Entrepreneur opens dream business

By Merna Emara
Staff Writer
memara@fortfrances.com

Deck-lid, fender, cowl screen, hubcap and valance. To the average person, these words might as well be another language, but to automobile enthusiasts like Brayden Hogan, 19, these words are used in his everyday life.

Being passionate about everything to do with cars, Brayden knew that he wanted to work in the car industry ever since he was a child.

Brayden now has a new business in town, Custom Auto & Accessories, that provides a wide array of services from detailing to window tinting. The new business opened on June 1, 2021.

Randy, his father and biggest supporter, is helping him with the paperwork.

Professional detailer Brayden Hogan, left, has opened his own shop, with the help of his Dad, Randy, right. Although he’s only 19, Brayden has been detailing cars since he was 12, professionally since he was 16, and did a co-op term at North Auto. His dad has been helping him navigate the paperwork. – Merna Emara photo

“It’s pretty cool,” Brayden said. “ I just wanted to do anything to do with cars. I wanted to be my own boss.”

Detailing has always been something Brayden, Randy and many generations of the family took very seriously.

“My dad has always kept a clean vehicle,” Randy said. “I was like that. It’s probably OCD through the generations. [Brayden] likes to keep a clean vehicle and that’s why he got into it.”

Although Brayden is only 19 years old, he is very knowledgeable in his trade, having had a job detailing cars since he was 12. When Brayden was 16 years old, he had his own detailing business that his family and friends knew about and used through word of mouth.

“[Brayden] took a co-op in grade 12 at North Auto,” Randy said. “He changed motors and tires. This is where he learned the [skills] and the ins and outs of vehicles. After co-op, he took a job at a dealership in town. He did anything from detailing and putting on accessories to window tinting and rustproofing.”

Opening a business during a pandemic might have some people pause for thought, but Brayden, determined to succeed, said he took the risk and has been busy since opening day.

“Nobody wants to open a place and have no business, but it’s been the complete opposite,” Brayden said. “We’ve been busy. A lot of people told me that this would be a good business to have. We need a [detailing business] in Fort Frances.”

Brayden was able to get funding from the Rainy Lake Tribal Area Business and Financial Services Corporation, and having owned a contracting business, Randy said he knew the ins and outs of how a business works and runs.

“Paperwork is a big job in itself,” Randy said. “I’m just helping him out.”

Brayden and Randy said they have not scratched the surface yet of what they offer, especially that Brayden learned a lot of the skills while working at the dealership. He said they offer window tinting, rustproofing, accessories and tire changse. They also ordered a lift that is waiting to be certified from a company in Manitoba when COVID restrictions lift.

Brayden also said he will order anything people want from tires to accessories.

“We are not going to have a lot of inventory because with the accessories for vehicles, there’s just too many years and types and styles,” Randy said. “We’ll order in for people. We are trying to be as competitive as possible so people will come here.”

Eventually, Brayden said he hopes to expand his business in the future and have more employees. Until then, he will be at his shop, enjoying his job of being around cars and trucks.

“It’s a relaxed environment,” Brayden said. “It’s not stressful when it gets busy. It’s just a little frantic.”

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