Contacts: Troy Gillette, Owner, The Audio Video Advantage (Eastpointe, Mich.)
He started out like most tech-inclined kids: taking a lot things apart and not necessarily putting any of them back together. But by the time Troy Gillette, now owner of The Audio Video Advantage in Eastpointe, Mich., was 15-years-old, he was already installing full entertainment systems in homes throughout the suburbs of Detroit. It was a part-time job in high school, but he proved so adept at it that after graduation, Gilette was quickly scooped up by a 4-store chain as a full-time pro.
Gillette studied busines on-the-job, and it wasn’t long before he and a good friend decided to try their hand at it. “I took a year off to run a limousine company, but I got bored with that,” he says. “When I went back into CE, I decided this time, I’d come back on my own.”
Starting with “pretty much nothing,” Gillette bought a couple of vans and began The Audio Video Advantage out of his own home. These days, he has a staff of six, but the owner is just as likely to be pulling wire as managing his staff. “I work at the home office some days, but I still don’t like sitting behind a desk all day.”