Ryman’s Auto Connection
“We manage our business just like we manage our home: full of love and full of laughter.”
BY NIKKI SINGLETON
Ashlee and husband of four years, Bryan Ryman opened Ryman’s Auto Connection in Warsaw, Indiana in October of 2015. Just like most other auto dealers will tell you, cars have always been in their families. Going down the line of their bloodline, it seemed as if opening up their own dealership made a lot of sense. “Opening Ryman’s Auto was something we’ve both wanted to do for a really, really long time! It just made sense for us and we’ve been loving it ever since. It’s our family business.”
“We live on a farm with quite a few dogs, horses and cattle. That’s our getaway from the world - and the shop is our getaway from the farm!”
The Ryman’s never took a second to question if opening the dealership was the right thing to do, they just hopped aboard - both feet first. They didn’t have but $1,000.00 to their names, but what they did have was the American Dream in their hearts.
“We were kind of waiting for a good location to come up when we were ready. Well, when a good location popped up we weren’t necessarily ready because of how much money we had, but it seemed as if it was the right thing to do at the time. I talked to the owner of the building (that we eventually bought), who offered us a pretty good deal: he chose us to lease the building! We felt so fortunate and welcomed into this line of work at that point that we took it as a blessing, regardless of the hardships we knew we had ahead of us.”
Starting out with only one car … they quickly sold it!
That one, turned into two, then into three and before long they were a used car dealership! Reinvesting was the name of their game. They would take the money from one sale and put it towards another one or two, flipping one car after another.
After only three years, their lot has grown from one car to anywhere from 40 to 80 vehicles at any given time!
Never taking a loan or any floor plans, the Ryman’s took a risk for their business and it absolutely paid off!
“We just straight used the cash that we had to buy what we could. That was hard. We leased the building, started with next to nothing. Now we own the building and we’re flipping cars like it’s our job! Well, it is our job”, laughs Ashlee.
After three years of running the dealership, they can now reflect back and they’ll tell you what keeps them going. “The cars and the people.You get to meet so many different people - every single day. It’s a new person, a new way of life, a new culture, a new laugh. You learn so much about different kinds of people and we get to experience them all. Alongside loving the people, we love going to Greater Mishawaka Auto Auction. Real girl shopping… I hate! Car auctions… I love! Karen takes care of us and always has top of the line vehicles. The professionalism in her business makes it easy to keep the professionalism in ours!”
As most auto dealers agree, you never truly leave the auto business; not until you’re gone from this world. Ashlee tells me in her interview thatshe’ll keep selling cars until she physically cannot walk any longer. When that day comes, it will most likely be one, or all, of her children taking over Ryman’s Auto Connection!
With four children all together, Shaylee, Kierra, Beau and Corey, ages 16 to 27, the home is a full and happy place to be, just as it should be.
“We manage our business just like we manage our home: full of love and full of laughter. One day, it will be my children running this place so we want to make sure that we teach them how to treat people now, so that when it’s their turn to take over, they are well prepared.”
Coming in to Ryman’s Auto Connection today, you’ll notice that they absolutely do treat their customers well. This has been the key to their business success for the past three years. They’re different in the sense that they are extremely laid back. No running out to people when they come onto the lot, no over-selling, up-selling or over-promising. What you see with them is most definitely what you get. If a customer is interested, they know he or she will come into the store. A successful business gives the customer what they need, not what the owner of the company wants them to need. “We look at our customers as people, just like us. We’re a smaller store so it’s not an impersonal lot. We are the most personable car sales people you will ever meet, I promise.”
Within the past three years, the Ryman’s have most definitely been a success story. Not only does their business thrive but their home does, as well.
“Happiness is happiness”, says Ashlee, “and sometimes, that’s all you need for the final ingredient to the perfect success story!”