Story by Heather Feeler | Dec 28, 2015
Chris and Liz Russell partner together to build a thriving collision repair business from the ground up.
The very heart of an entrepreneurial spirit is the determination to start your own business and then the strong grit to do whatever it takes to make it succeed. Chris and Liz Russell, owners of Xtreme Body & Paint, know firsthand the hard work that goes into owning a business built from the ground up.
“Chris has always had the drive to own his own business,” Liz says. “He’s a go-getter, but you have to be that way to own your own business. You have to want to work hard.”
The passion for collision-repair work and the creative paint jobs that go with it began for Chris in high school. He started working for a local body shop as a teenager but then launched his own business with his wife, Liz, in 2003. What started out as a small, family-owned business with a three-bay garage has now grown into a business with multiple locations and 28 employees.
Xtreme Body & Paint, now with two locations in Jefferson City, provides collision repair services, including painting and refinishing, metal repair and replacement, frame and body work, alignment and detailing services. Although their Country Club Drive location often services smaller vehicles, the larger-scale facility on Lomo Drive, which also includes Xtreme Powder
Coating, can accommodate larger vehicles and machinery. This location often services semi-trucks, farm equipment and even custom airplanes.
While Liz manages the financial part of the business, Chris is busy with cost estimates and overseeing other parts of the business. He also spends much of his time out in the shop where his passion for collision-repair work originally took hold some 20 years ago—with the painting.
“I really like this industry,” Chris says. “Something comes in wrecked, and we get to fix it up. Customers see it and are like ‘whoa!’ I like to see how slick you can get a paint job.”
According to Liz, “He likes to see if he can outdo the other painters.”
This teamwork and camaraderie between husband and wife, as well as their 26 other employees, is what keeps Xtreme Body & Paint growing. The Russell’s, who have three kids: Paige, 16, Jordan, 11, and Larah, 2, hope it will be a lasting legacy and family business carried on through the generations.
“It’s hard work running your own business, and you are constantly reinvesting,” Liz says. “We hope our kids will take interest in the business someday to keep it moving forward.”
Xtreme Body & Paint is located at 1007 Lomo Dr. and 4514 Country Club Dr. in Jefferson City. For more information, go to their website at www.xtremebodyandpaint.com or call (573) 893-8722.