Tyler Fridrich ’12 has been reaping the benefits (and collecting quite a fat paycheck for a high school student, at that) as the continued demise of VHS tapes and cassettes pushes the demand for DVD and Blu-ray discs to higher levels.
Fridrich, owner and founder of Memories Preserved – an audiovisual conversion business specializing in converting life’s timeless moments from film reels, cassettes and VHS tapes to modern formats – started the business in summer 2009, shortly after entering the halls of West High. The halls have changed from the foreign to the all-too familiar for Fridrich, and so has his business.
Stemming from self-taught knowledge of audio speaker set-up, the business has grown leaps and bounds. Today, Fridrich is the company’s lone employee, completing over forty projects, from recording and converting wedding footage to preserving home movies, all from the comfort of his home. His main customer base is “younger to middle aged parents with small families,” said Fridrich. About one-third of my work is from repeat customers. One day I don’t have to work at all and the next day I can put in five hours.”
Fridrich credits much of the success of the company and the individual he has become today to his father, who has had a lifelong love for car stereos and other audio equipment. He describes the process as “lengthy and tedious, but the work isn’t difficult. For one of my first clients, I had an old VHS tape and while I was working on it late at night, the tape frilled…Fortunately, I had already known how to splice tapes, so I only ended up losing about a minute. I could’ve ended up losing three hours’ worth.”
Joining West High’s Business Professionals of America chapter his junior year helped propel his self-confidence to a new level. After fine-tuning Memories Preserved, Fridrich placed second at the 2011 State Leadership Conference for Entrepreneurship, opening the door to new opportunities.
Fridrich will attend the University of Iowa in the fall, majoring in computer engineering and minoring in business. While he intends on continuing the business, he said “it will be more as a side job.” As far as pursuing it after college, he added, “that’s always a possibility.”