Eighth-grade Entrepreneur Starts Ski Tuning Business

PARK CITY, Utah. — Saving for a first car can be tough for an eighth-grader with a jam-packed extracurricular schedule, so Tommy Brown designed a job he could do in his free time. Tommy’s Tuning is a one-man ski tuning and waxing operation run out of the Brown family’s basement.

“I was looking for a job to generate some money, but I wanted an ‘on my own time’ schedule,” Tommy said.

His parents said that when he is old enough to drive, they would match whatever savings he has for his dream car, which is either a 1982 two-door Jeep Wrangler or a Ford Bronco 2, Eddie Bauer edition with red and tan coloring.

“My dad had [a Ford Bronco] as his first car and I think it would be cool if I had one too,” Tommy said.

Tommy learned his ski-tuning skills from his uncle. | Photo courtesy of Kelsey Brown

Tommy, a student at Treasure Mountain Junior High School, learned to tune and wax skis about a year ago under the direction of his uncle, who also gave him the tools he needed to start this business.

“I find [ski tuning] almost relaxing sometimes. It’s satisfying scraping the wax off and smoothing the edges out, making sure everything looks better than it looked before,” Tommy said. “It just makes me happy because the before and after result is just pretty dramatic.”

Tommy handles all business logistics in an Excel spreadsheet his parents helped him set up to stay organized. He has serviced skis for around 20 clients so far this season. His mom, Kelsey Brown, plays an integral role in the business, assisting Tommy by driving him around town for order drop-offs and pick-ups. She said she’ll start charging him for gas money once he builds more revenue, but for now, she’s donating.

“He’s very keen on how he can have some healthy savings for his car savings plan. So, I was super excited about Tommy’s Tuning and I think it teaches him life skills,” she said. “It teaches him how to communicate, how to look people in the eye when they show up [at our front door], how not to overschedule himself and commit to his timeline.”

Kelsey Brown says life has slowed down for kids a bit since the pandemic hit, and their family is not as busy as it was before.

“It’s that silver lining of Covid that we can take advantage of some more family time and actually create something out of it,” she said. “It’s really been a fun family project over the past few months.”

Parkites can book their next ski tune or wax with Tommy’s Tuning by texting or calling Tommy at 435-800-9060.

Tommy’s Tuning Rates
full tune (fresh wax, tuning edges, can fill in divots if needed)
$10: Wax only
$10: Tune edges
$5: Pickup and drop off service



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