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Andrea Carnahan of MotorHead Design House discusses her company's involvement in the SEMA 2008 show with SBTV.com. MotorHead ...
Design House creates one-of-a-kind emblems and trim for cars and motorcycles.
Tags:Small Business Solutions - Andrea Carnahan,automotive,automotive aftermarket,automotive show,car show,motorhead design house,sbtv,sema,sema 2008,sema las vegas
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Ivy Hartman: Welcome to the SBTV.com. It's coverage of the SEMA show in Las Vegas 2008. I'm Ivy Hartman and with me is Andrea Carnahan, who is the President of MotorHead Design House. Andrea, welcome to Small Business Television.
Andrea Carnahan: Thank you.
Ivy Hartman: Tell us what MotorHead Design House is or does?
Andrea Carnahan: What we do is we make custom emblems and we work with the lot of the custom car builders and picture if you would, like the Ford Oval on a car, but with someone's logo or someone's signature in it. Many times if the emblems are involved, they're almost more like small three dimensional pieces of jewelry.
Ivy Hartman: You'll have some of the examples here because let's show our viewers that. So what you've done is we've seen Hot Hues. They've got a great exhibit here and there. Of course, Chip Foose, notice that. Then, what's this?
Andrea Carnahan: This was the piece that we did for Ford for the 75th anniversary of the 1932 Hot Rod. What they did was they had us make a pair. They put together a special display of the 75 Hot Rods; 1932 Hot Rods that were the most influential. They had just make a pair of this crest as the gift for each of the owners.
Ivy Hartman: Wonderful.
Andrea Carnahan: So that was really nice.
Ivy Hartman: Let's talk about, though the emblem itself can actually be placed on the vehicle as well.
Andrea Carnahan: Right.
Ivy Hartman: Talk about where is that?
Andrea Carnahan: It has a little screw on the back of it.
Ivy Hartman: Oh, wow!
Andrea Carnahan: It's go right on the car.
Ivy Hartman: So where do the idea come from, and what's the background that you and Bruce to have started a business like that?
Andrea Carnahan: Well, we started out making automotive jewelry. My background is fine jewelry and did that for a number of years. Then, actually the first piece that we did that was an emblem was for a Pete Chapouris SoCal. He asked us to make a bullnose. So once he got that, a lot of people saw it and it was like, where do you get that?
Ivy Hartman: Yeah.
Andrea Carnahan: So our first few customers were Pete, Boyd Coddington, Troy Trapanier, Bobby Alloway. So everybody started seeing them and it's just kind of took off from there.
Ivy Hartman: So now how -- do you manufacture them yourself or just design. So do you have any challenges with getting suppliers for the things you need in order to manufacture this beautiful works of art?
Andrea Carnahan: Not really. It's just like larger scale jewelry.
Ivy Hartman: Okay.
Andrea Carnahan: For cars instead of for people.
Ivy Hartman: Exactly, but it's a different material?
Andrea Carnahan: It's different. It's different materials and different techniques but it's the same kind of theory.
Ivy Hartman: So you're exhibiting here at SEMA show.
Andrea Carnahan: Right.
Ivy Hartman: How is that going for you successes, challenges anything?
Andrea Carnahan: It's been a great show this year. Of course, like everybody else, you're little bit leery about this year.
Ivy Hartman: Oh, with the market you mean.
Andrea Carnahan: Yes. It's been an absolutely wonderful show.
Ivy Hartman: Now who's buying these? Other than you have mentioned Ford doing their 75th special. We've got some specialized people in here.
Andrea Carnahan: Right. Mostly it's not like Ford Motor company, it's the smaller companies who are doing a lot of hand work on the vehicles and they want to keep their name with the vehicles after they leave. They recognized the marketing value of these because it's so much more effective to use a custom emblem to keep your name with the car because then, it stays, it's something cool. So it stays with the car instead of something that's just painted on. Then, the owners buddy sees it, and their peer group is who these guys want to reach, as who is going to be buying cars.
Ivy Hartman: It's putting your name on it.
Andrea Carnahan: So it's kind of taking word of mouth advertising to the next step.
Ivy Hartman: Wow! Very effective.
Andrea Carnahan: So it works. It's really effective.
Ivy Hartman: It's like - I'm trying to explain to our viewers to -- because even though, they are in the automotive arcade but even for the viewers who aren't.
Andrea Carnahan: Right.
Ivy Hartman: If it's like an artist, you know, even sign the bottom of their painting.
Andrea Carnahan: Exactly.
Ivy Hartman: But this is really just putting it on that automobile that they have re-custom designed or redesigned or whatever you're saying. This was my work of art.
Andrea Carnahan: Also it gives the added value because it is like a signed painting.
Ivy Hartman: Fabulous. Anything else we should know about MotorHead.
Andrea Carnahan: We are in the Central Hall in Hot Rod Alley.
Ivy Hartman: Okay. Yeah.
Andrea Carnahan: We have a lot of our work up on our website. We have a gallery and we also have a guide on our website to how to go about designing your own emblem, because it is something that's totally foreign. It's like even car builders, they've never done it before. So where do you start. So we have a free guide that you can download from our website that goes through how to design your emblem.
Ivy Hartman: That website is motorheaddesignhouse.com.
Andrea Carnahan: Right.
Ivy Hartman: That's interesting. So we need to design just one of our kind emblem or do you have to order.
Andrea Carnahan: Now we do project emblems which are like the one of kind emblems. There is a car at back in her in the hall hammer that we make the letters the HAMMER for Steve Strop. Actually that car is going to be in Fast and Furious Four coming out next year.
Ivy Hartman: Oh, how cool.
Andrea Carnahan: So the roadrunner that is just absolutely gorgeous.
Ivy Hartman: Now I'm going to start looking for the MotorHead Design House.
Andrea Carnahan: So you're going to go back to the Hot Rod Alley.
Ivy Hartman: Okay. But I'm going to see things right on the road. I would be like hey, that was a one of kind. No wonder if it was for relays.
Andrea Carnahan: In our booth, we have photographs of probably two thirds of the cars here that have our emblems on them and the car builders. So it's a nice way to see what we are doing.
Ivy Hartman: But how do people know that that's you? That you are the sort of viral market, you would have to ask the car maker or whatever?
Andrea Carnahan: The same thing. It all goes back to word of mouth.
Ivy Hartman: Yeah. Okay, a word of mouth marketing expert. Now Andrea Carnahan, thanks for joining us here on Small Business Television.
Andrea Carnahan: Thank you.
Ivy Hartman: Keep it right here as we continue our coverage of the SEMA Show 2008 on SBTV.com where Small Business is our only business.