If you drive past Custom Offsets’ location on the east side of Appleton, you might assume it’s just another mechanic or auto body shop. But, the second you open the doors, you’ll be surprised.
You won’t find cars on lifts and hoods popped. Instead, you’ll see more than 50 professionals doing social media marketing for the internet’s largest custom truck wheel and tire retailer.
Custom Offsets founder and CEO Shawn Chartier walked away from a six-figure job at a regional health care organization to start the business. As a vehicle aficionado and a self-proclaimed “wheel guy,” he was frustrated by the process of finding photos, statistics and other important information to see if the wheels he wanted would work with his own vehicle.
“I would go into forums and spend three months begging people for pictures and stats, and usually the person was long gone,” he says.
On Christmas Eve in 2012, he was struck with the inspiration to start a business to address this problem. By February 2013, Custom Offsets was born as a vehicle gallery and community where other wheel lovers could share photos and communicate. Shortly after getting started, Custom Offsets partnered with a Chicago company to list the wheels and tires adjacent to photos, so people could purchase them directly at the lowest prices.
Since then, the company has experienced rapid growth. Chartier says the company’s sales and team size have doubled every year for the last six years. An estimated 60,000 people visit Custom Offsets’ website daily and the business sells about 150 wheel sets each day. The Appleton business also purchased the Chicago company it originally partnered with and has launched multiple brands.
That growth wasn’t a mistake. Instead, Chartier says the company’s emphasis on marketing and social media contributes to its unmatched success.
“All of our competitors typically have two to three people on their marketing team,” he says. “We have 50. That was where we could see the world going. We pay attention and listen to where media is headed.
“This is the dream,” Chartier says. “And we have a phenomenal team.”