By Paula Walter
With a bit of ingenuity, Randy Crusher Lewis and Steve Marmie have turned their passion for cars and a need for meticulous order in life into a new and thriving business. The development of the new patent pending Nut Job detailing tool was conceived and developed as a joint venture between the two friends. The tool targets the cleaning of lug nuts, the nuts that hold the wheels onto vehicles, and the surrounding often hard to reach areas.
Lewis, a professional drag racer, worked his way up the racing career ladder. Not only could he be found behind the wheel, but he also spent countless hours in the pit as repairs to the vehicles were needed, ready to tackle any problem that came along. He knows cars inside and out. With a background in assembly and also as an inventor, Lewis is the nuts and bolts of the new operation known as HA HA, LLC.
Marmie, on the other hand, is the detail-oriented member of this two-person team. Working for the National Park Service, he was sent to Texas soon after the space shuttle, Challenger, exploded in January of 1986. For 16 days, Marmie and 1,200 volunteers combed an area 60 miles wide and 360 miles long looking for any sign of debris. According to Marmie, they walked in grids across the region, accompanied by a representative from NASA for each of the three teams, hoping to find any piece of the Challenger.
The concept of the nut job detailing tool began to hatch as the two friends drove 600 miles to watch the last space shuttle take off in Florida. It was during that trip that Marmie, always a stickler for details, brought up the idea that there needed to be a simple way to clean lug nuts on vehicles. Crusher hit the ground running, he said. Within just a few days, Lewis had developed a prototype for the tool. The journey took them from conception to marketing, development, financing and production over a span of approximately three years. Financing for small businesses, even one that included a veteran, was difficult. Lewis and Marmie are appreciative of the help they received from Johnson County Bank as they assisted them on the road to achieving their dreams.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.
By Paula Walter