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Just Jamie

Jamie Maillet is just getting started

Like many auto recyclers, Jamie said JLM had a great 2021—and it’s only set to continue with the completion of several new projects in 2022.

Jamie Maillet has spent most of her life in auto recycling. Even still, the daughter of Dave and Kathy McDonald, owners of Hamilton, Ontario’s Bodyline Auto Recycler, never thought she’d find herself working full-
time in the sector. In fact, she went to school for medical-related studies. She even boasts skills in professional photography.
With her well-rounded background in tow, Jamie found herself back in the recycling industry after years of toying with the idea of going into business with her father. She was just 22 years old when the once-idea became a reality with the establishment of JLM Metal and Auto Recycling.
It’s been just over a decade since the business opened its doors—and, quite frankly, Jamie’s on a roll.

Canadian Auto Recyclers: Jamie, you grew up in the automotive recycling industry. Did you always know that one day you’d work in the sector?
Jamie Maillet: I never saw myself working in this sector. I explored employment elsewhere as soon as I was old enough to work. I had a real interest in learning about the way a business functioned and really paid attention to those details.
I started to learn about the industry as a young teen, when I began working as a salesperson at Bodyline. I was working part-time while attending college for a completely unrelated profession in the medical field. While working part-time I started to pick up on the business side of the operation.

CAR: When did you become fully committed to the recycling space?
JM: My father and I had talked about going into business together for some time. We would often discuss franchise options and other opportunities, but as Bodyline continued to grow it became evident that the best option was for us to create something together.
Going into business with my father has been the best decision I’ve ever made.
We purchased the business in 2010, when I was 22 years old. When we first arrived on the property, my father stayed with me for about two weeks to help get everything in order. After that, he continued to come and help out every Saturday for a half-day or so.
Working with my father has been a fantastic and engaging experience. Both metal and automotive recycling offer ample opportunity for learning and growth. He is such a knowledgeable man and, as it turns out, we work really well together.
As much as I had my dad with me in the beginning, I also felt I was doing a lot of the work on my own. I had no choice but to problem solve and figure it all out. It was a lot, but I was young and eager, right? I could do anything.
CAR: What’s the story behind JLM Metal Recycling? How have you grown since 2010?
JM: Truth be told when we first bought the Waterford property it was a mess. None of the machines, equipment or electrical was functional and there was trash for us to clean up. The only thing that worked was the phone.
Almost twelve years ago we took a very mistreated business and built it from the ground up, and I am very proud of what we’ve turned it into. Many of our team members were here before us, they have been instrumental to us over the years sharing their knowledge on the property, as well as the metal industry. While repairing the infrastructure, we were learning how to utilize the market trends to buy and sell our product as efficiently as we do today.
In 2015, we expanded by adding a second yard that had been just as mis- treated. We got to work on amalgamating the two locations and embracing the challenges we faced to get it operational. I plan to continue our growth and expansion by completing our new warehouse and offices at the Waterford location and getting more of our products accessible online.

“The industry is so diverse, and I can truly say that I never know what to expect to come through our gates, and I love that.”
— Jamie Maillet, vice president and head of management, JLM Metal Recycling
"Truth be told when we first bought the Waterford property it was a mess,” said Jamie. Now, JLM touts two pristine lots—a product of the team’s fine cleanup work.
“Going into business with my father has been the best decision I’ve ever made.”
— Jamie Maillet, vice president and head of management, JLM Metal Recycling

CAR: What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in the business?
JM: Other than the myriad of initial hurdles that come with starting a business, my biggest challenge that I’ve had to overcome in the industry has been taking two very similar but also very different and demanding aspects of recycling, both metal and automotive parts, and having them operate as one cohesive unit.
They can often feel like two separate companies. On one side we buy, process and eventually sell ferrous and non-ferrous metal of all grades and on the other side, we buy late-model vehicles and decommission them in order to resell quality used auto parts that are checked, tagged, inventoried and stocked.

CAR: You started your business at 22 years old—that’s quite young by industry standards. Clearly, you’ve had great success in the past decade; what would you say your key to success is?
JM: Honestly, there will always be more to do to improve company pro- duction, and there will always be more goals to fulfill.
I would say my personal recipe for success has been to be open to learn- ing and accepting of the knowledge shared through the industry as well as taking it one day at a time. The industry is so diverse, and I can truly say that I never know what to expect to come through our gates, and I love that.

CAR: What’s a goal you have moving forward, or your biggest ambition for your business?
JM: It really is to continuously move forward and take every project and challenge one at a time, completing it for both JLM and at home with my husband and two little boys.
We have plenty of plans in the works for this year, mainly completing projects we started pre-pandemic. We’re building a warehouse for our non-ferrous metals and offices as well as another addition complete with three more hoists for a nice indoor dismantling area.
The automotive recycling sector has stood the test of time. It is efficient, essential and progressive. It’s a fantastic industry and I want to play an active role as it grows.

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