NY Mills college student owns, runs motorsports business
Many students use their time in college to try new things or to find out what they're interested in and what they want to do with their lives.
Cameron Wedde from New York Mills already knew what he wanted to do.
Wedde, a junior business administration and marketing major at North Dakota State University, runs his own business, Wedde Motorsports LLC. His office is located in a garage next to his house out in the country, and his employees are his mom and dad.
Wedde's foray into small business started around 2002, when he and his brothers started racing vintage snowmobiles. After some time spent racing, they got a sponsorship with Klotz Oil, and eventually became a dealer.
Then, Wedde started transitioning out of racing and more into sales, he said.
In 2008, Wedde started selling motorsports supplies online. This October, he officially opened up the store located at 44024 County Highway 67 in NY Mills
The transition from being online-only to having a store, he said, was a difficult one.
The biggest challenge he had in starting the business and then opening the store, Wedde said, was his age.
"I had no credit history or experience or anything like that, so people were hesitant to deal with me," he said. "So I had to be persistent, and keep calling people back until they finally gave me an answer."
There were also many requirements to meet along the way, Wedde said.
"It seemed like there was always one more thing before that next step," Wedde's mother Maryann said.
Wedde sells products from several different suppliers. Wedde carries used parts and accessories for snowmobiles, ATVs, UTVs, motorcycles, scooters, dirtbikes, boats and other vehicles.
Wedde hopes that by February the store will start selling used ATVs, motorcycles, four-wheelers and snowmobiles. By the end of the year, he hopes to be a full-service dealer.
Thanks to online advertising and word of mouth, Wedde says that online sales are doing well.
"We ship worldwide," he said. "We've shipped something to every continent except Antarctica."
Wedde says that he enjoys all aspects of owning and running a business.
"Ever since I was young, I always enjoyed playing with stuff and taking stuff apart," he said. "And my family owned a hotel in town, so I had that business aspect there too."
When Wedde has to return to NDSU to continue his studies, his mom maintains the day-to-day business in the store, while Wedde communicates with dealers over the Internet.
According to Wedde, being a small, family-owned business can mean a lot to his customers.
"We can take the time to focus on customer service and go that extra mile that big-box stores probably can't do," he said.
Wedde said that he's trying to bring to his business the same lighthearted and fun atmosphere that there was to racing snowmobiles.
"I'm just trying to enjoy it and have fun," he said.
For someone still in college, having fun only seems appropriate.