Handling Body Work And Parades
Auto Fender Clinic owner Nelson Fujio, aka the Parade Man
Nelson Fujio says he’s now seeing the fourth generation of car owners at his Auto Fender Clinic in Kakaako.
Often ready with a good joke or amusing story, Fujio welcomes customers to his 5,000-square-foot shop.
With Fujio at the helm, the business previously had up to three additional locations. These days he is keeping it to just one shop.
“We’re strictly body and fender,” says Fujio. “If we can’t do it, we can help you find someone. We only recommend good places.”
One of the lessons Fujio learned from his late father Richard Y. Fujio, who started the business in 1943, was to take pride in what you do.
“If you don’t take pride in what you do, don’t do it,” Fujio recalls. “My dad said to learn your business, and learn it well.”
And Fujio says he is dedicated to service, honesty and workmanship.
“If you’re not satisfied, let me know something is wrong. I’m not a mind-reader.”
In addition to running the family business, Fujio is also known as the “Parade Man” as he volunteers his time to coordinate parades. He got his start as a musician performing at the Hula Bowl in the 1970s. That led him to volunteer with the Aloha Festivals parade, and he’s still coordinating many parades around town including the upcoming free Pan-Pacific Matsuri Parade at 5 p.m. June 10 from Fort DeRussy to Kapiolani Park.
“I can’t do it without my friends,” Fujio admits of his 35 to 200 fellow volunteers who pitch in. “They are like a family. They go the extra mile, and they make it happen. They work so hard. I may have the vision, and I’ll take credit for that, but without my friends, it’s like being a general without an army.”
He credits is wife Diane for her support in the family business. And his sister Glorian Osumi, who works in the shop with a few more employees.
“I had a young customer who wanted to paint his car that was one month old,” Fujio says. “I gave him a good lecture on why he shouldn’t do it. This is a job that I could have made money on, and I felt I should be honest. He said OK. Then six months later, he got into an accident in his car, and he came back to me laughing. He asked me, ‘Now I can paint my car?’”
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