CARLYLE - In September 1991, the journey began.
A young and determined Jayson Humphries decided to go into business for himself. After attending school at SIAST in Moose Jaw and apprenticing at Carriere Auto Body, a life changing opportunity appeared.
The old building that housed J & J Cycle and Marine, located north of Carlyle on Highway 9, then owned by Jim Innes and Jim Szakacs, came up for sale. With the help of his former employer, mentor, and friend Garnet Goud, Regal Auto Refinishing became a reality.
Goud was someone Humphries always looked up to for advice and guidance and that is what he got.
Said Humphries: “Without Garnet’s help we wouldn’t have been able to get started. Bob and Harvey also wished us well on our new venture with Harvey Carriere saying “there’s room for both of us in Carlyle.”
Humphries worked solo at the shop during the day. He and Cindy had a couple of young, car-loving kids that came in from school every day. They worked late at nights and on weekends. A month after opening, a journeyman technician joined the team. They worked hard painting anything and everything they could get their hands on, “even a bathtub for my mom,” chuckled Jayson.
“We worked on anything and everything. From cars to Zambonis to office duct work.”
Regal started to grow its business and had an office expansion in 1998. They added 1500 square feet to the front of their existing building. This new space would include an auto accessory showroom, an office and file room, and a break room for staff.
“I felt it was important to move towards a more professional appeal – a nice office space away from the traditional dusty, dirty, parts everywhere reputation typically associated with old school body shops,” said Humphries.
Five years later, Regal expanded its back shop work space, adding 2,500 square feet. This would create more room and eliminate the countless hours of vehicle shuffling.
Added Humphries: “We could now take a vehicle apart and had the space to keep the vehicle in a designated location until the parts arrived to complete the repairs.”
The automotive industry has been changing rapidly with technology advancements and product improvements.
“When I first got into the trade, we were spraying straight lacquer paints. Then straight enamel, to acrylic enamels. Industry advancements led to base coats, clear coats, and now today with tri-coats and even quad-coats. Paints reflect light differently to change the actual color of the vehicle from different angles,” said Humphries.
“We now currently spray water based products. When the supply companies introduced this technology, it presented a whole other challenge, drying. It took forever to dry, creating paint booth bottle necks.”
So this led to another expansion in 2010. Regal added 3,600 square feet. The new space was built to accommodate a new state of the art down draft, a computerized paint booth equipped with all the new water based drying technologies. With this upgrade Regal Auto Refinishing now had two paint booths and a huge prep space. The autobody shop is now currently 12,000 square feet, located on approximately three acres of land in the R.M. of Moose Mountain.
When asked why the company has succeeded for 30 years, he replied, “Two things, our team and our customer base, hands down. Andrew Procyk has been with Regal for 25 years. He is very meticulous and passionate about the vehicles he works on. Andrew treats every job like it’s his own. He’s a perfectionist. I work side by side with Andrew and I enjoy every minute of it. He’s an amazing person and an awesome technician.”
Adds Humphries: “Working alongside Andrew is John Jamieson. He’s been employed with us for nearly 10 years. Johnny is very hard-working and really enjoys the tecky aspects of the trade. He’s a great asset and I appreciate him every day.
“Across the shop from Andrew and Johnny is Malcolm Spry. Malcolm moved home to Carlyle from Calgary seven years ago. He enjoys the heavier collision jobs and prefers to work on the harder hit vehicles. He lightens the work place with his sarcasm and keeps everyone on their toes. There’s never a dull day with Malcolm.
“Floating around the shop helping everyone out is Simon Wolfe. He has been part of the Regal team for four years now. He started as part of the high school work experience program. Once he graduated he decided to pursue his auto body career and is currently apprenticing with us. Simon is fun to work with and has a great work ethic. I look forward to watching his auto body career take off. He has so much potential.”
“Working the front office is Colleen Getten. She has been with Regal for 8 years (on and off as she had her family.) Colleen is very gifted with computers and all the administration stuff that is needed in today’s auto body repair business.”
Humphries and his wife Cindy’s daughter Payton works in the front office as well. She covers holidays and helps out whenever needed.
“Payton is a little drill sergeant, is very organized, and thrives on meeting deadlines and finishing goals.”
Juanita Wolfe also helps out with reception and is a holiday fill-in. “She is so kind and always willing to help out. She’s like family,” said Humphries.
In the back business office is Cindy Humphries. Her attention to detail is impeccable, and is in charge of all the business finances and keeps things flowing.
“She keeps us all organized and makes sure nothing is overlooked,” he said.
Humphries appreciates having such a hardworking and qualified team.
Regal has apprenticed many auto body enthusiasts over the years and has formed many long-lasting friendships. They strive to be a leader in their industry, for both their team and their customers. They offer a drive on frame repair rack, 3D frame measuring, aluminum repair and panel replacement, MIG, aluminum, silicon bronze and resistant spot welding, body and paint, glass replacement, and have a fleet of late model courtesy cars.
“We are very happy to have a business in Carlyle. It’s a great community and we have enjoyed serving the town and surrounding area for all these years. We have a very loyal clientele with many repeat customers whom we appreciate so much. New customers are always welcome and we look forward to serving southeast Saskatchewan for many years to come.”
Regal Auto Refinishing plans on hosting a 30-year customer appreciation day in the very near future after provincial health conditions improve.