We had the good fortune of connecting with Eric Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eric, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
It’s not like I just decided one day to start a business, I think I just never liked the idea of working for someone else. For all of my adult life I have been self employed and I don’t think I could hold a real job if I tried. Of course I had the usual fast food and telemarketing jobs as a teenager to buy the things that a teenager needs but then realized that I could provide a job for myself and be much happier. It started off as odd jobs, went to a fairly successful window cleaning business and on to web design, programming and window cleaning. None of this was my true calling, I wanted to fix things! That’s when I stumbled on to the obscure industry of Laser Printer and Copier Repair. I was really good at it and it was a great business for a while until the market for repair of office machines became uneconomical because of the falling cost of these devices. Well that’s just fine and dandy because in my spare time I would repair vintage stereo equipment and that is how Electric City came to be. Now we are THE destination in Colorado for vintage stereo equipment and I don’t have to fix anyone’s stupid printers anymore.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The business of stereo repair has been dead for about 30 years. Bringing this business back to life has been challenging to say the least. There was no successful model to work off of, no mentors, no other shops I could ask and no real industry to speak of. That may be part of the reason we are so busy today. 30 years ago all the stereo repair shops were closing up and moving on to other industries, parts and support were no longer available for consumer electronics and it was just not a viable industry any more. Until the future when people discovered that vintage stereo equipment not only looks better but sounds better than modern electronics. Good thing we are here to help the vintage enthusiasts of the modern era. Every day is a challenge finding parts, documentation, sources but the challenge is what makes it interesting and keeps us on our toes.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
OK,first night…Lakeside! Then second night Casa Bonita. You never go to Casa Bonita before Lakeside, that is just asking for stomach trouble. Third night would be a punk rock show and pizza at Street’s Denver. Fourth day would be buying knock off handbags at the Mile High Flea Market. After that we would just recover with some extra spicy food from Chubbys and some good Colorado craft beers.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First of my dear Mother for always being hopelessly self employed and being an example that I don’t have to get a real job. Second would be my partner in crime and in life Misty, who I could not have been this successful without her help and level headedness. Third would be Al, who will remain anonymous. He is the best stereo technician that ever lived and is a huge part of the success of Electric City. And last but not least let’s thank Tesla for making AC the choice for power distribution and for being an inspiration for all those who follow Ohm’s Law.
Other: TikToc Electriccitycolorado
Taken by cell phone. All hail the cell phone.