On Oct. 29, 2016, Lucky’s Custom Truck Accessories in Altamont was purchased by Joey and Laura Stewart and became Main Street Customs. For Joey, buying the business was more than simply a chance to become his own boss.
“It was chasing a dream,” he said.
Stewart has always loved working on cars, trucks, and jeeps. Growing up the son of a mechanic, he got the skills and desire naturally. In fact, he helped rebuild his first car, a 1982 Buick Regal that his father purchased for him when he was 14.
After graduating from Beecher City High School in 2000, Stewart made the passion for automobiles his work. He’s worked for body shops, Mid-America, and before coming to Lucky’s, served as the parts man and sales rep for Sloan Implement, a John Deere dealer, in Vandalia.
The jump to Lucky’s was somewhat serendipitous. Seeing a Facebook post by owner Joe Luchtefeld soliciting part-time help for his shop, Stewart simply “liked” it. Soon, Luchtefeld, knowing Stewart and his background, reached out to see if he would be interested. Stewart’s wife Laura said that he was working six to eight hours per evening fixing up cars aside from his work at Sloan, leading him to itch for a different opportunity. When Luchtefeld’s offer became a full-time store manage position, Stewart accepted.
Another jump, supported fully by his wife, led Stewart to take over the reins of the store. Stewart’s friends and family continued to push him toward becoming an entrepreneur and starting his own business, so a few months after coming on-board with Lucky’s, he approached Luchtefeld with an offer to buy the business. Stewart said that he felt he was at a crossroads, at which point he would either buy the business or start his own. Luchtefeld agreed and the deal was made.
The Stewarts were business owners and Main Street Customs was born. The business offers custom parts and service for car, truck, jeep, and motorcycle owners in addition to oil changes and other auto mechanic work and parts such as windshield wipers and replacement bulbs. The changes and education began immediately for the pair, as they met with accountants, lawyers, and learned all about permits and regulations. They added services, such as detailing, in-town pickup and delivery, and purchased a lift for the mechanic work. Main Street Customs now offers financing, as well.
The Stewarts also remodeled the store area a bit, adding a spot for people to grab a cup of coffee and socialize with other auto enthusiasts. Stewart says he wants people to feel as though they can stop by and simply talk about their passions. He wants to build strong relationships with auto enthusiasts in the area.
Stewart said that business has been good and the anxieties of business ownership are subsiding a bit. He credits mechanic Jay Miller, who Stewart said is one of the best motorcycle mechanics around, for helping him. Miller previously worked for Lucky’s.
“I write his paycheck but I consider him a partner,” Stewart says of Miller.
Most of all, Stewart is thankful for his family, especially his wife Laura. Aside from her full-time duties at Heartland Dental, she assists Stewart in the shop as she can and provides vital support in the often stressful times that entrepreneurship can bring on. He has the support of the rest of his family, not only in encouragement, but also in the form of tools and mechanical advice. It’s a family affair at Main Street Customs.
Main Street Customs is located at 3 S. Main Street in Altamont and can be reached at (618) 483-3888. The store hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m.-noon on Saturday.