Steve Artis is bringing close to 20 years of experience in the lawn, garden and recreational equipment industries to his new business.
His business - Service, Power & Sports - will soon open at 705 N. Mill St. in Weyauwega, right across from Cenex Co-op.
"Even though I'm a new business starting up, I have 16 years experience. I want people to know it's me," Artis said. "Swiderski (Equipment of Waupaca) is out of the lawn and garden business. It's us now."
Hired by Swiderski Equipment in 1997, Artis soon moved into managing their lawn and garden and recreational equipment lines, working with Stihl, Husqvarna, Toro, Dixon and Polaris.
"We grew that business tremendously over the next few years and eventually added Artic Cat recreational vehicles," he said. "Then, a few years down the road, we added Ski-Doo recreational products. The business continued from there. We had growth almost every year."
During that same time period, Swiderski Equipment also grew its customer base for the other lines of merchandise it carried.
"This year, the owner of Swiderski Equipment made the decision that the agricultural and construction business had grown and was growing at a pace that was starting to over-run the lawn and garden and recreational business and decided to totally get out of it (lawn, garden, recreation)," Artis said.
Soon, he was hearing from some of the manufacturers of those lines.
"A lot of the manufacturers contacted me to learn what my thoughts and plans were and if there was any chance of me opening my own business," he said.
Two months ago, Artis began putting together a business plan.
"Over the years, I thought about owning and operating my own business," he said. "This just opened the opportunity to me."
He has already secured carrying the Stihl and Toro lines and said there will possibly be other manufacturers to come in the future.
As he began to make plans to open his own business, he also needed to find a location for it.
Artis has lived in Weyauwega since 1987, and his wife Naomi works in the community, at Presto Products.
The couple's friends, Jay and Noreen Ernst, own Real Estate Builders/The Floor Show, in Weyauwega.
"They had some unoccupied space that they were willing to rent to me to get my business running, so here we are at 705 Mill St.," Artis said.
He is already doing service work and said SPS will offer a full line of new sales, as well parts, accessories, used sales and service. There will be trained technicians on staff.
"I do plan on having used recreational products - ATV's , snowmobiles, side by sides. We will be doing complete service and repair on outdoor recreational products. I will be specializing in Polaris recreational due to my past history," Artis said.
The reason why he chose the name "Service, Power & Sports" for the business is because "service is the most important thing. Customers are No. 1. If someone purchases something from me, they want good service, and that's what we're going to do," Artis said.
He says to watch for his upcoming opening date and that he is also in the process of developing a website at ServicePowerAndSports.com. Artis can be reached at his business at 920-867-4513.
"Pretty much my whole life I've been in this kind of background. I've always had an interest in mechanical and recreational products," he said.
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