From the Mag: ‘A Little Better Every Day’

Scott Vold, president and co-founder of White River Overland in Aspen, Colorado has been involved in the automotive aftermarket for more than 25 years. His experience helps bring camper van upfitting services and popular interior and exterior accessories to a ready audience living an active outdoor lifestyle in the Rocky Mountains and beyond.

The company started in 1996 as a small windshield repair service. By the fall of 1997, Vold was providing full-service auto glass repair and replacement in what is now White River’s current location. In 2001, Vold explored the idea of selling car racks and decided to become a car rack retailer through his auto glass shop.

Due to eCommerce competition, Vold’s shop, called Cracks and Racks, pivoted to a service model, providing products that generally required professional installation. Then, in the fall of 2017, the shop purchased its first Sprinter van, resulting in a new venture offering off-road upfitting. Today, White River Overland has seven full-time employees and an overall shop footprint of 3,300 sq. ft., about 2,000 of which is dedicated to overlanding projects.

Embracing Challenges

Three years after Vold finished the first Sprinter van project, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the world. While the shop was able to remain open, the business interruption gave Vold and his team an opportunity to make some changes. Recent supply chain issues have added yet another layer of challenges, and Vold says managing customer expectations has been difficult.

Projects Aplenty

White River Overland is not a large-volume builder, so detail and quality are its foremost principles, Vold said, but working on such specialized projects requires an employee base with solid skill sets. Having exceptional employees is vital to the success of the shop, and Vold believes the only way to keep good employees is to compensate them fairly and treat them with respect.

Adventure Ahead

Like its clients heading out on an adventure, Vold is uncertain of what’s around the next bend. Establishing reciprocal relationships in the industry is also important to the team, and Vold maintains a cordial relationship with a couple of small builders in the area and they help each other when possible.

Click here to read the full article in the March issue of THE SHOP magazine.

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at ahecht@cahabamedia.com.

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