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Hector Gongora

History And Contacts > Hector Gongora

When Hector Gongora retired from the military after 26 years, he wasn’t quite sure what to do with himself. A warrant officer with some managerial experience, Gongora wasn’t about to let his organizational skills go to waste, so he decided to go into a partnership with an associate who had experience in the trim and upholstery industry.

“We just started the shop up from scratch,” Gongora says. “I called a few dealers in the area and they came with me, and we’ve built it up since then. We advertised the first six months and stopped. After that, it has been mostly word-of-mouth referrals and repeat business.”

Thirty-eight years and several trends later House of Covers is a centrally located “traditional” upholstery shop near historic Route 66 in Albuquerque, N.M. Steve Gongora attributes their success to his father’s “clean” initial approach, which stems from a non-journeyman background. Hector Gongora’s fresh set of eyes saw a future that eventually branched into a professional, solid focus on pure and simple business practices.

House of Covers staffs four employees two of whom have been with House of Covers since 1982.  Steve along with his wife Rita manage the front office and sales.  Rafael Molina and Juan Encinas are the backbone of the craft which shapes the company and its quality.  Hector offers his smile and experience to maintain that identity which makes the business what it is today.

“What makes us different from other shops is that we concentrate heavily on our final product,” Gongora says. “This is a labor-intensive type of industry, and while it’s good to be aware of what the other guy is doing, I think you need to spend the majority of time minding your own store, which to me means having the best tools I can get and the cleanest areas for my employees to work in."  We even had an ergonomics engineer spend a week with us to analyze, study, and recommend a guideline for a safe and continuing work environment for our employees.  Safety is number one for longevity.

But whatever comes and goes and comes back again, House of Covers’ attention will always be on the task at hand and on the best and most efficient way of getting the job done. Even after 38 years, the view from the showroom, inventory room and garage is still the same — a fresh perspective that is underlined with innate expertise.

"Joy Keller is associate editor of Auto Trim & Restyling News."

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