What a year! Like most of you, 2020 threw us for a loop. So when the clock struck midnight on December 31, we were happy to toast to better days.
The coronavirus pandemic hit our industry hard. Conferences were postponed, events and contests were canceled, supply chains were disrupted, and nearly every trim shop suffered financial loss. Worst of all, trimmers and their family members got sick, and some even died.
But we’re a resilient industry.
Trimmers adapted by wearing protective gear, altering their work hours, limiting their number of clients and projects, closely monitoring their inventories, attending virtual events and seminars, and more. Many also collaborated with suppliers and manufacturers to produce face masks and other personal protective equipment for their communities.
It was inspiring to see how quickly small, independent trim shops mobilized to save lives.
For our part, we did our best to keep the industry informed of all the latest news — from outbreaks, to relief efforts and valuable resources — to help shops through the pandemic.
Of course, we covered more than the virus. We also fulfilled our promise to give you stronger, more interesting and engaging content. We covered the latest industry news, highlighted new products and services, hosted contests and continued to showcase incredible talent.
We also partnered with our sponsors to give away tens of thousands of dollars in prizes, and welcomed new sponsors too. We launched a weekly “Interior of the Week” contest in our newsletter, helped raise funds for trimmers in need and grew our Instagram page to more than 120K followers, which we continue to use to promote small shops.
Here are some highlights from 2020:
We profiled talented trimmers…
We profiled lots of talented trimmers, including Derek Friesen of Custom Creations, Mitch Woloshchuk of Mitch’s Kustoms, Oksana Ignatova of Stitch Girl Inc, Simon Judd of Elite Custom Interiors and Troy Swarvar of Interiors by Troy. We also highlighted projects by Recovery Room and Gabe’s Custom Interiors, took a look behind the scenes at O’Rourke Coachtrimmers, and even got to know new trimmer Rebecka Pettersson.
We brought you helpful tutorials…
We watched Alchemy Kustom shape foam and upholster a seat. Brent Parker Motor Trimming taught us how to isolated hole in carpet. Albright’s Supply offered up lessons in upholstery zippers and button snaps. The Haartz Corporation provided us with helpful soft top care guides. And Fred Mattson wrote a new book teaching young trimmer how to install convertible tops, which we reviewed.
We shared valuable business tips…
We helped trimmers grow their businesses with loads of insightful tips and advice. We shared 10 tips on how to organize your own car show and told shop owners about the 45 mph rule. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, we studied the U.S. government’s emergency aid programs and told trimmers how to secure grants and low-interest loans. We also highlighted helpful webinars and published monthly job listings.
We helped give away cool prizes…
We gave away t-shirts, stickers, banners and other swag to trim shops from New York to Moscow. We reviewed products, and gave them away — including “Convertible Top Restoration and Installation.” Of course, we also collaborated with NC Carpet Binding & Equipment and Douglass Interior Products on the annual “NC Interior of the Year” award, which Brent Parker Motor Trimming won. And much, much more!
We helped shops navigate the pandemic…
We reached out to health experts to compile a list of 8 steps shops can take to protect employees and customers, as well as other useful tips. We reported on efforts by OEMs and independent shops to make face masks for health care workers. We kept shop owners informed of relief efforts and canceled trade shows. And, of course, sponsors — including Haartz, GAHH, Robbins, E-Z ON and Miami Corporation — did their part too.
We couldn’t have done it without you…
The Hog Ring wouldn’t be the large and vibrant community it is without the support of its members and sponsors. Thank you for making it a success!
You shared and commented on our articles, published pictorials in our forum, and assisted one another through difficult projects. You also provided us with great story leads and feedback that continue to help us realize our mission to strengthen the industry.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the financial support of our sponsors: Albright’s Supply, Douglass Interior Products, Electron Top, E-Z ON Auto Tops, GAHH Automotive, Haartz Corporation, Hydes Leather, Kee Auto Top, Miami Corporation, NC Carpet Binding & Equipment and Robbins Auto Top.
Not only are these 11 companies outstanding leaders, who provide quality products and exceptional services at competitive prices, but they also share our vision of a stronger, more unified industry. Please show your appreciation by giving them your business.
As The Hog Ring enters its 10th year, lots of uncertainty looms. But we are certain of at least one thing: Auto trimmers are here to stay.
Stay tuned! It’s a new year and we have a lot more in store!