ST. ALBANS –– Jason Lowell’s business, Auto Creations, is easy to find – and he’s worth finding, if you need his services.
Auto Creations has two entrances in St. Albans: one is on a short dirt driveway behind Champlain Commons, the business complex on Rte. 7, and the other is just off the tip of Jewett Avenue, the road adjacent to Champlain Commons.
Take either road to Auto Creations, on any given Monday through Friday, and you will find Jason restoring or repairing classic and contemporary cars, or painting a motorcycle to his client’s exact liking.
“I take pride in my work,” said Jason, 40, who lives in Georgia with his wife, Erin, a nurse at Northwestern Medical Center, and their four children. “I like seeing the end result.”
Jason is an experienced auto body specialist. He performs collision work for all major insurance companies, fully restores classic cars – such as the 1970 Chevelle that was sitting in his shop, earlier this month – and custom paints bikes.
“I try not to get into too much rust work,” Jason said. “Rust can be really hard to deal with.”
A lot of Jason’s work crosses over. For example, repairs and paint might also be part of a restoration job.
Jason is an expert in “color matching,” meaning he mixes and creates colors to fill his paint-related work orders. Using a computerized, digitized system worth thousands of dollars, he can custom design his paint stock and make any colors. There is a bit of overhead involved.
“My paints and all my tools are expensive, but it’s worth it to me,” Jason said.
He must also wield patience in all his work. Depending on the process involved, a job at Auto Creations could take anywhere from a few days to several months – but Jason has had lots of time to hone his patience on the job.
Jason started working in the auto body shop at Premiere Tire, in Milton, while he was still a student at Essex High School, where he graduated in 1992. Then, he spent five years in the auto body shop at Goss Dodge, on Shelburne Road.
Jason returned to Goss in 2000, after learning more about structural and framework at Rainville’s Collision, in Fairfax. He was at Goss for another decade and left as a foreman, and as a mentor to the three people on his team.
Jason worked for Shear Auto Body, also on Shelburne Road, in 2010 and opened Auto Creations in 2012. He had considered opening his own shop on Lake Street, in 2007, at a preexisting turnkey operation, but that did not materialize.
On Jason’s first day at Auto Creations, he had one car in his ship and no other work on deck. He thought, “What did I just do?” It was “a little scary,” he said, but he is busy now, and he sees the benefits of owning a business, such as flexible time for his family.
Jason plans to keep Auto Creations at his current location while he hunts for some part-time help.
“Locally, this is kind of a dying trade,” Jason said of auto-body work. “It’s hard. It’s not easy. So there aren’t a lot of young people taking it on. But this work is satisfying.”