Though a 30-year run of a body shop is ending, a new era is begining for Kena and Chris Dacus.
The pair own Dacus Auto Body & Collision Repair, a full service auto repair business, and have just moved to 2088 E. Front St. in McPherson from their location in Canton.
They’re moving to the space after long-time business owners Vern and Janice Winter retired this month. Chris Dacus worked for the Winters before opening his own business, so it made sense to sell the location to him.
“Vern’s has been around for over 30 years, and we are really honored that Vern and Janice chose us to keep it going,” Kena Dacus said.
In Canton, the pair started their business from the ground up — together.
“I did everything that I could to make Chris’ load lighter, so I would wash cars, help put windshields in and order parts. I got really good at haggling for the best part prices,” she laughed.
Due to the heavy work load the couple was carrying, they decided it was time to hire employees, and now her husband spends his days writing estimates and managing the work flow while she keeps books, helps with payroll and submits insurance claims, all while managing the office.
Kena Dacus explained many people advised her and her husband to not run the shop together, but she said it has never been an issue.
"We have worked together for three years and we have learned so much about each other by working together. I love that I get to spend my days with him and feel very lucky to be able to do that," she said.
Although she said they have had their moments, overall it has been easy to work together.
"We really try to keep shop talk at work and focus on family and home life when we are at home," Kena Dacus said.
In addition to being co-owners, Kena Dacus manages the office at Dacus Auto Body and Chris Dacus manages the shop. Together, their expertise in cars and business have brought their business success.
"Chris is the car expert and I have the business degree, so we complement each other that way," she said.
Moving to McPherson was a hard decision the couple had to make, but it was always their plan someday.
Kena Dacus explained they had trouble finding a location suited for their business in McPherson, and that's why they stayed in Canton for the time being.
"We were definitely scared people wouldn't drive over to Canton and we might not have enough jobs to make the numbers work there. It turned out to be the opposite. We had an overwhelming amount of support from everyone in the county. We had customers driving over from surrounding towns. It didn't take long before we felt we had reached our maximum production level in Canton," she explained.
Reaching the top was a perfect step toward moving to McPherson. The original shop in Canton was relatively small, so moving to McPherson was the right decision.
"The McPherson area was underserved in the collision repair market," Kena Dacus explained.
Now that they're located in McPherson, their team has grown from five employees, to 12. Although the move was a bittersweet one, Kena Dacus said the local support was more than they could have ever dreamed.
"We really enjoyed working in Canton, but we are also excited for the opportunity to grow our business at the same time," she said. "I think we have a lore more room to grow here, we can definitely serve more customers here and offer more services."
For more information, contact Dacus Auto Body & Collision Repair at 620-350-8222 or visit http://dacusauto.com.
Contact Brooke Haas by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.