We were lucky to catch up with Gaston Rossato recently and have shared our conversation below.
Gaston, appreciate you joining us today. What do you think it takes to be successful?
There is no one single answer, however I did hear a quote once that always stuck with me. “you can’t beat someone that never quits”. That one line has so much collective knowledge. To never quit means you have to maintain constancy/dedication in what you do. In order to keep going, even through the rough times there needs to be a driving force behind it. That fire is the passion, if what you are doing doesn’t have a higher meaning, it makes it too easy to quit. If you never quit it’s inevitable to not reach some form of success.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
For me it all started at a very early age and the clear love for cars I had. Perhaps I have my father to blame as he too was a car freak. In fact, growing up I spent all my time at his dealer and ultimately ended up working there. Working with my father allowed me to learn so much about the business, management, client relations, and truly master the craft.
In the recession economy of 2008 my whole world was flipped upside down. My father closed his business and I had just graduated from Florida International University with a degree in International Business. Not exactly an easy time to find a work. Because I couldn’t find work, I got as creative as I could with odd jobs and business ideas, and although most of these lead to no where (failure), Finally a part time job as a Spanish interpreter working from home got me by until I did find something full time. I was finally hired as an insurance adjuster for a major auto insurance company. It was a comfortable job as it offered many benefits including a take home car, but spending most of my time behind a cubicle wasn’t for me.
Up to now I was just trying to survive, but there was no passion I was working on or anything great to look forward to. I remember going to the gym in the mornings and day dreaming of owning a Collector/specialty car dealer. I would envision the cars I would have,my office, my day, my client, etc,,,I was very detailed in everything I wanted. One day watching some car TV show about flipping, I asked myself “why am I not doing this too, I know the business” With a little money saved (very little), I went on craigslist and found an old 1949 Chevy pickup for sale. It was local,so I made an appointment to see it and of course ended up buying the truck. If I had learned anything about working at a dealership my whole life , it was marketing. I took the truck to Wynwood (an art district in Miami). I placed the truck against very colorful murals and created a very nice set of photos. I took those photos and advertised the car on a national level. I put it up on an eBay auction with no reserve. It was risky to sell the car with no reserve, but I also knew it would gain a lot more traction. Needless to say it sold and I made $2000. I repeated this process over and over using every spare moment I had away from my daily job.
The transition time was a few years, but I was finally able to secure a small warehouse where I could now keep this small inventory I was able to build. I already had my business name long before I had my physical space. Although my wife didn’t know much about cars, she would watch car tv shows with me and over time she picked up on car terminology. One phrase that always came up was “a barn find”. One Valentines day, so handed me a gift bag. Inside was simply a Godaddy receipt for the purchase of thebarnmiami.com domain. She said this should be the name of your company. Immediately I loved it and we registered it as an actual company.
The main reason for me doing this was because I loved it. Although we sell cars, I never wanted to be called a dealer, so we always worked around the car culture and becoming advocates and assets to the community at large. This mentality always set us part in the market. Our clients appreciated the passion. We were also early adopters of working hard on social media and his allowed us to grow our brand awareness in a huge way. The best part of it all was now having my father as a business partner. The old school and new school way of doing business brought two worlds together that the industry had never seen before.
We’d love to hear the story of how you built up your social media audience?
Growing on social was much easier in the early days and we are thankful we started when we did. I collaborated a lot with much larger social accounts. Because cars are such eye candy, it was easy to get the cars involved some how. I also worked with as many photographers I could. Many would reach out and would ask to photograph certain cars, I would always say yes, a lot of these photographers have large followings and they would mention us in exchange for us proving the cars. Any change of exposure we would get no matter how small or big we always took it. Our Youtube channel eventually also began to get traction and that caused a strong brand awareness as well.
Can you tell us the story behind how you met your business partner?
My only partner is my father. He had closed his dealer back in 2008 due to a bad economy after almost 30 years of business. He had so many relationships and experience it made total sense strategically. His old school knowlege and ways help sculpt a strong foundation and structure to start working up with my new school mentality.
- Website: https://www.thebarnmiami.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thebarnmiami/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheBarnMiami
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gaston-rossato-b583902a/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/GastonRossato