Austin Jost opened JosTrux Graphics and Upholstery about a month and a half ago in the shop on East A Street occupied for many years by Ray Matz.
When he was in high school, Austin Jost brought his 1967 Plymouth Barracuda to Ray Matz?s upholstery shop on A Street in Hillsboro and inadvertently discovered a career path.
?I got interested in it then,? he said. ?I tried to get Ray to let me work for him, but he said he wasn?t busy enough.?
Now Jost has opened his own business, JosTrux Graphics and Upholstery, in Matz?s former shop.
After graduating from Hillsboro High School, the son of Kevin and Angie Jost attended WyoTech, the official school of the National Hot Rod Association, where he took a three-month course in automotive upholstery.
?I did pretty well there and kept up an interest in it,? he said. ?When I came back, I talked to Ray and did a little bit on the side. Then, about a month and a half ago, I asked Ray to fix a seat for me. He didn?t want to do it, So I said ?Well, why don?t you sell me everything?? I gave him a check and that was it?kind of a spur of the moment deal.?
The tools cost about $1,000, he said. ?Ray kept his machine, so I bought one.?
?The sewing machine is the main thing,? he said. ?Staplers and the sewing machine.?
Jost said that even without so much as putting up a sign of his own?mostly by virtue of occupying the location of the previous business?he has seen significant traffic already.
?I?ve seen probably 20 or 30 people so far, almost all of them looking to get tractor seats done,? he said. ?There have been a couple of chairs, too.
?It?s just been a lot of people that Ray worked with in the past, people coming in looking for Ray. I tell them I took it over and they?re kind of surprised.?
His previous job had been with Big Dog Motorcycles on Douglas and Hydraulic in Wichita, and he is hoping to expand the business to include work on the interiors of vehicles beyond seat repairs, and to create designs to appear on motorcycles, helmets and other vehicles.
Hence the name he has decided to put up (eventually) on a sign: JosTrux Graphics and Upholstery.
For additional information, Jost may be reached by phone at 620-947-3600.