Mr. Fix It: Spotlight on Winston Yancey

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Before and after: This rusty fan got a new lease on life after Winston Yancey rescued it from a building and refurbished it. Photo: Courtesy Winston Yancey Before and after: This rusty fan got a new lease on life after Winston Yancey rescued it from a building and refurbished it. Photo: Courtesy Winston Yancey

An old, rusty fan sat in a building for 30 years before, thanks to Winston Yancey Jr., it got a second chance. The fan, which once belonged to Yancey’s grandfather, had withstood winter’s cold and summer’s heat before Yancey rescued it and brought it back to life with 10 hours of elbow grease, no tools, and a new John Deere-inspired paint job.

That was his first restoration project, though Yancey had been painting stuff for more than 20 years. “It’s just redneck stuff,” said the 43-year-old. “You’d paint your own truck bumpers, and wheels, stuff like that as a kid.” It was a hobby he’d always enjoyed and after watching “American Restoration” on the History Channel, Yancey wondered if he couldn’t turn his talents into a business.

It wasn’t long before he was printing off fliers and soliciting opinions from, well, anyone he could find. Still, four or five months went by without any interest, and while his wife told him not to give up, it was getting harder to believe this idea was going to take off like he’d envisioned. But he persevered, and it paid off: “I have people coming here from other states, people mailing me stuff,” he said. Sky’s Restoration, based out of Dillwyn, has revamped everything from that first fan to an antique washer to a rusty wagon, all with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. In fact, satisfaction is a guiding principle for Yancey.

“My dad always said, ‘If you’re gonna do something, do it well or don’t do it at all,’” he said. “And, if you’re gonna do it, do it as good as anybody and better than most.”

For more information, visit facebook.com/skys.restoration, or e-mail skysrestoration@gmail.com.

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