The crew at KJM Auto Body and Glass includes, from left, Zach Bramlett, Nazario Macias, Erick Sandoval, Kellie Michel, and Kinna Morgan Thursday at their Knecht Street location. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Kellie Michel wants the loyal customers she has had at KJM Auto Body and Glass down through the years to know that her business is closing today, Friday, June 25 after seven years.
“My lease was not renewed. A new body shop is moving in,” she said. “If any of our customers have questions about where they should go or if they need help making a decision on where to take their business, they can feel free to contact me.”
Michel went to work at the body shop, which was then owned by Steve Porter, in 2009 as the manager. After five years, she bought the business. She noted that she was born and raised in Los Alamos and that people can expect to continue to see her in the community.
“I’m looking forward to my next adventure – hopefully one where I can leave my problems at the door and not take them home with me,” she said with a chuckle. “I love cars but it’s kind of a narrow business in Los Alamos.”
Before getting into the body shop business, Michel worked at “a little bit of everything” including jobs at Fred’s Supply, Los Alamos Public Schools, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory. She has enjoyed her KJM business because it has allowed her to combine her love of cars with her love of customer service. During her seven years in business, Michel has donated to multiple activities for young people in the community.
“I would just like to thank all our customers for their tremendous support throughout the years. It has been a blast. I’m excited to see what I get to do next,” she said.
Kellie Michel and her husband, James, met at Aspen Elementary School and were friends throughout high school. They have two daughters.