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Teens' drone business taking flight

Madeline Roche • Aug 24, 2018 at 2:00 AM

A Christmas present turned into a business for two teens in Vermillion.

Drone Providers Inc. offers aerial photography and videography for marketing, to showcase real estate, to cover events and for whatever may be needed by its clients.

Juliette Scheufler manages the business, while her younger brother and co-owner, Ricky, pilots the drones.

“I like to see the clients’ face when they take off,” Ricky Scheufler said.

Visitors at the Huron County Fair saw these drones in use throughout the week, as they were flying over events, such as the LoCash concert. 

Starting a business can be a challenge, but the siblings were able to partner with their parents’ company.

“My parents own a marketing agency and their clients needed aerial photography and videography also done and my brother got a drone for Christmas one year and we just decided it would be a really good investment to make a company and start building up from that,” Juliette Scheufler said.

What makes this family business unique?

“One of the coolest things is Juliette is one of the, (if not the) youngest females in Ohio to get the UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) license,” said Scheufler’s father, Richard.

When Juliette took the class, the majority of the class were men aged 40 and older.

Sixteen is the minimum age for someone to get the license. The first time Juliette Scheufler took the test, when she was 16, she didn’t get a passing score. This didn’t hold her back, though. She took the test again and was able to receive her license.

“She came at it twice and studied even harder, so it (the license) wasn’t something they’re just passing out. Her getting this, that’s what made the dream a reality because Ricky had the drone already for Christmas; he liked doing what he was doing. She kinda of thought, ‘Hey, I’m going to college; (it’s) time to start thinking of the bigger picture.’ She saw a need and this provided a solution,” her father said. 

Juliette Scheufler said although running a business takes effort, it’s going well.

“Owning your own business is a lot of work, but it’s worth it and I think being an entrepreneur is pretty cool,” she added. 

In addition to the drone Ricky Scheufler received for Christmas, the siblings bought another one, which can endure harsher weather conditions and is more well-known for its quality. It is the same kind of drone used by National Geographic and the NFL. 

“It can fly in any kind of condition,” Scheufler said about her drone.

Drone Providers offers a variety of services. The siblings have covered many events, assisted with real estate, the family business and other avenues. 

“We have a limitless area,” Scheufler said. 

However, now that the business has been established for 2 1/2 years, the owners are looking to branch out.

“Right now they’re actually working on getting a contract with a couple different police departments for having a flare camera and being there on call. So if someone goes in a corn field or somewhere where an officer could be in danger, they’ll come out with a hidden camera and locate them,” their father said.

The Scheufler children have an example to follow in owning their own business.

Their parents, Richard and Alexandra Scheufler, own a marketing agency called VIB Marketing.

“My wife and I founded the company about five years ago. I’ve been doing marketing for about 20 years. We have a team of eight different departments and 50 employees. It’s a home-based company that allows anybody to work from a virtual office.

“A lot of our teammates started here, but they’re working from anywhere in the world, as far as France. I’ve met them all through my traveling at Case Western and Cleveland State,” Richard Scheufler said. “We help other entrepreneurs get a voice and provide a voice for those that deserve but cannot afford.”

VIB Marketing is the leading Google partner in the area, he added, and currently is working on bringing in artificial intelligence. 

Scheufler said he thinks it’s valuable to have a family business because “the kids are learning from the parents.”

“That’s the biggest thing: focusing on family and really believing that it’s all about helping people. Don’t worry about profit because that’s a naturally occurring byproduct that comes from helping others. Our whole thing is sharing our gift, putting it out there and helping other entrepreneurs find a way and become a master of their destiny. The children are just a living example of what we believe in and try to grow,” Scheufler said. 

His wife is also pleased with their family structure. 

“I’m just really proud the kids are spending their time doing something that has an opportunity for them in the future. I hope they really enjoy it,” she said. 

Juliette Scheufler has advice for younger people looking to pursue their own business.

“Definitely do it if you wanna do it; it’s definitely worth it.”

Her father also had some inspiration for young entrepreneurs.

“You’re never too young to actually reach out and grab what you want. Make it happen.”

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