By Ashley Reyes
The SEMA Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) named Garret’s Rod Shop as this week’s member spotlight company. Get to know their story in SEMA’s interview with company owner Garret Kitchen below.
SEMA: Tell us the story of your company.
Garret Kitchen: I founded Garret’s Rod Shop (GRS) in the late ’90s, but have been building hot rods since the age of 14. As a long-time skilled mechanic and fabricator, I turned my passion for creating works of art into a full-fledged business. With the support of my wife Vikki and family, Garret’s Rods Shop has now been building amazing cars for more than 25 years.
Currently, GRS employs a staff of 10 talented members; it takes a team to make it all happen. Our 20,000-sq.-ft. facility sits on our eight-acre campus, which means there is room to grow. The future looks grand for me and my crew.
SEMA: What was your breakthrough moment?
GK: Garret’s Rod Shop prides on our ability to be flexible and diverse. We build everything from street rods to musclecars. There’s a passion to take the unusual and make it stand out in the crowd. One of our goals is to make each project timeless—a work of mechanical art that will last a lifetime.
SEMA: Tell us about your business now and the projects you are working on.
GK: Currently, we’re focused on several builds that are expected to be completed within the next couple of years. In addition to our build and repair departments, we are increasing our dyno tuning faculty in efforts to create a one-stop installation and tuning service center for hot rods and performance vehicles. EV is in our scope as well.
SEMA: Tell us about a build you are proud of.
GK: We are very proud of our P33 Venom. It has been an example of the full GRS team working together to make, create and finish the project. With so many innovative parts and processes we used, it’s one car we can stand back and feel such a sense of accomplishment
SEMA: What advice do you have for young professionals contemplating a career in the automotive aftermarket?
GK: Find a skill in this trade that you see yourself doing everyday. Whether it’s mechanic or painting, eat, sleep and breathe it. One other word of advice is if you have a tough day, are tired or feel overwhelmed, and the next day you wake up and feel like doing it all over again, then you’ve have found what it is you love to do.
Fill out an HRIA-member spotlight form to highlight how your company is contributing to the hot-rod industry. Selected candidates are eligible to be featured on HRIA’s social media, SEMA News and future HRIA-member updates.