Jay Holmes currently works at Lewis as a Maintenance Technician at Sunscape in Alta Loma. In his nearly year-long tenure with the company, he has earned a promotion, received “Rookie of the Year” at the Goldy Awards, and become a team favorite as an overall “cool dude”. To excel as a Maintenance Technician requires proficiency in handiwork across a wide array of services, so it’s no surprise that he doubles as a craftsman outside of the office. However, we were blown away when we learned about his talent when it comes to prop making.
Read below to hear about his time with Lewis, how he got into his hobby and the level of detail that goes into it, and the intersection of his skills.
What do you do at Lewis and what does a typical day look like?
Jay: My typical day consists of fulfilling resident work orders, assisting in ordering parts and supplies, inspecting all property amenities for service and repairs, making sure the property is in good running order, and preparing vacant units for leasing.
What has your career path looked like?
Jay: I started my career path working in the telecommunications industry at Direct TV as a Technician. I later was promoted to Supervisor. I had a crew of 20 technicians working alongside me in Beverly Hills – Century City. I later got promoted to an instructor/ quality control trainer. I served Direct TV for over 15 years. From there, I decided to open my own business installing satellite systems and home theatre equipment. During covid, my partner and I decided to sell the business and I had to reinvent myself.
What drew you to working at Lewis?
Jay: I’ve always been interested in the maintenance industry because I love a challenge and fixing broken things. I interviewed and decided that the Lewis Group of Companies was the place for me due to its growth potential and the small “mom and pop feel.”
How do you stay busy outside of the office?
Jay: In my off time, I love spending time with my kids and Family. We are a very close net family who enjoys quality time. We do everything from amusement parks, movies and the mall. We also collect toys whether they are vintage 70’s/80’s for me or modern for my kids. Toy hunting is a family passion of ours.
How did you get started with your hobby?
Jay: My love for props all began in the mid-80’s, I remember going to Halloween stores back when I was a kid and never being happy with the quality of the costumes and masks. I remember thinking “they don’t look right.” Well, years later that still stands with me. I said,” if I can’t buy a Boba Fett or Stormtrooper costume that looks right, I would set out to make one”. And that is what I did. Through the years I’ve made a lot of good friends in this hobby of ours and through my circle of friends, we cover just about every movie genre there is. I enjoy seeing the fans’ faces when they receive a movie prop or costume from me. Cosplayers and collectors are very passionate people and I love feeding that passion.
Any favorite moments with prop making?
Jay: I have a few favorite moments I’d like to share. One was when I was working on a full-scale Han Solo in Carbonite. The prop stood over 6 feet, and I had to work on it in the front yard on a makeshift table. Well, one of my neighbors thought I was encasing a body in Bondo and called the Police. The police came out to investigate and lucky for me they were hardcore Star Wars fans. Saved me a lot of explaining and they ended up taking pictures with it.
My holy grail moment is when I found out that Daniel Logan (the actor who played young Boba Fett) was gifted one of my Boba Fett helmets. To hear that my art sits on this actor’s mantel is truly one of my biggest accomplishments in this prop hobby of mine.
Lewis is fortunate to have our own Handy Solo! If you have any questions on Jay’s art or would like to learn more, feel free to shoot him an email at email@example.com.
Rosie Lewis is the Corporate Marketing Manager at The Lewis Group of Companies. Rosie is a Claremont native who enjoys hiking, yoga, and developing her green thumb.