By Ashley Reyes
Jay Ehret of Pickup Outfitters has been named the SEMA Professional Restylers Organization’s (PRO) newest volunteer spotlight member. Ehret currently volunteers on the PRO Select Committee, and is the president of his company—an aftermarket truck top and accessory dealer. In his Q&A with SEMA, Ehret shares the one small move he made that had a huge impact on his bottom line and how volunteering for PRO has impacted his professional career.
SEMA: What inspired you to pursue a career in restyling/manufacturing?
Jay Ehret: We bought the business as an investment.
SEMA: Why did you decide to volunteer for PRO? How has it or will it impact you?
JE: I decided to get involved with PRO after attending my first long-range planning meeting, which I attended so I could get a tour of Mcity and the American Center for Mobility. I was so impressed with the Select Committee members and their passion to help the industry. The PRO Council just seemed like a great way to get involved and help me learn the industry.
SEMA: What advice do you have for someone pursuing a career in the automotive aftermarket?
JE: Get involved and never stop learning. The industry is constantly evolving, and if you stand on the sidelines you can get stagnant.
SEMA: What is your dream vehicle? Where would we find you in it on any weekend?
JE: My dream vehicle is my ’04 Stoner Skiff bay boat. (Stoner is the brand name, by the way.) About once a month, you will find me in bays on the Texas coast catching reds and trout, mostly in the Port O Connor area.
SEMA: What is the best advice you have ever received?
JE: The best professional advice I’ve ever received is from a coach who told me to start charging for shop supplies. That one small move has had a huge impact to my bottom line. The best personal advice I’ve received is from Romans 12:2, "Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
SEMA: What keeps you in the industry?
JE: It helps that it’s a profitable industry, but really I enjoy what we do to vehicles. I also enjoy going to PRO Council meetings, I look forward to the SEMA Show, and I am enriched by meeting other shop owners.
SEMA: On a Saturday, where can you be found?
JE: Either at the shop doing some paperwork, on the coast or out on the lake.