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Complete-service declaration helps set Bass Annie, Inc. apart

Annie Ruth Rice decided to enter a field that is probably one of the most male-dominated industries, vehicle body repair.
 Carlee McCullough

Annie Ruth Rice decided to enter a field that is probably one of the most male-dominated industries, vehicle body repair. But one visit to her 12,000 square foot warehouse with power-lifts and monorail systems and you will fully understand that she means business. Bass Annie, Inc., also known as BAI, was founded in 1990 as a full service boat maintenance company. Over the years, Bass has expanded her business to become a full service complete marine, auto body, light and heavy truck repair facility.

Carlee McCullough, Esq.: Tell us about the services you offer?

Annie Ruth Rice: We provide the complete repairs, refinishes and customizing of fiberglass and metal boats, jet ski, trucks (including heavy fleet vehicles), RVs, motorcycles, trailers, vans, luxury and vintage cars such as Rolls Royce, BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes Benz. We also perform factory-approved warranty repairs for 13 boat manufacturing companies nationwide, including Ranger, Tracker Marine, BassCat, Skeeter, Javelin, Procraft, Four Winns, Nitro, Bumblebee, Sea Ray, Stratos, VIP and Harriskayot. BAI is equipped with the full capability for the complete painting of boats and trailers, welding, gel-coats, restoration from scars, scratches in fiberglass and metal-flakes, carpet, upholstery, custom auto painting, body refinishing, structural repairs, detailing, custom maintenance plans and insurance work.

CM: How did you get into this line of work?

 Annie Ruth Rice

ARR: While competing in a National Bass Tournament in Texas in 1989, my boat was damaged. After receiving several expensive estimates, I decided to make the repairs myself. At the time I didn’t have knowledge, tools, equipment or a building. Although I had never worked on a boat, I had always been technically inclined and mechanically oriented.  So I did some research on fiberglass boats, went out and bought the materials needed and got a state license to work on boats a week later. So I have been in the repair business for over 20 years and believe me, I am good at it.

CM: Was it difficult to make the transition from corporate America to entrepreneur?

ARR: “No,” after 40+ years in the corporate world, it was a “blessing from God” to get away from the stress.

CM: Has the recession impacted your business?  If so, how did you overcome the challenges?

ARR: It has impacted my business. I overcame the challenges through prayers and faith in God. Put your trust in God, not man. Man can be deceiving.

CM: What distinguishes your business from other similar businesses?

ARR: My business is a diversified company, which offers the Marine Industries in fiberglass, aluminum boat repairs, complete Auto Body, Heavy Fleet and RV’S repairs at one location without out sourcing.  We make our repairs in-house.

CM: What has been the highlight of your business?

BA: The highlight of my business has been becoming a complete service provider at one location.

CM: Who are some of your past clients?

ARR: While we handle bodywork for individuals and small businesses, we have performed work for the City of Memphis’ Vehicle Services Department, Memphis Fire Department, United Parcel Service (UPS), State Farm Insurance, Allstate, Nationwide, Shelter Insurance, Geico Insurance, Farm Bureau, Progressive Insurance, USSA, Army Corps of Engineers, TDOT and the U.S. Dept. of Defense. Further, BAI serves customers from 12 states, which include Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

CM: Do you have any advice for others interested in starting a similar business?

BA: Make sure you have a good presentation of your business. Be able to bring quality products to the table and stand beside the products and the turn-around time in a timely manner.

CM: Any closing remarks?

ARR: The “Big Three”: Be 100 percent in charge! Be 100 percent responsible! Be: 100 percent accountable! When you apply the “Big Three,” you will always be In-control.

(For more information on Bass Annie, Inc. visit www.BassAnnieBoats.com.)

(Please send your questions to Carlee McCullough, Esq., at 777 South Main St., Suite 202, Memphis, Tenn., or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

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