A One Man Show
Yes, I get asked daily by a few of my customers if in fact UMLCO is a single employee company. The answer is technically no, my small dog is here just as much as me, so that has to count for something...haha.
I started this company back in 2012 at my small workshop in Upstate New York during the same time I was building my XS650 Bobber. I have a creative background in art and photography, but fabricating and building personal projects is my passion. My father owned an auto repair shop when I was growing up, so at a very young age, I was surrounded by car culture. I can recall going to drag races at our local quarter mile, riding my dirt bike for endless hours with him on the weekend, and then learning from him as we started to build custom cars in our home garage.
My first projects were with Mini Trucks and Volkswagen's. That's was when I taught myself how to paint cars because I knew I couldn't afford to pay someone to paint all of the projects I wanted to build. This desire to do all the work myself expanded to learning welding, upholstery, and I excelled at custom audio installs.
When all of my high school friends were playing sports or drinking beer, you could find me in my parents' garage till the wee hours of the night grinding away at whatever the project was at that time. I lived for the car show weekends, and still I can recall the jitters I would get rolling into a car show, or parking lot meet with a project I had just finished.
After creating a Facebook Page to document my Yamaha XS650 build, I began to design a few image watermarks and logos to use on the page. When followers began asking for them on tees, I made a few. Once I realized that the demand was there, I started putting a little more effort into expanding the Facebook Page as a brand.
Even though I went to college right after high school, I knew that at some point I would be working for myself in some capacity. It was tough for me to stay focused on my school work because all I wanted to do was get back home and into the garage. My parents weren't too thrilled with my lack of effort in college, but looking back I wish I stayed in my photography and art classes as opposed to trying to get a more "normal" degree. Those classes were the only ones that I wanted to be in and the only ones that I put in some extra effort.
Looking back at my early college days, I wish that my school counselors had educated me about the other options that were available aside from a standard college. It seemed like all they expected was for every student to apply to a 2 or 4-years college and that was it. If I could go back and do it all over, I most certainly would have attended a school like Wyo-Tech or studied metal fab and fabrication.
Fast forward to today, I have since relocated to sunny South Florida (because cold ass weather is depressing) and have set up shop near Fort Lauderdale Beach. The majority of what you see relating to our brand is my work except for a little design work and photography. I have some very talented people that pitch in with those areas as needed and they are precious to the brand.
As you will experience, I am active in every aspect of the company. If you email us, it will be me responding. If you join our Facebook Messaging Group, it's likely we will chat if you send me a message.
I prefer to keep things small for a reason because getting bigger isn't my end game. Creating a brand that connects with its customers on a truly personal level is.
"United By Motors"
-Russ T. / Founder