Kerry’s Paint & Body celebrates 45 years in business in Siloam Springs

Marc Hayot/Herald-Leader The staff of Kerry's Paint & Body cut the ribbon to celebrate 45 years of service to the community.
Marc Hayot/Herald-Leader The staff of Kerry's Paint & Body cut the ribbon to celebrate 45 years of service to the community.

Kerry's Paint and Body recently celebrated 45 years in business.

The shop at 1019 E. Main St. has served customers since 1978, according to a March 4, 2009, Herald-Leader story.

Vanessa Brinegar said she was very proud she and her husband, Kerry, have been able to maintain the shop for so long. Brinegar said when she thinks of how long the business has lasted, it reminds her of the song "Little Man" by country music singer Alan Jackson.

"That song hits home to me because we're still the little man," Brinegar said.

Darla Canup, Kerry's office administrator, said it is amazing the business has been around for almost 50 years.

Main Street has changed over the years, Brinegar said. She remembers when there was an auto parts store near Kerry's as well as a car lot further down the street.

Canup said she remembers riding the school bus and seeing Kerry's Paint and Body as the bus passed by.

Brinegar's husband, Kerry, started to do auto body work in 1978 and found himself a little building, Vanessa Brinegar said.

"He taught himself everything, started on his own and just worked hard," Vanessa Brinegar said. "He just started it that many years ago, just getting in there. And there's nothing he can't do."

When asked what advice she would give to a new business owner, Brinegar said they need to put their heart and soul into it. Another secret to success is to treat employees and customers like they are family, Brinegar said.

"They return because they're treated with respect and as family," Canup said. "We get that all the time: that they are repeat customers because of how well they were treated and how good of a job the staff did."

A business owner needs to be picky about who they hire and they have to have a relationship with their employees, Brinegar said.

"You just got to care about your business, your employees and your customers," Brinegar said. "You got to love them in order to take care of them. If you take care of them, they're going to take care of you."