real world RETAIL
FAST FACTS Main Location:
Novato, Calif. Number of Locations:
ONE Square Footage:
BOUTIQUE Number of Employees:
TWO MAIN FOCUS 40% Radar 40% CAR AUDIO 10% SAFETY 10% Expeditor / DealershiP
KEY STAFF OwnerS: Bryon Jankow and Marty Barry Marty Barry (pictured at left) and Bryon Jankow chose to merge their businesses when it became clear that the one-man shop approach wasn’t working for either of them any longer. They have been business partners for a little over a year.
eismic Autosound has partnered with Custom Mobile Electronics in Novato, Calif., merging the two businesses into one. Bryon Jankow, owner of Seismic Autosound, and Marty Barry of Custom Mobile Electronics discussed their respective situations and arrived at the same conclusion: The one-man shop approach wasn’t working for either of them anymore, and they wanted a better work-life balance. Becoming business partners made the most sense. “I was working alone. So was he. It was 70 to 80 hours a week, non-stop, and that takes its toll after a while,” Jankow said. “Marty’s shop already had the type of clients I wanted to attract. It was a no-brainer for us to team up and take stress off each other, and move forward from there.” Seismic Autosound moved from
28 Mobile Electronics July 2021
Concord to Novato, to Barry’s location, which has been well-established in the area for the past 20 years, and together, they expanded to about 4,000 square feet. Now, the shop is open five days a week and they both have time to enjoy a personal life again. Jankow recalled the Bay Area going into lockdown for COVID-19 just as his lease ran out. The two have been business partners for just under a year, but they’ve kept their respective shop names the same. “For now, it’s just been about bringing everything together,” he said. “We’re trying to add staff so we can focus on the expansion, but it’s been an uphill battle. Finding people is really difficult.” While Jankow specializes in fabrication, custom work and tuning, Barry handles much of the sales and administrative work for their joint venture.
High-end audio is the main focus in the boutique shop, and the business also works with local Ferrari, Mercedes and Porsche dealerships. Radar is a big category, too, and backup cameras are a popular add-on for the shop’s clients. Bringing Art Into the Everyday Before entering the 12-volt field, Jankow worked as an illustrator for a company that made manuals for the automotive industry showing exploded views of car disassembly. He went back to school for fine art and architecture. Jankow stated that his skills as an artist continue to inform his work, and he’s acquired an instinct for envisioning a project layout in his head. When a client requests it, he’ll provide a sketch, he said. “For the most part, though, our clients give me the freedom to do whatever I want to do. They tend to