Note: This feature is in the March TT&C 2019 issue.
John Esche stands behind some of his semitruck models.
John Esche just completed his fourth year as owner of Toy Trucks & More in Evansville, Ind. For him, the past four years have been more of a journey than a job.
“I took over the company from David Beasley, which wasn’t the way I would have liked to get into business,” John said. David, who founded Toy Trucks & More and took it full time in 1991, turned the company over to John after being diagnosed with terminal colon cancer.
“I’m still very close to David’s family,” John added. “I miss David’s guidance and friendship. For me, after working with David for nearly 15 years, it seemed like a no-brainer to take over the business. It made a lot of sense taking over such a well-established business rather than trying to build a customer base from scratch. I was able to keep a lot of great customers, who knew I had been involved with Toy Trucks & More for a long time, and they knew what I was capable of doing.”
Working with David provided a huge advantage for John that many startup model company owners don’t have. “Through David, I built great friendships with customers and other dealers. I met the guys that now assist me at shows. David taught me more than the ‘ropes’ of the business. He taught me to value people over models,” he said.
Even with such a strong beginning, John had difficulty when he took over as owner. “I had a good grasp on how things needed to go,” he added, “but I was still quite overwhelmed at the first show where I set up by myself.”
Fortunately for the modeling world, John recovered from his “first show” jitters. And John’s custom building career truly took off.
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