Reggie Stewart Embraces an Entrepreneurial Spirit
Reggie Stewart, owner of Reggie’s Motorworks, moved to Noblesville soon after his father passed away. Raised by a single mom who owned a doughnut shop and Hallmark store, Stewart learned a lot about what it is to be an entrepreneur.
“I was immersed in this situation where my mom didn’t have all the freedom in the world,” Stewart says. “Owning businesses stressed her out, but she could get away from time to time because she set her own hours. She taught me how to buy and sell at a young age.”
Stewart’s first venture involved buying and selling trinkets in middle school. In high school, he transitioned to buying and selling car stereos. In his late high school and early college years, Stewart started a deejay business, providing deejays for bars in Broad Ripple and downtown Indianapolis. He was also a booking agent for talent at Indiana and Purdue universities. Between 1995 and 2005, the business flourished.
“I had a lot of fun,” Stewart says. “The job paid the rent and put food on the table for 10 years.”
Eventually, he was ready to retire from the deejay business.
“I didn’t want to be out until 4 a.m. anymore,” he says with a chuckle.
After walking away from the music industry, however, Stewart felt a void.
“I needed to feel passionate about something again,” says Stewart, who always had a soft spot for vintage cars.
In his younger years, he had a 1967 Ford Mustang with a V8 engine. He owned several cars and when his mom moved to Florida, he inherited her old BMW, which had a different set of bumpers and trim on it. Stewart was already hooked.
“I had such an appreciation for that car,” says Stewart, who tinkered with it even though he really didn’t know what he was doing. “It had 225,000 miles on it and just kept going. I didn’t have a lot of money so I started learning.”
He refurbished the suspension, raced the vehicle for fun a few times, and blew up the engine.
“I then had to teach myself how to rebuild an engine,” says Stewart, who worked for Nextel for three years, first as a salesman, then as a repairman before becoming a service manager.
Though the job suited him, he longed to be at the helm.
“I was not the owner,” he says. “I was not fully in control of my destiny.”
An avid car enthusiast, Stewart opened Reggie’s Motorworks. He began buying derelict BMWs in a pole barn with no heating or plumbing, and selling the parts on eBay. Over time, customers began asking if he could install parts on their cars. Though he enjoyed custom detailing, modification and restoration, he responded to customer demand and by 2010 had decided to transition solely to service and repair.
“I transitioned all my eggs into the entrepreneurial basket,” Stewart says.
Though he entered the automotive profession with no training or background, over time he has assembled a talented team who knows the trade well. In November of 2011, Reggie’s Motorworks moved to South 10th Street. Stewart hired Nick Howard, a 1994 Noblesville High School grad, who became his service manager and right-hand man.
“Nick took care of the customers as I worked as a technician, but then we got too busy and I needed to hire more help,” says Stewart, who no longer works on cars. “The guys I hired are way more advanced than I am.”
Stewart and his wife Stephanie, a photographer, have been married since 2008. They have two sons, Remington, 8, and Emerson, 4. In their free time the family embraces a new hobby – traveling in an RV to explore nature.
“When things first started shutting down, campgrounds remained open so we took the kids to Brown County over spring break,” Stewart says.
It has remained a favorite destination, as the family never runs out of things to do. Several years ago, Stewart went to Colorado on business and knew that one day he wanted to bring his family back with him. Earlier this year, when the opportunity arose for Stewart to meet with other shop owners in Colorado Springs, he saw his chance.
“I didn’t want to get on an airplane with COVID-19, so I took an extra week to show the kids the mountains,” says Stewart, who loves being involved with both his own children and other kids in the community.
That’s why he recently partnered with Fueled for School, an organization dedicated to providing nutritious food and drinks for Hamilton County children.
“It’s heartbreaking how some kids don’t have access to proper nutrition,” Stewart says. “Noblesville is an upscale community. You don’t see a lot of poverty, but the statistics show that 25% of this community from time to time has food insecurity.”
Reggie’s Motorworks hosts an open house each year for the cause. This year they accepted donations and sold T-shirts, bringing in $1,600 for Fueled for School.
“I definitely see that being an ongoing relationship,” Stewart says.
Reggie’s Motorworks is located at 1362 South 10th Street in Noblesville. For more info, call 317-316-3013 and visit them online.