Driving through the back roads of Topsham, VT, it’s not easy to miss Flint Motorsports, as the lot is almost entirely covered by small machinery: lawn mowers, small tractors, and snowblowers. Some of which are housed there permanently, but most have recently been repaired and are getting ready to be shipped back to a Home Depot or Tractor Supply located throughout Vermont and New Hampshire.
Derek is the proud business owner of Flint Motorsports, which he founded in 2010, when he was just twenty years old. He’s also visually impaired due to congenital glaucoma, which has presented visual challenges for Derek throughout his life. Derek notes that whatever visual challenges he faces, he never lets that get in the way of him working hard and accomplishing his goals.
Derek began working with DBVI when he was in high school. At first, his counselor supported him by ensuring that the school was accommodating of his visual needs. As Derek got older, he worked with his counselor to acquire work skills and refine his own career goals.
Although Derek says that he didn’t always envision himself a business owner, as a high school student, Derek participated in a technical education program, in which he attained a passion for heavy equipment repairs and developed the foundation for his future career. After graduating high school, DBVI assisted Derek in establishing his first work experiences. Derek completed work experiences at Randy’s Sunoco, Sabil & Sons, and Absolute Power Sports.
In June of 2010, Derek decided that he wanted to open his own small repair shop. With the assistance of DBVI, Derek was able to establish his shop, and acquire the work tools necessary for making equipment repairs. Additionally, Derek received support regarding several assistive devices that he uses in his work life such as: ZoomText, a CCTV, a magnifier, and a digital torque wrench.
Initially, business started out small and mostly local, which wasn’t always easy. Derek began contracting with local stores such as Tractor Supply. As time went on, he was able to partner with a warranty agency, which is how a lot of new business comes in. This, along with networking and positive reviews, has created a “snowball effect” for Derek. At his shop, Derek services about 1,000 lawn tractors a year, and services about $250,000 worth of equipment per year. Additionally, Flint Motorsports is #4 in the Northeast for volume of repairs. Derek says, with a smile, that each year business continues to grow.
Derek attributes his success to the support of his counselor and his family over the years. However; there’s no doubt that Derek would not be where he is today without a tremendous amount of hard work and determination on his own part. Derek hopes that in sharing his success story it might make a difference in the lives of others with visual impairments considering their own career goals.
You can learn more about Derek’s business here: