Surviving & Thriving In Adversity’s Wake
Everything in Robert Owens’ background led him to a love of electronics and prepared him well for the custom trade he has so successfully plied as proprietor of Baton Rouge, La.’s Acadian Custom Installations.
But nothing in his background readied him
for certain events flowing from an unfortunate partnership—nor for all the challenges to both
his business and to his many meticulously built client relationships that arose in the wake of that experience.
Owens, who has since gotten back on track and even exceeded his earlier business achievements, says he received a bruising object lesson in why it’s important to thoroughly vet all those you work with—be they potential partners or any third-party associates.
His is a cautionary tale of an agreement gone wrong followed by a robust recovery that shows anything is possible if you live to do right by your customers, under all circumstances.
CustomRetailer: How did you get into custom installation? Where did your interest stem from?
Robert Owens: My dad was an electrical engineer. I loved electronics, growing up. I was a Radio Shack audiophile. I would go in and buy all I could afford. My mom was like that, too. I had been a VP in a prescription drug company, and then 9/11 happened shortly after. I became a Circuit City salesperson for two years and in three months was made a manager. I was in charge of the A/V department. Their installation teams then were terrible. The installs would come back and, of necessity, I would go out and do them.
The first surround-sound install I did took me about eight hours and it should have taken one and a half!
Over the course of two years, by myself, I was able to hang a flat-panel TV and a install a full 7.1 surround-sound system in two hours.