Bryan Palmer ‘08 graduated from Radford University as an art major and now utilizes his creative side as an automotive designer and fabricator.
Bryan says his experience in his art classes at RU allows him to build and work on cars based on his own designs. “Most of my classes helped me along the way, especially my graphic classes that encouraged students to be creative but disciplined enough to fit certain criteria,” he said.
Bryan started his business, SM Custom, two years ago without expecting it to lead anywhere. But, soon after he began his business endeavor, his side job turned into a full-time business that allowed him to work on all types of cars and projects while helping people achieve their goals.
“I subcontract fellow engine builders and fabricators to help when I get busy. My main goal is to turn a customer’s dream into a reality,” Bryan said. Because his business is small but growing, he is able to provide excellent customer and technical support.
Palmer said, “I chose this business because I have always been a ‘gear head,’ and I realized I understand cars and engines enough to make them perform better. Everyone can drive the same car that someone else has, but when I customize them on the inside and out, it brings a whole new look that no one else will have.”
“There is a lot of stress when meeting deadlines and completing tasks right away, but the reward is what makes it all worthwhile,” he added.
Outside of the car industry, Palmer enjoys spending time with his fiancé, Ashley Wessinger, an RU foods and nutrition major, and taking his two dogs on a hike to the river.
Palmer is also in the process of seeking race team members to “compete in various race events next year, and I am also starting to develop some new race parts.” In fact, a car he recently built has been approved to race in NASA Unlimited race events next season.
As Palmer looks to the future, his plans include moving his business to Florida very soon. He is in contact with professionals in the area and hopes that, once he moves, he will be able to expand the business and offer the best products on the market.