Our Story - A Family-to-Family Business
When Russ and Dona Edmundson outgrew their early model Toyota Landcruiser, Dona wanted to replace it with a new one that had three rows of seats and an automatic transmission. With four children, two still at home, and expecting grandchild number seven they needed more seats in their vehicle. Russ, a police officer at the time, didn't want the pricy new Landcruiser, figuring he could get a Ford Explorer and build a 3rd row seat for it and save ten thousand dollars. Dona agreed; so after researching the possibility of building and securely installing a third seat in an Explorer, they ordered one in late 1991. Their new Explorer arrived in November and Russ had the seat completed and installed before Christmas. The end of the story, no, just the beginning.
In February a local Ford dealer saw their 3rd row seat and commented that he didn't know Ford made third seats for Explorers. When Russ told him they don't, that he had built the seat, he said "everyone" is asking about third seats for the Explorer. Russ, about a year away from retirement, thought this might be an opportunity for a family business. After discussing the possibility with Dona they began to research the feasibility of starting a business.
A friend, with a machinist and engineering background, who had helped Russ built the first seat and design the mounting system, agreed to help him built a jig to build the seat frames and mounting systems. The Edmundsons converted their garage into a small shop, their den into an office and hired Eric, their oldest son, who had just completed welding school, and started the business manufacturing and selling 3rd row seats for Ford Explorers. They sold their first seat in June 1992 and sales reached 21 seats by the end of the year. By July of 1994 sales had reached 40 seats a month and they had outgrown their garage and needed more help. Peter, their second son, was hired and they rented a larger shop near their home.
To date (May 2012) little passenger seats sales have exceeded 20,000 and all four Edmundson children and several grandchildren have worked for the business.
Little passenger seats is now owned by Eric, Russ' Son, and Eric's daughter Samantha works in the office. This is a real family-to-family business, helping families who have outgrown their SUV.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR BROCHURE
Click HERE to read an article adapted from Yearbook of Small Business Icons, telling the little passenger seats story.