It’s been a dream come true for him personally and a promotional boon for the community.
That is, appearing on an internationally broadcast television show.
Bradley Powers, owner of Twelve45 Graphix in Marion, can be seen in a television spot on MotorHead Garage on the Motor Trend Network, which aired in October, and on MAVTV Motorsports Network Nov. 8 and Rev’n TV on Nov. 13 and 17.
It began with Powers’ relationship with AP Lazer of Michigan, a company that advertises on MotorHead Garage and Motor Trend Network. Twelve45 Graphix uses a laser-cutting machine left behind by the former monument company that occupied the building before Powers.
The machine was used to etch designs and pictures on monuments for the funeral homes. However, the company was having problems with the machine and left it to Powers, telling him to use it as he pleased. So he repaired it and discovered new and unique ways to incorporate its possibilities into his business.
Twelve45 Graphix opened last year, offering custom graphics from embroidery and monogramming to fully printed stickers, decals, banners and more. Powers participates in many community efforts, including laser-cutting footballs for the Chilhowie High School Player of the Week award, creating the educational decals for the Chilhowie Elementary School sensory hallways project, and hosting a barbecue for the 760th Engineering Company of the Army Reserves next door.
The laser-cutter he uses is made by AP Lazer, Powers said. “They called and wanted to know if I did anything with automotive,” he said.
They were quite delighted, he said, when he described what he had done in that area.
AP Lazer had bought a spot on MotorHead Garage and wanted to showcase their business for something beyond monuments, Powers said. They were looking for someone who had done laser-cutting on anything automotive. When he told them he had done some custom work for a friend with a 1930 DeSoto, using the AP Lazer machine, they were over the moon.
“They were amazed that I was doing stuff to actual cars,” he said.
Powers was immediately asked to come to the MotorHead Garage film studio to help with the television spot, and he said yes and would ask his friend with the DeSoto – Rex Anders of Marion – if he would like to send his car. Anders did, and went along, bringing not only his DeSoto but a custom Corvette as well.
What was surprising on both sides was how close Powers was to the MotorHead Garage filming studio. It is in Johnson City, Tenn. Powers said AP Lazer offered to spring for a hotel room for the visit, but he told them he was only an hour or so away.
AP Lazer came to Twelve45 Graphix to film the loading of the vehicles and preparations for the trip. Powers said he hit it off with the producer and crew and everybody meshed really well for the project.
Things went so well, Powers said, that AP Lazer asked if he felt comfortable doing the whole spot himself. Anybody who knows Powers knows he is not the shy, retiring type, and he assured the company that with his background in theatre and public speaking, he had no problem with doing the spot. Watching the episode, you could think Powers had been doing work like it all his life.
“AP said they had never let anyone else take over the whole spot,” Powers said, “but they were so impressed with me they said just do the spot for us and showcase your business, and say what AP does for your business.”
The five-minute spot took several hours to film, he said, because he and the hosts had so much fun and got along so well that they kept going off topic.
Powers even impressed the MotorHead Garage crew with his knowledge. He was describing the process of laser-cutting and then coating the item with Top Coat F11 Surface Sealant – something Powers sells – that is produced by one of Motor Trend’s sponsors.
“I actually sell and use F11 on the parts,” Powers said. “They were super impressed.”
People called into the program to say it was one of the best spots they’d ever seen, he said. AP Lazer liked it so much they asked if he wanted to work for them. He might become an instructor for others wanting to break into the laser-cutting field.
Powers said he is now recognized in the Bristol area, especially among car people. They saw him on the show, and many now want custom pieces. He is working this business into his other business of producing custom-made T-shirts especially for local teams, signs and banners, and custom-designing old whisky barrel lids among other projects.
It’s all good, Powers said, and he is excited about the future for his business and for the local community.
“As long as I have fun, pay the bills, and give back to the community, what else do you need?” he asked. “The best part is a local business on international TV and the attention to the community.”