Dave Walsh founded Vanlife Customs in 2016.

Dave Walsh, 39, is a USMC veteran and custom van builder based in Denver, Colorado.
Since starting his company in 2016, Walsh says he’s had more clients than ever during the last year as van travel grows in popularity.
This is what his job is like, as told to freelance writer Jenny Powers.

See more stories on Insider’s business page.

This as-told-to essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Dave Walsh, a 39-year-old van builder from Denver, Colorado It has been edited for length and clarity.

Like any small business owner, I’ve tackled my share of challenges, but nothing compares to when COVID-19 hit in March 2020.

Without knowing if it would be days, weeks, or months, our work at Vanlife Customs (VCL) came to a screeching halt when Colorado issued a statewide mandatory lockdown and we were forced to close up shop.

After being closed for four weeks, our team of 12 reopened with a split schedule to adhere to social distancing rules.

Despite the lockdown, more people seem interested in buying custom vans.

The JOMO model van.

Just before quarantine, we quickly listed two pre-built vans we had in the shop for sale. Both were snapped up within a week. Compared to flying or staying in hotels, the idea of social distancing in a van started to look a lot more appealing to people. It wasn’t long before our inbox was inundated with emails from people looking for a van to travel, live, and work in. Since the pandemic, we’ve seen an uptick in people looking for prebuilt vans along with a 10% increase in our custom work.

Walsh constructing the interior of a custom camper van.

Prior to VCL, I served in the Marine Corps from 2001 to …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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