Shop Marketing Pros owners, Kim and Brian Walker, are previous shop owners and automotive industry veterans.
Brian began his career as a Mercedes Benz dealer tech and worked his way up to Master Diagnostic Technician.
In 2002, Brian left the dealership and opened his first Mercedes-Benz specialty shop, Behind the Star, Inc. The name was clever, but nobody understood it. In 2004, a move to a larger location prompted a name change in which the business became Peak Automotive, LLC.
Kim joined Brian in the business where her role was to market the shop and to become involved in the community. During this time, Brian built the shop's website in his "spare time". Building out the website and getting it found in the search engines became a passion and hobby for Brian. Kim became an early adopter of email marketing, eventually becoming a Constant Contact Business Partner.
"Leaving my career of being an educator to join a male-dominated industry was very intimidating to me. However, I quickly learned that the industry is full of people just like me - women and men who own shops and want to make a great living doing the things they love and helping others. It was not long before I found my place. Now, today we are enjoying the opportunity to get involved again!"
~ Kim Walker
In 2007, an extended road construction project forced the couple to shut down Peak Automotive.Peak Automotive won numerous awards including Motor Age Magazine's Top Ten Shops in both 2006 and 2007. The shop was profiled in Motor Age Magazine, Auto Inc, Parts and People, Cary Magazine, The News and Observer, and many other publications.
In 2009, Kim and Brian moved back to Louisiana. Brian went to work for Wedge Kyes Import Specialties and Kim became the associate director of the Louisiana Children's Discovery Center.
In 2011, Brian opened a web design shop, 5 Stones Media, LLC. Once again, Kim joined him in the business. As the business grew, people were added and additional services were offered. Before long, that web design shop was a full-service marketing agency.
In 2019, Shop Marketing Pros was created as a division of 5 Stones Media. This brings Kim and Brian full-circle back to the automotive industry that they love.
"I'm a mechanic at heart. I love fixing things that are broken. I think that's why I love marketing so much. Digging in and figuring out why a business' marketing isn't working is a lot like it was when I got to go elbows deep into a car that no one else could fix. When you figure it out, there's nothing else like it. To get to do this for auto repair shop owners combines my passions, and I couldn't be more excited about where we are going."