Local businessmen build auto customization business
by Clay Neely
If you catch yourself cruising down Temple Avenue, one particular storefront is guaranteed to catch your eye.
While there isn’t a flashy storefront, when you have a ‘26 Model-T with a chop top in your parking lot, it can be just as effective.
For those who haven’t swung by to take a gander, owner Joey Booth and Dave Yarbrough opened their shop, Cruisers, in January and have since maintained a steady flow of traffic without any formal advertising or flashy signs.
Cruisers specializes in automotive and motorcycle audio and accessories – wheels, tires, leveling kits, lift kits are all part of what makes their business as unique as they are.
As hot rod enthusiasts, Booth and Yarbrough initially met at car shows and eventually established a friendship. Both men have spent time working on their own and also with established companies.
However, their independent natures led them to opening a shop that allowed them to craft their own ideas and approach to business that sometimes only a small business can allow.
“I’ve worked for myself and I’ve worked for established companies and I’ll be the first to tell you, I prefer the former,” Yarbrough said. “Working for the companies is nice when they take care of your taxes, but that’s about it.”
“They always seem a lot bigger when you’re in charge,” Booth laughed.
With a combined 40 years in the car audio business, the duo felt that the time was right to do it their way and signed a long-term lease on 128 Temple Ave., where they are open six days a week.
“We went all in,” Booth said. “The building looked right and we like the area. There’s a lot of traffic on this road and that suits us just fine.”
Versatility is the calling card on which both Booth and Yarbrough pride themselves. They’ve been working on cars in all capacities since they were teenagers. Car audio and accessories are all part and parcel for them.
“I’ve done auto body work, engine work – you name it,” Yarbrough said. “Working on audio is just part of the equation these days. We pride ourselves on knowing what the customer wants and making it work for them.”
With a wide variety of services, both Booth and Yarbrough find themselves customizing audio and visual details for not only cars and trucks, but for motorcycles as well.
“We are an all encompassing shop,” Booth said. “We take care of our customers and believe that it ultimately will have a ripple effect, bringing in new people through word of mouth.”
With their product easily visible from the road, it’s not hard to figure out their specialty.
While word of mouth has been their sole method of advertising to date, a website is currently in the works, but their attention to detail has been a major issue in the site’s launching. Creating a gallery of work that was done exclusively by the shop and embodies their craftsmanship has been their biggest priority.
“In this industry, you can’t use stock images. The community is so small and tight-knit, you have to make sure that not only the pictures are indicative of what you do, but that they’re the best looking images available,” Booth said. “People around here know what you specialize in and you have to be honest – not only to yourself but to the public as well.”
As small business owners, Booth and Yarbrough agree that their single greatest challenge since opening the shop hasn’t been ordinances, taxes, fees or inventory, but weather.
“It really played the biggest role in our business,” said Yarbrough. “Rainy days are the worst for us. When the weather is great, we certainly reap the benefits.”
Because of Cruiser’s wide demographic, the shop itself lends itself to an almost barbershop like environment where hot-rod enthusiasts can talk shop alongside car audio fanatics.
“It’s great to have people just coming in off the street because of one of the cars out front or they have a question about some audio gear,” Booth said. “It’s a great location and we’re always happy to talk to anyone about their passions.”
Booth and Yarbrough are currently attempting to create Saturday afternoon cruise-ins where those who share the same interests can culminate to hang out and show off their own creations.
“Hot rods, low riders, motorcycles – they’ll all be here,” Booth said. “Right now, we’re working on a benefit cruise for a local man who recently suffered some brain damage and is learning to walk and talk again. There’s a golf tournament planned at Orchard Hills and we want to reach out to him as well.”
The future for any small business is always approached with the best intentions possible. Booth feels like Cruisers will become a fixture on Newnan’s west side – a place that will not only thrive but will allow him to have something he can pass along to his son.
“He’s already 13 and can wire up anything,” Booth smiled. “As cliche as it might sound, our biggest long-term plan is to stay right here.”