Today we’d like to introduce you to Juan “Pata” Trotteyn.
Juan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My story started in Spain when I built my first van, in which I lived full time for four years to save money and pursue my passion for climbing. When I moved to the USA, there was a lot of interest from the climbing community in converted vans, so I started PataVans in the back alleyway of my house! Little by little, I grew the business and was able to upgrade from the alleyway to the extra garage space of one of my friends. Since expanding the business, I now have a large storage unit in Northglenn where I can work on several projects at once.
The growth of PataVans really happened through word of mouth thanks to the strong connections of the climbing community, both in Spain and in Boulder. The majority of my clients have been friends of friends, who have seen the conversions first hand and can share their experience. I am very thankful for the strength and support of my community!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
While it definitely sets PataVans apart from other businesses, the biggest challenges are working with wood and making the customized measurements and specifications exact. When you offer anything that is custom made you have to make sure the customer is happy and that what you are offering is actually possible! Thankfully this allows the opportunity for creativity, overcoming challenges, and creating uniquely designed vans for my clients.
The other challenge has been finding big enough warehouse space in Colorado. This is especially tricky since the boom of the legal marijuana business, as warehouse spaces are few far between and more expensive. My current space is great and I am lucky to have found it.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the PataVans story. Tell us more about the business.
At PataVans, we specialize in custom van conversions that are uniquely designed and built using sustainably sourced wood, ceramics, metal, and old world craftsmanship. It is very customized work, and each van is distinct for each client.
When I was getting started here, I heard from a lot of clients that it was hard to find other van conversion businesses that would sit down with them and have personal conversations to create customized projects. Taking the time to meet with my clients and developing quality customer service in the early stages of PataVans really helped to set us apart. Clients can expect phone calls, in-person meeting, and photo updates of the conversion process.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
My proudest moments are definitely when an old client comes back with a friend that then becomes our new client. This means they are super happy with the work and everything has worked out well. When someone is living in their van successfully and recommends others do the same, that is the biggest prize for me, I feel like a winner.
- Basic Conversion Package – $14,750
- Full Conversion Package – $29,250
- Customizable Add- Ons – $125 – $2,000 (depending on on the item)
- Website: www.patavans.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org