We had the good fortune of connecting with Chelle Worthy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chelle, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
It was 2010 when I moved to California from Colorado. For twenty years I had worked for DMV and felt an experience of survival that I didn’t want to relive. My prayer was placed into the Universe to never work at DMV again, especially in another state. For the next three years, I would remain unemployed so I did what was impossible living in Denver and working full time as a Branch Manager at the Five Points Welton Office; I completed my Associates and Bachelor degrees. Now I felt the empowerment to begin a journey into working for myself but what would that look like? A new industry or strategy? DMV title applications in the auto industry is all I knew and a shadow of dread appeared in my mind. How could I orchestrate a career that would allow me to live in this new state with such a higher cost of living in my mid-forties.
After graduation, manifesting my future began how I would one day work for myself become self-sustaining never to return to Denver with my tail between my legs. In Denver, a former employee had received an opportunity to register over 800 vehicles for a rental car company opening a branch at Denver International Airport called Fox Rent a Car. The base operations were located in Los Angeles, over an hour from my residence in Fontana. She called me with excitement for the opportunity but needed help with putting everything together. I don’t remember all the details, but somehow we made the deadline for the company to open up with all vehicles registered! I felt alive again working and realized I loved the title application process, so how do I continue what I love without DMV?
The answer would come with lightning speed in the form of an entry level position at the same company BUT in Los Angeles. That same former DMV employee and owner of Accurate Auto Title Specialists, noticed online that FRAC was looking for a DMV Coordinator and wouldn’t it be funny if I could get the job? Reaching out to them the next day I revealed my assistance on the DIA project and they responded the position was available for someone having experience in out of state titles. They already had a California DMV processor but I needed the experience and took the lowest drop in salary of my career at $12 hour. When I retired from DMV management, I separated making close to $75,000 yet appreciated this humble beginning. On the bright side, I would work with CO as well as AZ, FL, NV, WA & UT. The job was accepted and the journey began in March 2012 within days from my birthday.
Those first months existed with creating a training curriculum for 6 states, the drive from Fontana to LAX, 65 miles one way, the gas, the exhaustion, the traffic but the lesson had begun. Out of state title applications differed in each location but learning California was crucial. My co-worker and greatest resource, was sitting right next to me and she told me about an occupational license that existed for Registration Services. What? Colorado didn’t have anything like this. There existed a career in registration processing without working at DMV? And Satzfyd Titles would begin to take form. Problem now was finances. It would take me another ten years to build a business on the current salary feeling half of it going towards gas and vehicle maintenance alone.
Drained and exhausted nearly a year into this project, I would get a call from Apple One. They had an old resume profile in their archives and needed someone to create a title department for a finance company in Rancho Cucamonga, less than 20 minutes from Fontana. Feeling the excitement, I reached out and the position was available offering a salary near what I was making at Denver Motor Vehicle. This had to be the way and after the interview my notice was given and the next three years would be where all the magic would happen in March 2013.
The next four years were spent learning the California title process, meeting key title specialists from participating lenders, and creating the specifics to build Satzfyd Registration Services as a business. An office for rent opened in Upland that was affordable with my new salary without even a business plan or a single customer. Fast forward four years later to 2017, my knowledge base has expanded, a creative website engineered by my son and the out of state clients begin desperately needing our services. When SRS Inc began bringing in a slightly larger profit than my salary, the decision to take a leap of faith as a full-time entrepreneur became a reality. A single B2B client turned into four nearly overnight once leaving my full time job and SRS Inc has grown ever since. Even in the wake of COVID, my fear was diminished immediately as CA consumers wanted quick refinancing to obtain lower interest rates on their vehicles. Happy to oblige my out of state clients with availability of services amid DMV office closures, I brought on outside help with no title experience and they learned how to put together applications with DMV accuracy with minimal rejection perfection. In a moment of de ja vu, SRS Inc felt like the equivalence of the Bubba Gump Shrimp business…the only working alternative in the storm of a pandemic.
Replaying all that has happened through this journey grows an emotional impact proving that with God’s favor and grace, ALL things are possible when you see yourself in it providing something good for the common public.
What should our readers know about your business?
SRS Inc is designed to assist out of state dealerships, lenders and lease companies unfamiliar with the CA DMV process but who have consumers that reside in CA. For example, in the midst of COVID, CA residents may have been forced to temporarily leave the state for work, health concerns or you have a student that attends university away from home. If you make a purchase at a dealership on the East Coast or Midwest, the title clerk is only familiar with the DMV practices of their own state. The customer or dealership can send the original paperwork to us to process because we specialize in assisting as the middleman providing plates for the new buyer and expedited ELT (electronic lien title) filing for the lender. With online access to DMV available at SRS Inc, the customer can skip the trip to DMV, pay fees electronically and the out of state dealer doesn’t have to contact or send applications to an unfamiliar state’s DMV.
Another example is refinance companies offering competitive rates nationwide but they are located in one main state for operations. We pride ourselves in assisting companies as their CA DMV title application processor for refinances and lease purchases. Instead of original documents mailed, lost, misplaced and not tracked, SRS Inc acts as your ‘title clerk’. Consumers also don’t have to walk into DMV to ‘meet’ paperwork with an almost automatic reject if you don’t know that a new smog and VIN inspection is required for any out of state purchase. We collect all documents for both parties and process the full application in one transaction.
Problem title work is also a product we provide to dealers, lenders and consumers. Anyone that has had an uncomfortable experience requiring a return trip to DMV can give us the paperwork instead to either finish in house or walk into DMV on your behalf. We can pay additional use tax, renewal fees, toll violations, apply for duplicate title and perform VIN inspections for out of state registrations converting to CA.
Finally, peace of mind. My years of ‘learning’ California title applications developed an invaluable service to the public. For a service fee, a consumer has the luxury of having us do the footwork and avoid stressful rejected paperwork and returns to an overcrowded, time consuming and uncomfortable experience. Our motto is ‘Your Experience IS Our Name’, meaning the equivalent of being SATZFYD (pronounced Satisfied). The name was derived to act as an oxymoron but our goal is satisfaction for the client or customer.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of the most extraordinary things about living in California are all the cool hideaway spots to visit. Coming from the mountains, I enjoy hide away, peaceful sanctuaries. Not lots of people and plenty of scenic beauty. A few places that I would share with a friend would be the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine. This awesome hidden garden is full of flowers, a lake with swans, small waterfall, dutch windmill and celebrates shrines of all religions. After a morning of reflection and meditation, I love the Neon Retro Arcade in Pasadena. All the video games, lost and forgotten all in one place. Dig Dug, Tempest and Galaga are my personal favorites. From there, I would share some of the breathtaking gardens at Arlington Garden also in Pasadena. The Japanese landscaped gardens and flowers are just stunning and well kept. As the day draws to a close, I would end the day with Descanso Gardens and an evening with the illuminated Enchanted display. Colorful lights drenched among pathways and rows of trees, flowers and artistry.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost, Denver Motor Vehicle and all the awesome staff, supervisors and experiences that began my education and skill set. My extraordinary and talented son Martell Harding for withstanding the 20 years of not being allowed late registration in his possession or driving without insurance. Karen Versteeg and Heather Pierpoint at Apple One…I’m forever indebted to your resume archive. Misa Carter and Charles Worthy for their diligence and patience as ‘The Original DMV Runners” from 2016 to 2020. My awesome trainer Renee W from DMV who taught me to lead as a loving dictatorship. Cindy Vieyra of Accurate Auto Title Specialists for sending me tons of Colorado business from her DMV title training courses. Autumn Heseltine because she mentored and supported my department’s existence and gave me free reign to grow into an entrepreneur. Diana Chavez, Rob Cruz, Rhonda Sullivan, Lana Frierson, Lisa Hernandez and Luis Carillo for learning title applications and DMV operations to help support my dream and growing business. Keya Glasgow because she sparked my interest and dream when we talked titles at Fox Rent a Car. Demetrius Shaw for letting me begin my first service in his home in Fontana. Monica Stockhausen for creating the Nerdy Girls curriculum teaching me to dream big and grow a positive, female and black owned business with Earth shattering force. And last but not least The Matrix for offering me the ‘red pill’ and The Secret for teaching me to manifest LARGE on my vision board.