Our W2 Profile pieces highlight a diverse array of hunters, anglers, conservationists and outdoor retailers. You can learn much from the stories of our subjects about determination and effort.
For this month’s W2 Profile we caught up with Doug Vaughan, an outdoor entrepreneur with an innate talent in automotive repairs.
Vaughan, 50 is a Virginia native that operates, and owns Vaughan’s Car Care and Vaughan’s Outdoor Power Equipment located in Amelia, Virginia.
We asked him to share the story of how he decided to open Vaughan’s.
“I was always mechanically inclined growing up, and I started my career in the automotive industry working at some smaller garages around the city. I believed that people out in the country should be able to get the quality of service that dealerships offer in a small-town setting, so, I opened Vaughan’s Car Care in February of 1999 in a little four-bay garage to provide exactly that,” Vaughan told W2. “Come 2008, I was approached by Cub Cadet specifically to establish a service center in the county for their mowers, tractors, UTVs etc. and, to be a Cub Cadet service and warranty center, you’ve also got to be a dealer, so you have to sell the tools as well.”
And just like that, Vaughan’s Outdoor Power Equipment was born. Doug chose a lot right off Rt. 360 in Amelia that’s highly visible and convenient to get to from all around.
We asked if Vaughan had a mentor or someone that assisted him along the way.
“Vince Almond with Cub Cadet is the one who helped guide the opening of Vaughan’s Outdoor Power Equipment. He’s business development with Cub Cadet and was the one who originally approached me to establish the Cub Cadet service center that sparked the opening of Vaughan’s Outdoor Power Equipment. Vince has been the inside knowledge on all things Cub Cadet for 15 years now.”
We know a lot of budding entrepreneurs read W2, so we asked Doug what prepared him in life to open Vaughan’s?
“Well, let me start from the beginning. Growing up, I didn’t have much. and things I wanted I had to fix, make or build; which, thanks to God’s providence, I picked up pretty quickly. That led me to going to the local community college to learn about modern cars; the theory and operation of their mechanical and electrical systems to get my foot in the door working in automotive.
“When I opened Vaughan’s Car Care in 2008, the economy was taking a spin and people got more interested in keeping their vehicles on the road longer. With my upbringing, I know that most family budgets cannot be reactive to large repair bills, so we set out with a goal of preparing people with a maintenance and budget plan for their vehicles that can save them big time versus having to buy a new car when something goes wrong.”
Vaughan told W2 that “with God’s good graces and our commitment to the original goal of caring for the customer like our own family, we’ve been blessed to continue to grow.”
Vaughan’s is the area Landmaster UTV dealer. It’s a unique brand because it’s built in the USA. We asked Doug to tell us about his relationship with that brand.
“Landmaster UTVs are American made from the ground up in Columbia City, Indiana. They aren’t just assembled there or shipped from there. They’re made from raw steel made in the USA, then fabricated, bent, welded, powder-coated, assembled and tested there! When I saw these UTVs and their massive versatility, I knew there was a place for them at Vaughan’s. We’ve got folks coming in to use these for daily chores, weekend adventures, beating around their campgrounds or getting way out into the wilderness for the perfect hunt. And these are made to last. They’re tested over 6,000 hours to ensure that they’re built for the long haul. If anyone wants to see the Landmaster difference, they can come by Vaughan’s and take a test drive.”
Now we know there are plenty of power equipment options for W2 readers to choose from, so we asked Vaughan to detail what makes his dealership different.
“At Vaughan’s, it’s all about you. Your size, your needs, and your budget. We make sure that when you leave the lot, you’ve got the right tool for the job. We don’t try to oversell you on something and instead, talk with you to make sure that the Landmaster, Cub Cadet or DeWalt tool you’ve got will get the job done efficiently and effectively. And then, we’ll teach you how to use it before you leave! What’s the point of having a tool with all kinds of bells and whistles if you don’t know how to use half of them? Our staff will walk you through your UTV or new mower from end to end so that you can get the most out of your new purchase. That one-on-one attention to the customer’s needs – whether it’s service or sales – has really been the Vaughan’s calling card since day one. It’s big-time tools for big time jobs, sold by a small, local team that actually cares.”
Many W2 readers manage hunting properties in addition to their own homes. We asked Vaughan what other lines he sells might interest our readers.
“A lot of hunters and anglers own land and we’ve got the tools you need to keep up with it. lawn tractors, zero turns and mowers from Cub Cadet. DeWalt chainsaws, trimmers, pruners, sprayers, edgers, pole saws and a whole bunch of tools from Echo. too. Whether you’ve got a bunch of hunting acreage to take care of or you just want your walk down to the pond to look nice, we’ve got the tools you need for the job.”
In his spare time, Vaughan dedicates himself to his family and his farm.
“My spare time for the most part is dedicated to family time and farming. We’ve got a herd of 28 beef cows at our house as well as nine horses. My wife and daughter’s main pursuit is riding those horses. When I’ve got the time, I’m an avid hunter and often take hunting trips with my son and we all enjoy fishing the ponds around the farm. For me, fun and leisure time really can blend with work. There’s work at home and home at work in the industry, but at the end of the day, I do it all for my family.”