In a world where lips, hips and inches matter, 713 Motoring is definitely setting TRENDS. Born from the ambition of 3 Madison High School students; Ashworth Barnes, Brandon Stewart, and Mike Stoneham, initially, cars were customized and repaired in the driveway of their clients homes. Their friends and classmates noticed the customizations that they were making to their own cars and wanted to be customized as well. Stewart recalls, “We were just kids in high school with a dream. If it had wheels and an engine… We would work on it.”
Dreams to Reality
2 years after graduating high school 713 Motoring decided to go mainstream when the demand for their abilities gave them the idea to turn their hobby into a legitimate business. Built around the model of 310 Motoring, Stewart stated, “We wanted our company to represent the city we were from. For everyone to know, when they saw our logo, exactly where these cars were built.” Through the visibility of their own cars and the work that they had done on others, the team went from hustling their brand on the streets of Houston to renting an office space on the southwest side of town off Richmond in late 2003. Though dreams, ambitions, and abilities played a major role in their transition to legitimacy, the want for success and the team’s ability to fund it were on two different spectrums. The move into their office space proved to be a huge accomplishment as it was completely self-funded, but it also turned into a hardship for the team as their inaugural year passed. Financially, they invested everything they had into their company and as the year crept by they found it harder and harder to maintain the company’s stability.
Stepping Out on Faith
Faced with, but unwilling to accept the thought of having to close their office space, they pondered ideas of how to keep their company afloat. Laughing, Stewart told me, “We decided we needed to go BIGGER.” Seeing the skeptical look on my face, he explained, “We knew the only way to make it was to find a way to expand our brand. People might not believe this, but we stepped out on 100% FAITH!!!” And faith proved beyond measure.
In early 2005 they teamed with Houston’s leader in car audio, Custom Car Stereo. Being housed with them in their 59S and Bellaire location provided 713 with a steady flow of clientele. Stewart said, “It was your one stop automobile customization shop. People who came in looking to upgrade their car’s audio were amazed by our work and let us work on their cars as well.”
Stewart paid respect to Custom Car Stereo saying, “They opened doors for us. We had the expertise and they had a steady client base that, because they were already coming to make modifications to their cars were very receptive to the services we had to offer.”
The success they achieved in the five years following afforded them the ability to move into the location that 713 is currently housed. Remaining on the southwest side of Houston, they began building a storefront off Richmond in 2010 that later opened in 2011. Visiting the store, one of the first things you notice when walking in the door is their Wall of Rims. It gives you a preview of some of the custom rims they are able to provide. You also get to see a rotating selection of cars that have been customized by them parked in the lobby. There’s also an onsite warehouse that is able to house several vehicles.
Innovators As Well
Working with Asanti, 713 was the first in the U.S. to customize a three piece rim set for the T-Rex. Usually when rims were applied, owners would only put them on the back two tires. 713 wanted clients to be able to totally customize their motorcycles, including the option to get a complete set of rims. They were also the first to use Halo lights in Houston as well.
When asked what makes 713 Motoring different from their competitors, both Barnes and Stewart agreed that it was their attention to detail. “Anyone can change the headlights on their car or even purchase rims,” Stewart says, “but what puts us in a league of our own is our ability to take these individual modifications and make them fit as a seamless masterpiece. Often, when client’s cars are returned they will exclaim, “Oh.. I NEVER would have thought of that!”” Stewart admitted, “ It’s our job to think of the things our clients are not gonna think about.” This attention to detail and unsurpassed customer service is what continues to push 713 Motoring above the rest.
Looking Towards The Future
With their ever-growing success, the decision to expand their company was inevitable. Keeping with their model of branding, the next logical step would be to find a location that could accommodate more of the signature modifications 713 is known for. Opting for a larger venue, the team is making preparations to open a new location on the west side of town. Adorned with a spacious 6,000ft showroom and another 6,000ft of garage space, this new location is a sight to see. In addition to vehicle customizations, this location will also sell motorcycles, ATVs, stereos, new and used tires. They will also be able to do minor paint work, balance tires and perform state inspections.
When asked why they decided on this expansion Barnes said, “We wanted to be able to remove the need to have to outsource for some of, and ultimately all of the upgrades that we provide. We also wanted to be able to fill the needs of our clients as efficiently as possible.” Barnes also mentioned that the new location is a highlight to what 713 has to offer. “In no way are we trying to take away from what we currently have going on at our Richmond location. This storefront just allows us to perform in a manner more consistent to what are clients are use to.”
Set for a soft opening mid May and a grand opening scheduled for June 1, 713 Motoring is definitely paving their own way to success.♦
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Written by: @MsInTheKnow of Houston TREND