Antonio “Tony” Balestena loved checking out flashy rides at car shows. He became interested in powder-coating work, which preserves and color-coats specialty metal items like car rims and yacht parts.
Balestena learned the ins and outs of the trade with a friend’s business, Bullseye Powder Coating in Homestead. In 2012, he struck out on his own, paying $50,000 for the naming rights to Bullseye Powder Coating in Broward County, one year’s use of equipment, and training.
Balestena partnered with his stepsons, Michael and Mario Saavedra, and rented a 4,500-square-foot enclosed bay and yard in Hollywood. They secured investors to buy equipment, and business soared. During the first half of 2014, Bullseye did a steady $53,000 a month in sales and was so overbooked, the management team turned jobs away.
Balestena is foreman of the operation. Michael Saavedra oversees the office and sales, while Mario manages the shop. Michael and Mario’s mother, Grisell Hernandez, helps, as does Mario’s wife, Ashley, who handles accounting. There is a full-time salesperson and four shop workers.