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Phoenix Conversions sees business bloom

Phoenix Conversions, an adaptive equipment and vehicle personalization store, plans to expand its growth in the Knoxville retail market.

“We believe there is room for growth in the metropolitan Knoxville area for our retail outlets,” said store owner Scott Hayse. “We plan on expanding with several satellite stores in the future.”

Hayse said he and a former partner established the business in 1987 and the growth in business has continued to rise.

“We recently sold off our wholesale division to another distributor,” he said. “It wasn’t profitable and we see our future in the retail market.”

That sale created a few false rumors of business woes, but Hayse said business is growing.

Phoenix Conversions specializes in adaptive equipment and vehicle personalization. Adaptive equipment, Hayse said, refers to any device or devices that aid a physically challenged person in driving, or carrying a wheelchair or scooter in a vehicle.

“Approximately twenty-five percent of our business is adaptive equipment,” Hayse said.

One form of the adaptive equipment is the lowered-floor mini vans. These lowered-floor mini vans offer someone in a wheelchair the ability to drive or ride in the front area. A one-touch system lowers a ramp for a wheelchair, lowers the rear of the vehicle to decrease the angle of the ramp, and opens or closes the large side door.

Hayse said other forms of assistance include a variety of winches and ramps that can be put in the back of a vehicle to move a wheelchair or scooter. The winches can be placed in a car, in a van, or on a van, depending on the needs of the individual.

“It all depends on what a person wants or needs,” Hayse said. “The ultimate goal is to give them mobility.”

In order to install any of the adaptive equipment, Hayse said his employees have to go through specialized training to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

“Because of all the training involved, this will be the only store to install adaptive equipment,” he said. “The new satellite stores won’t do it.”

In terms of vehicle personalization, Hayse said the possibilities are almost limitless. There are multiple varieties of bumpers, grilles, rocker panels, hood scoops, brush guards and other types of equipment.

“It all depends on the person and how much they want to spend,” Hayse said.

Another avenue of growth, Hayse said, is in the creation of mobile laboratories. Phoenix Conversions also has created several of these labs, some of which are used as mobile mammograms.

“I think we’ll see more of a need for this in the future,” he said.

Hayse said his company growth over the years from a handful of people to more than 40 is a testament to his firm belief in customer service.

“We’re a Christian business based on Christian principles,” he said. “Whether you spend five minutes or five-thousand dollars here, we want you to feel happy and satisfied.”


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