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Our Story

The Sparksmith story begins sometime in 2012 with our 1999 Mazda Miata:

1999 Mazda Miata Retrofit HID Bi-Xenon Headlights with DRL Switchback

It was a dark, two lane road, the shoulders dotted with deer and who knew what else. The stock headlights on that little car left much to be desired. After much searching, I came to find that there were no aftermarket headlights available for the 1999-2000 Miata (the styling and headlights are unique to these two years). But I did find a company selling a retrofit kit.

After some additional research on just what is a retrofit, I thought I'd give it a try. It wasn't long before I decided to retrofit my 1970 Mustang as well.

1970 Ford Mustang, Bi-Xenon 7" Round Headlights with DRL and Demon Eye

Suffice it to say I was hooked for life. Shortly thereafter, I opened my own shop and I was turning out custom lighting for all makes and models. Shop now or contact us to see what we can light up for you. Thanks for reading and let the light shine!

 

-Brannen C.

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The Full Story:

Sparksmith is a custom automotive lighting company. We specialize in performance lighting upgrades, using only the highest quality products. We currently sell and install products from Morimoto, Diode Dynamics, and other select brands. As your specialty automotive lighting store, we strive to provide our customers with the widest possible range of quality products to choose from. 

It was the summer of 2013 and the idea of Sparksmith had been brewing for months. I had already completed my first retrofit on our 1999 Miata. So the bug had bitten and I couldn't stop thinking about it. This was actually my very first attempt at some sort of imagery for the business:

Sparksmith original

The name emerged from my desire for quality and craftsmanship in automotive lighting and electrical products. I developed the idea some more and came up with this as my first business card:

Sparksmith original business card

On August 14, 2013 I quit my job and leapt into the world of entrepreneurship when the opportunity to move into my own shop presented itself in the form of a little 800 sq. ft. space just a mile down the road from our home in Sneads Ferry, NC. And so it began, the legend that has become Sparksmith!

My life's story is a bit more varied. I spent my childhood growing up  in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Shining Rock

After high school, I attended NC State University where I squeezed a four year degree into five years (including one semester abroad at Melbourne University in Melbourne, Australia). 

As college came to a close, another door opened for me and I joined the US Navy Submarine force.

USS Hampton

For the next six years, the Navy owned me, pushed me, tested me, and taught me. In particular, I learned a great deal about electrical engineering. A lesson that has proved useful time and again in my life. It was a worthwhile experience. One that I'm glad I did, but one I'm glad to not be doing anymore. 

After the Navy, I worked as a pencil pusher for Newport News Shipbuilding. My official title was Submarine Reactor Plant Fluid Systems Engineer... but reality was much less exciting. While it was a unique opportunity to see ships and submarines being constructed from the ground up, it wasn't enough. So I used my G.I. Bill to attend Advanced Technology Institute in Va. Beach.

After 18 months of tech school, I had a much better understanding of how cars worked. Prior to that, I had always known just enough to be dangerous around cars. I found that, during the course of my studies, I was particularly adept at electrical diagnosis and repair. Armed with this new skill set, I landed a job as a technician for a local Ford dealership. It was a good place to get my feet wet. But a mere 6 months later, we found that my wife now had orders to Camp LeJeune. So I followed her down the coast to a sleepy little town called Sneads Ferry. There, after a year of working at a local speed shop, I began my new career as a business owner. 

So there you go, Sparksmith in a nutshell. Hope you enjoyed the read. 

 

-Brannen C.