Auto Body and Painting
Class of 1992
Garrett and Robin Fujioka are the owners of Concept Auto Refinishing, which is an auto collision repair shop in Hilo.† They repair vehicles that have been in auto accidents, fender benders or have minor dents from such items as shopping carts or scratches from a tree.† They specialize in touch ups that include doing bodywork and/or changing panels on the damaged area of a car and repainting the repaired area.† Their main goal is to repair the vehicle back to the condition it was originally in. In this industry, there is more demand for collision work so they no longer do complete paint jobs (painting the entire vehicle or doing custom work). They have been in business for five years and recently moved to a bigger location of around 5,200 sq ft, which includes a paint booth.† At any one time, they may have 30 cars waiting to be repaired at their facility.††
††††††† Porsches and Mercedes are the most expensive cars they have repaired and front end and rear end damages to Toyota Tacoma trucks are the make of car most repaired.†† Two expensive SUVs, both less than a year old, were involved in a head on collision several years ago.† Coincidentally, Concept Auto Refinishing repaired both vehicles.† Probably the most damaged car they repaired was a car that was only six months old and hit by a drunk driver.† The damages began at the front bumper and ended at the rear bumper along the driverís side of the car.† It looked beyond repair, but after the repairs were completed, the owner was very satisfied, saying that it still looked like a brand new car.
††††††† Garrett and Robin are both graduates of Waiakea High Schoolís class of 1992.† Robin remembers being actively involved in various clubs and school activities and running in the state championships in cross country and track.† Garrett took auto shop class where he was exposed to basic auto body repair.† Coincidentally, two of their five auto technicians, Michael Heidenfeldt (class of 1994) and Tyler Nakamura (class of 2002) are also Waiakea graduates.
††††††† After graduating from Waiakea High School, Garrett attended Hawaii Community College and earned Associate Degrees in both auto body and painting and auto mechanics.† Robin attended the University of Hawaii at Hilo and earned a Bachelors Degree in natural sciences and a teaching certificate in secondary education.† Robin started working full-time at the shop after they moved their shop to their new location.
††††††† They suggest that those who are interested in the auto repair field should go to college to learn the basics before entering the workforce.† Garrett looks for an employee who is a team player, has a humble attitude, and is always willing to learn new things.