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Colorado State University student founds Loveland based ICON Automotive Customs

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ICON Automotive Customs provides services like detailing, aftermarket lighting and accessories, car stereos, graphics and the “revolutionary” Plasti Dip. (Photo Credit: ICON Automotive Customs)

Like many people, Colorado State University senior accounting student and ICON Automotive Customs owner Nicholas Young developed a teenage fascination with cars.

Unlike most people, Young created an opportunity to turn that passion into a business.

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“I’m crazy into cars and I have been since the day I turned 16,” Young said. “I was just getting cars like crazy, as much as I could.”

Young said he learned stereo installations from a friend, eventually experimenting with other customizations.

After dedicating so much time and research into his hobby, one day he stepped back and realized his future was in car stereos and racing stripes.

“Eventually I said, ‘Dang, I’m starting to get good at this,’” Young said. “So I turned it into a business.”

ICON Automotive Customs started Aug. 1, 2014 as the successful embodiment of this passion. Currently, ICON provides four main service categories: detailing, aftermarket lighting and accessories, car stereos and graphics. ICON also has peel-off paint jobs called Plasti Dip.

ICON has up to four workers at a time, in what Young describes as a family business. This includes his wife and CSU senior biology major Caley Young, who works at ICON as its retail manager.

For Caley Young, working with her husband is a way to spend more time with him.

“I can’t begrudge him for doing what he loves,” Caley Young said. “I mean, that’s what made me fall in love with him in the first place: the passion he has for what he loves.”

ICON Master Detailer Ademar Martinez also has a personal relationship with Young, having worked with him at Starbucks before ICON was even an idea.

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“Obviously, he’s had more of his money and time go into it, but at the same time, I feel like my time is also valuable, that I can kinda say it’s my dream as well,” Martinez said.

Looking toward ICON’s future, Young’s primary concern is getting himself and Martinez on salary.

“Once we’re both on salary, and not worrying about the money coming in, then our heads should fully be in the game and our personal lives will just fall into place,” Young said.

While Young said, finances allowing, he would invest in other sorts of businesses, ultimately his passion circles back to the teenage obsession that started this whole journey: cars.

“I will never own a business that’s successful unless I love exactly what it is that I do,” Young said. “If I’m ever going to be a successful entrepreneur and do my own thing, this is the only thing I’m going to do.”

Collegian Business and Technology Beat Reporter Nicholas LeVack can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @NicholasLeVack.

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