REVVED UP: Scooter store hoping for successPublished 9:10pm Tuesday, April 15, 2014
For the last year, Justin Wallace has owned and operated Inner Banks Scooters as a love and passion for scooters, dirt bikes and ATVs.
“I have always been one of those people that felt if I can tear it apart, I could put it back together and fix the problem,” Wallace said.
The idea for Inner Banks Scooters came about when Wallace and his father, Homer Wallace sat on the porch swing and talked about the younger Wallace’s love for scooters. The original idea was to open up a small shop to work on bikes and scooters on the side because Wallace was working construction.
Wallace said a few traffic violations led to his interest in scooters, but he thought it was too expensive to have somebody else work on his scooter, so he began taking it on himself.
“I finally got the guts to start my business, and I was able to get financially stable to get a loan,” Wallace said. “When I got approved, I purchased 10 bikes, stocked up on helmets and got my tools together.”
The first Inner Banks Scooter store opened its doors in April 2013, on West Fifth Street. It began as just a father and son shop, with Joe Ayers joining as a part time mechanic later when they moved to their current location in U.S. Highway 17.
“I had to remodel our original building, and we were there for just about a month before Scooter Pro Shop went up for sale,” Wallace said. “Jeremy Landeck stopped by my shop and asked me if I wanted to purchase it.”
From there, Wallace went to take a look at what Landeck had to offer: parts, tools, names of customers and business accounts.
The shop does not only sell scooters, dirt bikes and four wheelers, but also welcomes repairs.
“We have had a good start with several scooter sales last summer, but we still thought it was going to slow down,” Wallace said. “When Christmas came around, we sold a lot of four-wheelers, and now with tax returns coming sales are steady.”
At Christmas, one of things Wallace enjoyed was making sure everybody who ordered something through his store, got it. He said that he even made Christmas Eve deliveries.
Wallace said it is hard the first year of owning a business, but he feels things are going well.
“One of the things I have done after taking over Scooter Pro Shop was to keep their same number,” Wallace said. “One of the other things I do is road side service if people stall or break down.”
Wallace has hopes of opening a second shop and expanding his staff so he doesn’t have to take on so much, but he said he knows that that might take time.