30 Apr Meet the Grandma Who Loves to Sell Harleys
When you visit Orwigsburg, PA, you’ll want to stop by the local Harley-Davidson store. Fern Schaeffer has been its owner for over 50 years, becoming the store’s first full-time employee after her husband and son opened the business.
At 95 years old, she’s still there most days to help out the shop. You can find her doing notary work, sorting the mail, or ensuring that everyone stays in line with her expectations.
When most people reach their late 30s or early 40s, they start thinking about what they can do for retirement. For the woman that everyone loves to call “Nana,” that time in her life became the moment that she embarked on a new idea while supporting her family.
Nana Has Always Loved to Ride Motorcycles
Schaeffer is a massive motorcycle enthusiast. If you couldn’t tell that fact by seeing her on the showroom floor in her mid-90s, it only takes one conversation about Harley-Davidson bikes to understand her wealth of knowledge.
Even today, she’ll still hit the streets of her town while riding in a sidecar.
Schaeffer’s granddaughter says that their H-D business was always perceived as being one that was woman-led in an era when men were thought to be the best. Nana was always in the back ordering parts, selling the bikes, and doing everything else that was needed when the company first started.
Although her husband and son founded the company, they were the mechanics of the family. If someone needed help with their Harley, the men in the family got the job done.
For everything else that needed to happen, people found out that Nana could get the job done better than most folks during that time.
The Schaeffer Family Hopes to Have Another 54 Years in the Business
The Schaeffer family says that they hope to carry their family legacy in Orwigsburg through the Harley brand for another 54 years to celebrate Nana.
If you want to get involved with H-D as a business owner, the first thing to consider is the dealership location. Harley is the only one who can determine their need to open a new location. Should there be one wanted in your community, you’ll see direct advertising for that opportunity.
You also have the option to purchase an existing Harley-Davidson dealership that gets put up for sale.
Before you’re allowed to join the H-D family, you must complete a Prospective Dealer Application. Several required documents must get included with this submittal for it to proceed.
Unlike other franchising opportunities, you won’t need to worry about a franchising fee when starting this business. You must prove your financial status, show your skills to operate the company, and have a net worth of at least $1 million.
Harley will review your documents over the next 4-6 weeks to see if you qualify. If you do, your application stays on file for a year to ensure you can get an opportunity if one develops.