When you step through the doors at Las Vegas-based Count’s Kustoms, it’s quite easy to be sidetracked by the myriad of classic cars, tricked out hot rods, elaborate motorcycles, and the hustle and bustle of visiting tourists. However, one will quickly find his mind wandering to how a business could grow so well and be so successful operationally over the years. The answer: Kevin Mack.
Sporting a business background and a passion for all things auto, Mack was the obvious fit when Count’s Kustoms patriarch Danny “Count” Koker went looking for someone to handle the day-to-day business side of the empire.
Joining the team at Count’s Kustoms in 2006 as the General Manager of Operations, Mack has played an integral role in not only the operations of the shop but also in catapulting the brand forward across many business frontiers. From overseeing budgetary restrictions and reigning in the creative talents at the shop, to checking in on the Count’s other businesses, including a tattoo shop, a rock club that boasts accolades from music critics around the world, and more, to traveling almost every weekend alongside Count’s 77, Mack is no stranger to wearing the many hats it takes along the path of success.
“It’s a tough road sometimes. It’s definitely not for everyone,” says Mack. “My mornings are spent reviewing our current projects and my afternoons are spent working on new business coming in the door or reviewing and organizing whatever car show or event we are traveling to that weekend. It’s nonstop, but when you are passionate about what you do, spending all day every day finding new projects or going to shows where collectors have poured their soul into what’s on display doesn’t seem like work.”
But there is more to this large and in charge tattoo-laden businessman featured on History Channel’s hit TV series Counting Cars than just numbers and operations. Despite his role as the guardian of all budgets and voice of reason in the epic battle of creativity versus profit around the shop, Mack has an affinity for the classics.
It’s an affinity that caused a ripple of family discord at one point, as Mack recalls his instant urge to buy and jokes, “I needed a ‘me’ when this car rolled in. Around here it’s my responsibility to always be the one talking the guys down to what makes sense for our bottom line instead of the ‘spare no cost’ attitude that tends to happen.”
In a recent season of the show, after a bidding battle with his own brother, Mack felt that twinge of “spare no cost” he often battles with the team at the shop as he embarked upon the restoration of his pride and joy, a 1969 Cadillac DeVille. Ominously parked in the far corner of the shop on most days, the apple of Mack’s eye, decked out in a baby blue custom paint job with white scallops and silver leafing, is a collector’s dream, sporting the original engine, decadent zodiac blue and white interior and custom Supreme wheels.
“My mornings are spent reviewing our current projects and my afternoons are spent working on new business coming in the door or reviewing and organizing whatever car show or event we are traveling to that weekend. It’s nonstop, but when you are passionate about what you do, spending all day every day finding new projects or going to shows where collectors have poured their soul into what’s on display doesn’t seem like work.”
Kevin’s grandmother was the proud owner of a 1974 Caddy, which he was always entranced with as a youth. This is why he has mad love for his own ’69 Caddy.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had cars and bikes built here at the shop before,” Mack explains. “But this one was different. Every car enthusiast knows there is always that one car that holds their attention and gets a little more love than the others. For some it’s the never-attainable make or model that they finally score, or something that brings back memories from their youth. For me it was this car. I knew I had to have it!”
By Justice Howard