Compass Conversations: Henson Air Repair LLC
Updated: Feb 11
When I first asked Henson Air Repair to participate in this article, it was out of gratitude for their friendliness, integrity, and the support they have shown us on our path to building County Compass.
I soon realized that it would be a great way to help other businesses gain more exposure as an added benefit to their advertising. I had no intention of turning it into a monthly blog, but here we are.
So welcome to our first-ever 'Compass Conversations: Spotlight on Local Stars,' our new monthly feature where we shine a light on the vibrant businesses that are the true heart of our community.
Every month, we'll take you on a journey through the unique stories, passions, and dreams that drive our local entrepreneurs. These are the faces behind the logos and social media posts, the spirited souls enriching our daily lives with their craft and dedication.
This month, we're thrilled to introduce Daniel and Stephanie Henson with Henson Air Repair LLC.
What inspired you both to start your business?
"A dream of Daniel’s has always been to have a business where he was able to fix things and help people. Having worked in the construction industry his whole life, he is no stranger to hard work.
Stephanie has always had a heart to help others considering she holds a counseling degree and has worked in several administrative non-profit positions prior to having children.
Over the years, Daniel has worked for several area HVAC companies gaining experience and knowledge which unknowingly prepared him to be able to start his own business. We are grateful for the time at each of the places.
When 2021-2022 became one of the most challenging years we faced due to both Daniel and Stephanie having to have surgeries, it became clear while recovering from his rotator cuff surgery that Daniel was having trouble keeping up with the demands of full-time work at the time. It also became obvious that both his health and employment were on the line.
We began to talk about the future and what-ifs. How could Daniel continue to gently recover but still work with his skill-set and provide for our family? We are Christians and fully believe God can and will guide your path, even if it is scary and seemingly impossible. With some of the funds we had in savings from selling our home the year before, we took a leap of faith deciding to start Henson Air Repair LLC in July of 2022."
How does your business contribute to the local community?
"Our community is important to us, and part of that is looking out for the people who need it most. People can find themselves in situations where they may not be able to afford HVAC services at full cost or are in need of time to save up for a new system. Older folks on fixed incomes, single moms trying to make their way, veterans who have served our country, and families desperately struggling to just pay bills and put food on the table because times are tough.
Our hope is to be able to provide affordable services for these people and restore some hope in an industry that can sometimes lead them to believe people can’t be trusted. We help where we can while still providing for our own family as well. We also thoroughly enjoy being able to serve and champion fellow small businesses of whom many have given us the chance to help them."
Can you share a memorable experience or success story related to your business?
"We have had several success stories where we have been the 3rd or 4th attempt at making an HVAC repair where all others had been unable to successfully repair, including, systems deemed inoperable. These situations are our absolute favorite!"
What challenges have you faced in building your business, and how have you overcome them?
"When we started the business, we used our own capital and started from ground up with obtaining our customers. We were literal “no-names” in this area other than family and friends. We did not believe it was right to contact customers from previous employers as there would be no integrity in that decision. One of our business pillars is honesty, so how could we advertise that if we did not live it.
We trusted and believed God would bring who needed our services, and along with our efforts, He has. We work as a husband and wife team doing the work that is most natural to us.
So, Daniel is your Master HVAC Technician with the skill, and the owner you will speak with directly about your HVAC needs. Stephanie is usually behind the scenes handling administrative tasks, social media management, online connections, website, marketing, and sometimes in-person meetings in between homeschooling their two children.
Becoming a part of the thriving and valuable business community in the area plus having the support and referrals of amazing people (including family & friends) has been a true game changer! Shout-out to CVABC, Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance, and Amherst Chamber of Commerce."
What makes your business unique?
"Who we really are. It is one thing to say something, it is a whole other thing to be the real deal. When we were brainstorming what our specialty could be, Stephanie came up with “Repair over Replacement” because at the time Daniel was still healing from his shoulder surgery. We felt it would be a needed and realistic place for our business to start yet would also cater to people who needed our help and services.
It felt right and authentic. In our eyes, everyone gets the same service and excellence regardless. Everyone also deserves honest and trustworthy service."
What advice would you give to other small business owners?
"Don’t be afraid to dream and operate outside the box. Take that leap! There will be highs and lows but just keep persisting. Stay true to your vision and your “why”.
You will never regret helping someone or doing the right thing. Provide excellent service no matter what. Stay authentic."
How do you see your business evolving in the future?
"Our current goal for 2024 is to get a wrapped vehicle to better serve our company needs and customers while making ourselves more visible.
Believe it or not, our dream is not to become a huge company. We want to stay small to ensure quality and intimate service for our customers and community.
Maybe someday, we hope to offer the chance for our son to be a part of our company and potentially take it over should he decide it is what he would look to do with his life.
Our greatest success would be to maintain a reputation of HVAC service honesty and excellence while being able to help others."
Do you have a special message that you'd like to share with the community through this article?
"We hope to restore the values of true HVAC service and reinstate the meaning of a small family-owned business.
Bigger is not always better. There are still hard-working and honest people ready to help you! To everyone who has supported us, given us opportunities, and helped us get here, we are beyond grateful!"
As we wrap up this edition of 'Compass Conversations,' we extend our heartfelt thanks to Daniel and Stephanie Henson for letting us into their world and sharing their story with us. Their dedication and integrity remind us of the generosity and entrepreneurship that thrive in our community.
Stay tuned for our next conversation, where we'll uncover another local business in our ongoing journey to celebrate and support the small and home-based businesses that make our community a vibrant and dynamic place.