Business Reviews

An Interview with Chris Cofield of CC Custom Graphics

Written by  February 29, 2008

Watching a professional auto body technician, you soon realize this is not a trade everyone can do. When it comes to giving an award winning paint job at a very reasonable price, you can rest assured that individual is right here in the great state of Missouri. Just five short years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Chris Cofield with CC Custom Graphics. At that time I had a special idea in mind when trying to a few things on the Cycle Connections Ninja. Ever since the first time I met him, Chris has truly amazed me by his quality and craftsmanship. We all have had minor oops when it comes to our motorcycles, and when you have decided to change the stock color of your bike or car, do you open the yellow pages? No, you probably turn to your buddy and ask them who they recommend.

On numerous occasions my friends have asked me who I think is the best painter in the KC area, and although there are several good painters here in the Midwest that truly deserve bragging rights, I still refer them to Chris. I consider these individuals artists rather than simple painters and body men. I have been to many bike shows and have been in the motorcycle industry since 1989, and I am especially judgmental when it comes to sportbike paint jobs. And on this subject, sportbikes require lots more patience then most realize because of all the parts and pieces that have to be painted and matched perfectly, which what you are trying to achieve when you have your stocker repainted. I am no different when it comes to a good quality job and something that just “pops” to look at. Chris has just upgraded his facility and spared no expense when it comes to his equipment so he can give his talent and his professionalism to his new customers and loyal repeat clients.

Recently, the show “Extreme Home Makeover” featured Chris’ work for one of the families that were in dire need of his craftsmanship and style. ABC contacted Chris and asked him to do some special work and they were under a deadline, which meant everything had to be done quickly and perfect, which is exactly what Chris does. He was able to complete the job and kept his promise, which were used in one of the kid’s bedrooms. The work not only reflected his style, but also showed the world how much talent we have here in the Midwest when it comes to custom painting and helping those in need.

I have been blessed by so many great friends in this industry and I am no different when word of mouth is passed out on a conversation about a quality technician or painter. Chris can do both from tearing down your motorcycle and paint the items you want to be completely one-off where your bike will be a true one-of-a-kind. Chris has painted many of the cover bikes we have shot for our covers, and to go back and see these bikes in one of the local bike shows is a true honor to his work. Chris really has a vision when it comes to his art, and I especially enjoy the skulls he paints; His paint jobs are as good, if not better than most of the paint jobs you see on the bike build television shows.

The About Us page on Chris’ web site says it best: CC Custom Graphics is a growing company in the custom paint and graphics industry. We specialize in airbrushed artwork, graphic designs, and show quality finishes primarily for any make and model of motorcycle. We also offer 'turn-key' disassembly and reassembly service. We do a lot of work for one-off custom chopper builders, auto body shops, bike service shops and dealerships, automotive custom paint shops, and countless individuals. We're located in Kansas City, Missouri, right in the heart of the country, so shipping from anywhere won't be a problem. We use only the finest automotive refinish materials available, our turnaround time is excellent, we totally dig what we do, and guarantee our work. So, if you want the highest quality custom paint job for your bucks, Custom Paint That Rocks!, you found the right place!

CC: Chris, what are your normal business hours?
Chris: Typically 9-6 Monday-Friday, but we accommodate those who work late or only have the weekend available. We have an “open door” policy, but you’ll need to call first to make sure I’m here.
CC: So what do you ride?
Chris: I have a 2000 Harley-Davidson Night Train.
CC: Do you work alone or do you employee others?
Chris: I normally work along; however, depending on the workload, Bryan Jones sometimes helps me out. He’s great at bodywork, fabrication, and is considered a sculptor extraordinaire.
CC: You have a incredible shop here, but where did CC Custom Graphics get its start?
Chris: I started in a small garage behind my old house. We bought a new place in the county and I rented space in an industrial park for a year. I recently built a new shop here on our new residence property, and moved in back in August of 2007.
CC: Why did you pick this location instead of moving into a commercial building? Chris: It made the most sense, because of the price of a commercial facility, if I could even find something suitable. I was able to custom build a state-of-the-art facility on my own property for a fraction of what I would have spent to outfit a commercial space that I wouldn’t even own.
CC: So what makes your business stand out from your competition?
Chris: We’ve really stepped up our game in this industry. We have several clients that have won best-paint awards in local and national bike shows. We use only the best finish materials available so our overall finish quality is second to none.
CC: What was your biggest obstacle in starting your business?
Chris: As usual, the expense. It takes a lot of money to get any business rolling. Obtaining clientele wasn’t easy either. A lot of people and shops already have a painter, and it’s difficult to get people to deviate from what they’re accustomed to. Once they’ve seen what we’re capable of, they’ll use us.
CC: What is the biggest change in business you have seen in the past few years?
Chris: Well, it was an explosion in the custom market, but lately things have really tightened up, I guess because of the economy. As a whole, people don’t seem to have as much expendable income as they did just a few years ago.
CC: How do you keep your customer's coming back?
Chris: We have a lot of repeat customers. I shoot straight and do the best job I can. Most of my clients become friends in one form or another.
CC: Do you advertise, and if so what sources do you use?
Chris: Cycle Connections, of course! I gave up on print because it’s too expensive for the return you get. It may work for some businesses but you can’t beat referrals. You also see our work at the bike shows, and that’s one of the best form of advertisement.
CC: Do you participate in bike shows or other motorcycle events?
Chris: Vendor space at shows tends to go beyond our budget for now, but we are increasing our participation at various events this year. We’re already scheduled to be at Gailapalooza, the Harley Plant, Bear’s Open House events, and Bikers for Babies.
CC: Do you sponsor or participate in any charity rides or events?
Chris: Yes. We always sponsor the March of Dimes and The American Bikers Relief Fund. We’ll also do something for Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.) on occasion.
CC: Where do the majority of your customers come from?
Chris: Primarily referrals, but a lot find me on the internet.
CC: Do you offer any specials or promotions for bikers?
Chris: We offer discounted rates for law enforcement officers (LEO’s), firefighters and military personnel looking to customize their bike. We also donate vouchers toward custom work for our charities to raffle off.
CC: What is the biggest change you have seen in the past five years in regards to motorcycling?
Chris: The prices of new bikes! They’ve really come down and you get a lot more for your money these days.
CC: Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about CC Custom Graphics?
Chris: Since we’re located at our private residence, there’s no store front for you to just stop by, but anybody is welcome anytime by appointment only. Just call for directions because we’re hidden pretty well. It may sound like a hassle, but it’s really not when you consider the one-on-one service we provide.
In closing I want to thank Chris for the interview and for offering his talent to the motorcycle and auto industry. Chris is without a doubt one of the best motorcycle fabricators and painters around, so when you’re ready for that new paint job, custom molded taillight or any other customization you can imagine, give Chris a call. You’ll be glad you did!

By Dave Miller

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