Sunday March 3, 2013

PITTSFIELD -- Ian Stockwell and Aaron Brasie have opened an auto-repair business, New England Brake & Muffler at 814 East St.

Advertising themselves as "The Boys Who Stop the Noise," Stockwell and Brasie wanted to focus on the idea that their operation is a friendly neighborhood business run by what Stockwell said are "just two local guys who are not going to rely on hidden fees or selling people things they don’t need."

While Stockwell and Brasie mainly focus on muffler, brake and front-end service, they also offer oil changes, custom exhausts, minor auto body repairs and welding repairs.

The opening of the shop early last month marked a career shift for both men. Friends for about 10 years, they came to the business with different skill sets.

Brasie, a Pittsfield native, worked in the automotive industry for 20 years, and spent a decade managing a muffler and brake company. Stockwell had more of a learning curve to overcome.

Having worked in the construction industry for seven years, he spent the past 12 years as the manager of an asbestos-removal company.

Looking for a change, Stockwell approached Brasie with the idea of starting an auto-repair business. Last year, the idea became a reality.

"We started to build this business in July [of 2012], and we were there all day long building walls and painting the entire place. We made something out of nothing," Stockwell said.


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The two men enrolled in the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center, where they learned the essentials of running a small business, from making a business plan to compiling profit loss sheets.

They obtained a business loan of $26,000 through the Adams Community Bank.

New England Brake & Muffler is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

Visit nebrakeandmuffler.com.