Business Spotlight: Car Stuff
Car Stuff in Fern Creek specializes in automotive products, but the company’s customer service is what makes them shine.
“I like to imagine myself on the other side of the counter,” says Owner Brad Pivot. “What does my customer expect?”
Brad has more than 38 years of experience in the automotive industry, stemming from his days working for his father’s Louisville-based company Smart Shoppers. He started working at Smart Shoppers when he was just 15 years old and took over as manager of the store in 1989.
After his father passed away in 2002, some changes in the company dynamic sparked Brad to branch off and start a new company with his wife Karen. Car Stuff officially opened on May 6, 2013.
“My father told me a long time ago, ‘Listen to your customers, they’ll tell you what to carry,’” Brad says. “So, I listen to what the customers ask for and I provide the inventory. This is truly a customer-built store.”
Car Stuff specializes in car audio systems, wheels and tires, performance parts, auto accessories and auto body supplies and tools. Customers can even get a taste of what the store offers by visiting Google Maps and taking a virtual view of the sales floor.
The store offers auto body products of all shapes and sizes, and the back area of the store offers the perfect space for installation of wheels, tires, stereos and other additions to complete a customer’s car.
Brad, an award-winning salesman, manages the car audio department, and he truly enjoys working with customers to find the best products for them.
“I give customers the best possible service and equipment with the amount of money they can spend,” Brad says.
Car audio systems is the biggest draw for customers to Car Stuff, but the company also focuses on everyday auto needs.
Some of Brad’s favorite auto projects involve upgrading cars to complete a customer’s dreams for their automobile, motorcycle or even jet ski.
“We take a car from a bucket to a beauty,” Brad says. “I put everything I’ve got into making someone’s dream come true. That’s the most exciting part for me, the custom aspect of it. I like doing the impossible, and I’ve often done it.”
Car Stuff is truly a family affair, as Brad is joined in business by his son Curtis and wife of 35 years, Karen, who is also an owner. Curtis owns a small part of the company and serves as Executive Vice President, managing the sales floor. Karen runs the register and helps keep the store organized. “She’s the glue that keeps us all together,” says Curtis. Together, the family has 75 years of automotive experience.
Brad views all his employees and customers as family and credits a lot of the success of Car Stuff to the recognition of his family name in the area.
“I often tag us as the Car Stuff family,” Brad says. “I don’t have customers, I have associates. We build cars with people, and we’ve built cars with people since they were kids.”
Customers have continued to come back to Brad and his family for their automotive needs, even after the switch from Smart Shoppers to Car Stuff.
“If you’ve never had that kind of family atmosphere at a store, you’ve never been to Car Stuff,” Brad says. “Most stores don’t have it. They put their customers second, but we put them first.”
Curtis is joined on the sales floor by “Rick the Wheel King,” who Brad says has (probably) sold more wheels than anybody in Louisville. The six-person staff is close-knit, and Brad is motivated to succeed because he wants to ensure his staff can make a living.
“There’s plenty of stress involved with owning your own business, especially when you’re starting new, because everybody’s relying on you,” Brad says. “I put a lot of pride in what I do.”
Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Brad has spent more than 40 years in Louisville. Curtis and Karen are both Louisville natives, and Brad has no plans of leaving.
“This is the place I need to be,” Brad says. “Right in the heart of it, where cars are built.”
Conveniently located at 5725 Bardstown Road, Car Stuff is open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, stop by during normal business hours or call 502-239-9554.