Get Inspired | July 16, 2021

HART Brushless Featuring Tommy Pike Customs

To highlight our new lineup of 20V Brushless tools and showcase how different creators use them in their daily lives, we spoke to Tommy Pike, custom car builder, husband, father, innovator and successful business owner—and the man with the *TP Touch.*

Dad Knows Cars, But Mama Knows Tommy

As an aircraft mechanic, Tommy’s dad (whom he was named after) taught him everything he knows about tools and cars, but it was his mother who gave him his first nudge in a creative direction.

After years of working for others, Tommy opened up Tommy Pike Customs (TPC) in Greenville, SC. One of the first things he did was set up a desk for mom to give her something to do. Unbeknownst to him, she was watching all the car reality shows at the time. “This was like 15 years ago, I didn’t even know it at the time, but mom was watching all the shows, Chip Fosse of Overhaulin’ was one of her favorites,” Tommy said. “My mom wasn’t even a car person, but she wanted to understand it.”

One day she came to him and said, “You know, you’re really good at customization and you should be doing more of it. There’s no one else paying attention to the details like you do. They either can’t or don’t want to do it. They’re not Tommy Pike Customs.” 

“Mom was an awesome person, but here she was this 60-something year old woman telling me how to run my business. But you know what, I listened.” 

Acting upon his mother’s advice, his business went from window tinting and car audio installations to what TPC is known for today: A trusted leader in the custom automotive industry. With only word of mouth, along with in-person racing and corporate events, his shop’s customer base has grown nationally and includes corporate clients that are household names. His mother’s encouragement to be different, to adapt and to stay relevant is what positioned him for success in the years to come.

The Brains Behind the Business

Tommy doesn’t run the business alone. His wife, Stephanie, whom he affectionally calls “Corporate,” runs the business side. The two met while working on a project to give away a custom truck for a children’s charity when she was event director with Charlotte Speedway. In addition to being Pike’s biggest advocate, she accompanies him to car shows, corporate events and NASCAR appearances. 

“He just looks at things differently, customers recognize his talent and vision,” said Stephanie. “They say, ‘Tommy I want you to *do* you. Do it the way you would do it.’ They give him creative rein, it’s what everyone calls the *TP Touch*.”

Q & A with Tommy

We sat down with him to find out what makes him tick and to get his thoughts on our new 20V Brushless tools.
Where did you first learn to work with tools? 
It was definitely dad. As an aircraft mechanic, he was always repairing, installing or tinkering with something. He taught me the importance of having the right tools for the job and the value of taking great care of your equipment.
Where does your inspiration come from? 
Inspiration comes from getting to know the customer, finding out made them want the particular car they have, or learning about the memories from their past that made them want to fix up a great classic. When it comes to corporate partners, the inspiration comes from learning what their objectives and goals are. For example, if it’s a vehicle for a sales competition or incentive, I’m inspired by...well...what I would want to win! 
What’s your experience with brushless tools—and your reaction to HART’s new lineup of 20V Brushless tools? 
I’ve used brushless tools in the past and felt they were overpriced, and didn’t really perform much better than the previous technology. The HART Brushless tool lineup is awesome in a number of ways: They work incredibly well; they look awesome and they’re priced really competitively in the market.

Where do you find HART Brushless tools most helpful? What project types? 
Actually, they’re great for all types of projects. Whether it’s grinding metal to prep for welding or using the impact driver for disassembling a project, I found these tools to be quite impressive.

If you had to recommend a few HART Brushless tools to a new user, what would you recommend? 
Hmmm...hard to pick just a few. Personally I like the *kits* as they can help tackle so many different projects. Also like the Cordless Brushless Drill & Impact Combo because the kit includes the battery, charger and a storage bag. I also really like the Brushless Turbo Fan Blower to dry vehicles off after we detail them.

How does HART’s Brushless compare to other tools you’ve used? 
They work as well as anything I’ve used! And at a price point that doesn’t break the bank.
As a creator, what is your mantra or mindset each time you approach a project?
To give the client something special and always sweat the small stuff! Details are very important and it’s what separates Tommy Pike Creations from the competition.
What’s one piece of advice you would give a less experienced tool-user when approaching a project? 
If you don’t know where you’re going you’ll never get there. Meaning never start a project without first having the end result in mind.

So, We Couldn't Help But Ask...

Is there a car reality show in Tommy’s future? “If there were, the show would need to be honest and legit,” said Tommy. “It would be done our way, no drama, nothing scripted or edited. We don’t want to give up what we’ve built over the last 20 years just for the sake of being on TV.”
Well, we guess time will tell. In the meantime, you can follow him @tommypikecustoms

We hope Tommy’s story inspires you to pick up a new HART Brushless tool and start flexing your own creative DIY muscles. Once you do, show us how you #DoItWithHART.

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