Sonja: The Girl Behind Dame Customs

Sonja & Dame Customs

I was previous co-owner of a custom shop for over 4 years. My duties extended anywhere from , cleaning the bathroom, office, dog shit to the most complicated task for me was welding inner garnish moldings. And I bet “someone” could say I did a shitty job, but you know what was my first welding experience?? THOSE INNER GARNISH MOLDINGS!! Yeah I started out burning through the metal but after some welding on that shit I got the hang of it. I have not chopped a car, if I say “I” in any statement, I’m simply referring to the shop that I have worked in for close to 5 years. I may not be doing it myself, but my (OUR) shop did. In the beginning I started as a mere babysitter and supporter for the shop. Doing all the duties that I could possibly do to make my partners job much easier. It eventually led to me starting simple bodywork to help out because I knew I had the capabilities to do so, I must have proved myself cause I’ve been doing it all these years right?? If its wrong I’ll fix it, If I can’t it’ll get done…

I grew up in my dads diesel, (hes a truck driver)and garage and seeing his crazy projects, he was more of a biker than anything. But he’s given me my 1st car at 15 years old, a 64′ VW, 2nd car was a 50′ Ford, 3rd car a 61′ Cadi coup de ville 2 door, so cars have always been an important thing in my youth. I started going to car shows early too and my 1st “cool” one was Blessing of Cars in 97 when it was in Glendale. Mooneyes, when it was in Sante Fe Springs, Paso blah blah blah. Yes, my ex boyfriends have all been into cars, be it mechanic, fabricator, whatever. I’ve done my time with cars enough to call my shop Dame Customs a legitimate business. I don’t fabricate metal myself, but if someone gives me a task to do so, I’d find someone who I know could do whatever I have in mind. Thats my business to get a job done. Mostly I do bodywork, prime, block, prime etc. I have a few people I give my paint jobs to. I have an excellent body man who’s actually outta town for another job. Point blank I work at a shop EVERYDAY, 11am-12am sometimes later, sometimes earlier. I’m the f’n owner I could do what I WANT TO, as long as I keep my customers as happy as they can be.. All my previous customers with old shop knew I was the ONLY one to really ever answer my phone, return calls, pick up shit, coffee, cigarettes, deal with shit etc. So yah, in a nutshell, thats me and what the fuck I do. I hope this note goes as far as it possibly can, and I’m sure I’ll hear about it… So don’t think I’m some “metal master”, “ultimate car builder”, “the best painter in the S.G.V”. I havent hit GNRS with an AMBR award or anything, I’m a girl who works on cars mostly all day, and if I don’t happen to work on a car on a given day, I’m still at the f’n shop. Word…