A little more than one year ago a young man`s dream went up in flames in the Poconos.
D.J. Aponte`s business, Xclusive Auto Tunez in East Stroudsburg, was destroyed by fire.
After months of determination, the entrepreneur is coming back stronger than before.
Aponte and Jordan Derenzis co-own Xclusive Auto Tunez.
The two install audio equipment in cars and also customize vehicles, which includes window tinting, alarms and other features.
Their partnership started after each suffered a major business loss.
Back in December of 2010, Xclusive Auto Tunez caught fire and the business was destroyed.
"Everything I worked so hard for, but there's a reason for everything. I was wondering what the reason was," said Aponte.
That reason ended up bringing Aponte to a larger business venture with a friend who was in a similar situation. Jordan Derenzis worked at Motion Mania where he installed equipment in automobiles, but that changed last fall when the place in Stroudsburg went up in flames.
"Where I was burned down recently so we decided to team up and fill the void left by not having that around anymore," said Derenzis.
After the fire destroyed Xclusive Auto Tunez, Aponte moved his entire business into a nearby detached garage. Not only did he keep his customers he had before, he also gained many more.
"I actually got more customers. I worked out of that small shop for a year or two," said Aponte.
Meanwhile, Aponte's old space was getting rebuilt with Aponte and his partner, Derenzis, waiting to move back in and rebuild their business.
Right now, the two are busy building shelves to display their products and counters to conduct business with clients, who are already coming through the doors.
"As we're setting up, we're installing at the same time. We have a customer in the room next door who was here the other day and he's back for some stuff," said Derenzis.
Aponte said the new place is a dream come true.
"It's a good beginning to a new year," Aponte said.
Xclusive Auto Tunez will celebrate its grand re-opening in a few weeks in East Stroudsburg.