This article appeared in RILocal Magazine | by: Allie Herzog
At 23 years old, Brett Sampson has already made quite a name for himself. He’s been fixing cars since he was a teenager, and with a little help from his parents, he started his own business – Sampson’s Automotive – more than five years ago. He hasn’t hit the brakes since.
At 17, the driven young mechanic had graduated high school and was headed to New England Tech to pursue his automotive career. With cars and tools rapidly accumulating in his family’s driveway, his parents encouraged him to rent a garage space. In September of 2009, he did just that. Brett rented an 800-square-foot space with no heat or running water, and within a year, he bought his first lift.
“What started as a place where he worked on his friends’ cars turned into a business,” Robin Sampson, Brett’s dad and current business manager recalls.
Within two years, he had purchased two lifts and rented another 800 square feet. He was growing rapidly through word of mouth: his customer base went from friends to friends’ parents to friends’ neighbors. Soon enough, he was outgrowing yet another space. A few months shy of his 21st birthday, Brett moved into 10,000 square feet at his current location and increased his business substantially from the prior year.
Sampson’s Automotive now has seven lifts, three mechanics and a business and marketing manager working full-time.
“I always knew I was going to own a business, always knew I wasn’t going to be an employee, I just wasn’t sure what the business was going to be,” Brett said, adding that although his dad taught him basic mechanical skills, most of his extensive knowledge has come from hands-on experience.
“Sometimes I ask myself how I figured some of this stuff out,” Brett laughed. After many years in the business, he continues to learn new ways of doing things by “walking the walk” every day on the job. “I just do it. It feels natural to me.”
Robin believes that Brett’s relationship-building and unique way of servicing his customers is what makes him so successful
“You’ve got to see the way Brett sits down with a customer, even if they only came in for a free oil change,” Robin said.
Brett gives every customer a detailed narrative on their invoice and takes the time to get to know both the individual and the vehicle. He’s also keen on finding out the customer’s intention with the vehicle long-term so he can make the best recommendations on how they should proceed.
Heading to Boston for the weekend and your check engine light just came on? Brett has been known to make house calls if he’s in the neighborhood. He happily gives out his cell number to customers. He chooses to focus on building a trusting relationship with customers and stands by the notion that what’s best for the customer will ultimately be best for him in the long run. He doesn’t use scare tactics and he tries to accommodate everyone. Because of the reputation he has earned, his business is comprised heavily of repeat customers, referrals and community members. They also get some regional business for their expertise in servicing Audis and Volkswagons. Brett owns two Audi S4s and they are one of his specialties.
Sampson’s Automotive holds the Annual Anchor Down Car Show at our shop located at 342 Compass Circle, Unit C-3 in North Kingstown. The event benefits the Wounded Warrior Project. For more on this event or our services, call 401-667-7891 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sampson’s Automotive LLC is now Rhode Island State Inspection Station #446 and is a registered emissions repair facility. Our technicians are certified with MACS (mobile air conditioning society) to service and repair A/C systems using R-134A (Refrigerant).