Person 2 Person: Dave Kindig

Person 2 Person: Dave Kindig (Photo courtesy Kindig It Design)

(KUTV) Dave Kindig is a car designer and owner of Kindig It Design here in Utah.

There is also a TV show that centers around the shop and Kindig's designs called "Bitchin' Rides" on the Velocity channel.

Kindig "grew up very poor" in the Rose Park area of Salt Lake City.

"My mom was always very fashionable about building things and making things," he said. "I think I learned at a very early age to be creative."

Kindig loved anything to do with cars--like Hot Wheels, Legos, and plastic models.

"I found that drawing cars was actually a lot quicker to get to see that visual of what could be," he said.

When he was around 17 years old, Kindig got interested in Volkswagen Beetles.

"I started chopping the up and customizing them," he said.

Soon he started doing graphics jobs and other customizations for other people.

"I was self-taught basically, watching other people do it," he said. "I started having a line of people wanting me to do stuff for them."

He realized he could make more money designing and customizing cars and wanted to follow his passion.

But he also had to get his wife, Charity, on board.

"I think I bugged her so much that I wanted to quit my job and start a career building custom cars finally I think she just went, 'Just go do it,'" Kindig said.

So at 27 years old, he quit his job--two weeks after the birth of his son--cashed in his 401(k) and started the business out of his garage.

Needless to say, the Kindigs took a big risk.

"We learned a lot about business because neither one of us had business ownership experience," Kindig said. "We didn't borrow any money to do anything. We figured out very quickly working hard, putting it back into the business, taking care of the people that are taking care of us--that trade off after this many years has created quite the success."

His success in part led to the TV show, "Bitchin' Rides."

Kindig had been a frequent guest on other car shows and one day the opportunity came for his shop to build a 1939 GM Futurliner.

"They only made 12 of these, and they were very important for part of the Parade of Progress back in the late 30s, early 40s," Kindig explained.

A couple of guys from the Velocity channel who had worked with Kindig before asked if they could do a "sizzle reel" at the shop, which turned out well.

"At that point they're like, 'I think we'd like to do a show with you,'" he said.

So "Bitchin' Rides" was born, and Kindig was comfortable on camera.

"Growing up I was kind of a ham," he said. "I was always very comfortable in front of people. Moving around a lot when I was a kid, I had the opportunity to learn how to make friends very quickly, because it may not last for very long before we moved to the next place."

Kindig has seen a lot of success, but his background helps him keep grounded.

"You can always realize that you can make a wrong move, a big, bad move, and lose everything and then have to start over," he said.

His partnership with his wife of 26 years also helps him stay balanced.

"I've always been the 'go, go, go,' she's the 'whoa, whoa, whoa,'" Kindig explained. "I think that partnership with my wife and I has been one of the best things that have ever happened to me."

Kindig is definitely having the time of his life following his passion.

"I have a permanent grin," he laughed. "It's been a dream. I think the only nightmare I've ever had is that I would wake up and it would all be a dream."

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