Entrepreneur goes wireless
November 10, 2010 - Despite the economy claiming his business, Dave Hrejsa decided to stick with Michigan.
|Formerly in the outdoor-recreation industry, Dave Hrejsa is back in business with Verizon. Photo provided (click for larger version)|
"I really like Michigan – I love the water, the outdoors," said Hrejsa, 43, a Chicago native who lives in Independence Township with his wife, Carolyn.
He grew up in Chicago and moved to Clarkston 14 years ago because of his work in the watercraft industry.
"Fourteen years ago, it was booming," he said.
Outdoor recreation was vulnerable to Michigan's soft economy, leading to cutbacks and closings, including his own motorcycle business.
"A few years ago, I started to look at franchises," he said. "I looked at everything, fitness, health, hair salon, pizza, fast food, sandwiches, home restoration – everything under the sun."
After lots of research, he chose the wireless industry.
"I wanted something stable, and I'm comfortable in retail," he said.
He visited Verizon's company headquarters last spring and met with the owner.
"It looked like a good opportunity, a solid company," he said.
He found retail space in Waterford, and opened Verizon Wireless Zone Store, Oct. 20
"It's going great," said Hrejsa, who employs three. "I hope to expand, and add three more locations."
Verizon offered a list of possible locations across the country, but Hrejsa decided to stay local.
"Motorcycles, fishing, boating, all the things Michigan is great at, Chicago isn't," he said. "And Clarkston is a quaint, small town. It reminds me of where I grew up in suburban Chicago."
For more information, check www.wirelesszone.com/waterford or call 248-618-3713.
Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.