not only for his skills but his kindness.
So, it made perfect sense to him to take what he knew and open a towing company. With his large network of friends and family his clientele grew quickly. In only a few short years, the company had a fleet of several trucks, running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, helping whoever needed them.
With his reputation, Rick was still being asked to fix the cars he towed. Sometimes he was able to help, other times he didn’t have the right tools and equipment. Which got Rick to thinking; if he had the right tools, equipment, and space, he could make sure each of these people were taken care of in the best way possible. What if he opened his own body shop?
Which is exactly what he did. Holland Body Shop opened in 1980 with a built-in clientele and reputation to boot!
Rick and his wife Charlene rented a building shared with TronAir on Eber Road in Holland, OH. Things were going well as the business continued to grow for 15 years until TronAir, who owned the building, decided to expand their operation; which meant terminating Holland Body Shop’s lease.
The hunt for a new building space didn’t take long. Right next door was a building perfectly suited for their needs! They leased a 3,000-square foot space and set up shop. The couple continued to invest in new equipment and technology to ensure their customers had the advantage of the highest quality solutions. And they began developing relationships with police, fire and safety personnel, as well as insurance carriers and towing services. All these relationships translate to better care of customers and allows Holland Body Shop to turn a bad situation into a pleasant experience. It made them a one-stop-shop.
Those who come to Holland Body Shop after an accident have the advantage of the relationships that Rick and Charlene have built. Customers are walked through the insurance paperwork and Charlene often speaks with insurance adjustors and agents directly on their behalf. Rick and his team negotiate with local tow companies so customers don’t have multiple bills to deal with. And quotes are given realistically and with accuracy. It’s important to ensure that the whole process is a painless for the customer as possible.
In 2001, Rick decided to purchase the entire building, expanding their shop to 6,000 square feet and claiming more outside space for parking, storage, and maneuverability. Today the shop boasts a Devilbiss downdraft paint booth, a state-of-the-art design concept developed by the son of Toledo’s Devilbiss Corporation’s founder. The innovative spray guns used in the booth have proven to be revolutionary in the auto-finishes industry, creating outstanding color-match results, and glass-like finishes.
Holland Body Shop, always conscious of conserving energy and environmental impact, uses an Ingersall Rand screw compressor. This compressor provides clean, dry air, and uses less energy, while accomplishing the highest quality results.
In 2016, Carl Burleson joined the team at Holland Body Shop as Operations Manager. His extensive background in the auto-body repair industry in both production and management, gives him an edge when working with the team as well as the customers. Since he began, Carl has hired several new technicians, trained interns, negotiated partnerships with relevant businesses in the community, and developed new branding and marketing strategies.
Holland Body Shop continues to serve its loyal customers, many of which are children and grandchildren of their original client base. And their gratitude is overwhelming! (Check out the wall of handwritten thank-you notes to Rick and Charlene next time you stop in.) And each day they are meeting new people and building new relationships – helping those people to restore their classic cars or fix their vehicles after a collision – each of which they hope will become the start of a new generation of the Holland Body Shop family.