A high school student in Ankeny built his own six-figure retail business before graduating.
London Schuchart, a senior at Ankeny High School, owns and operates 4th Lane Running from her home. The company focuses on selling sports equipment, whether it’s discounted retail items, products released online in small quantities, or hard-to-find gear delivered directly to athletes that would otherwise be stored in a closet. at the end of a season.
“I’ve always wanted to own a business,” said Schuchart, who started out in elementary school selling a neighborhood newspaper to friends.
The idea for 4th Lane came to Schuchart during his sophomore year, when he was sidelined with an injury during the cross country season and had the wrong size undercarriage.
I couldn’t return it and I didn’t want to resell it with an online service that charged a fee. So he decided to do it himself, and soon heard from others who wanted to sell his stuff through him.
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Born on Instagram, the business now has its own site, and Schuchart has networked with professional athletes. He has clients from countries all over the world.
In 2019, Schuchart won $500 in a local “Shark Tank”-style contest that helped boost his business and cover some of the costs. That year, he said, he made about $3,000 in sales. The following year, sales increased to around $46,000. Last year, they fetched around $146,000.
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Schuchart doesn’t do much advertising and instead generates customers through word of mouth, posting products for sale at set times and working with the Instagram algorithm.
The business is mostly a solo operation, with his inventory stored in Schuchart’s basement, but he sometimes pays others to help out when he needs an extra set of hands. He will go to Central College in Pella after graduation and will probably have to rent space since there won’t be enough in her dorm.
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In the future, Schuchart would like to build a permanent location for his business and perhaps even have a formal relationship with Nike. He said that his parents agree with his plan and are proud of his success.
“Just go ahead,” Schuchart said of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. “You don’t have to wait for all the right opportunities to set in. If it’s a good idea, it will grow on its own and become what it needs to be.”
Chris Higgins covers the eastern suburbs for The Record. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-423-5146 and follow him on Twitter @chris_higgins_.