Jason and Liz Damron went from farming to fabricating snowmobile lifts, after they decided buy LX6 Fabricating in 2021.
In today’s economy, starting a small business is more like playing the lottery than playing the actual lottery. It’s difficult to know if the customers are out there to purchase the product being marketed. But for Jason and Liz Damron, when they heard about the company LX6 and what they were making, they believed this was the company to buy. “This was the first thing I saw him actually excited about in a really long time,” Liz said about her husband Jason. “I knew that if we could make this work, it would be worth it in the end.” So, in 2021 the couple bought the company and began a new chapter in their lives fabricating snowmobile lifts. It seems like such a simple concept, but it’s a practical product that any snowmobiler would love to own. The snowmobile community supports each other, which is something they have become accustomed to in other parts of their lives.
Jason and Liz Damron live in Central Ohio, and have farmed in the area for 14 years now. During that time, Jason has also run a successful repair shop out of his barn. And, like many farmers, he has become a jack of all trades and has been able to perfect a few of those trades, such as welding. After many years of repairing large farm equipment and semis, he began looking for something that would be less abuse on the body, and give him more time with the family. Like most people, he found the opportunity in the most unlikely place when he wasn’t looking for it. In February it will be two years since discovering the business, and since then it has been a whirlwind. They built a new fab shop, and since moving in they haven’t stopped making snowmobile lifts. Jason has quickly realized that welding and powder coating snowmobile lifts is better for not only his body, but mind and soul. He is creating something helpful and practical for others, and his family can share in making them.
The Damrons have created their company on two concepts. All of the products they use are “Made in the USA”. From the steel, to the nuts and bolts, to the jacks that are on the lifts. And this concept wins over their customers every time. If you set one of their lifts next to a competitor’s lift, the difference in quality is overwhelming. The steel is thicker, the bolts bigger and there are 6 wheels instead of 4. It’s very important to the couple that not only is it manufactured in the USA, but the parts are of high USA quality. “Today so many parts and products come from other countries like China, India, and Mexico. Gone are the days when you can drive down an Industrial Park and see parking lots full of cars from workers in the factories. It’s one of the things I remember from growing up in Cincinnati. Now when you drive by, they are empty and boarded up. We need to support the companies here in the U.S. and support them,” Jason said when reflecting on why it’s important that they use parts from the USA.
The second concept is that it is family owned and operated. Everyone in the family takes part in the making of these lifts, from their four children who range in ages from 6-11, to their 18 year old nephew, to the neighbor who is more like a grandpa to the kids then the neighbor next door. The kids help clean the shop, put stickers on the lifts and assemble the wheels before the lifts are put back together. It is Jason’s dream to see their son running the shop eventually, as he has become very interested in what he does.
Family is very important to the Damrons as they have four children all together. Their oldest, Ella, is 11, and has brought them challenges from the moment she was born. They were unaware at the time, but she was born with a heart defect called A Ventricular Septal Defect. Essentially the center wall of her heart didn’t form and she had one ventricle instead of two. This is a very common defect for children born with Down syndrome. At just 4 days old, the doctors confirmed through genetic testing that Ella did have Down syndrome. And at just 5 months old, Ella had open heart surgery to repair the defect. Today her heart is fine and is living a full life. But through this experience, both Jason and Liz had realized how important family is. They have since gone on to have a set of boy/girl twins, Jaxson and Eve, who are now 8. And completing the family is their 6-year-old daughter, Esmeralda. While they are busy with sports, they also thoroughly enjoy working on the farm and in the fab shop with their dad. It brings him joy to see them want to learn these hands-on trades, especially as we continue to see a drastic shortage for the trades occupations today.
While Liz isn’t necessarily busy out in the fab shop, she is very busy behind the scenes. In true typical “farm wife” fashion, she is the accountant, marketing strategist, customer service representative, creative director, HR director, transportation and any other odd job imaginable. “I definitely think being a farm wife has prepared me for this business. I never know what’s going to happen, but I’m ready to take care of it when it needs to be done. The main objective is making sure these lifts get done,” said Liz. She currently makes the stickers that go on the lifts, maintains the website and social media for the company, as well as reaching out to set up shows and advertising.
In November of 2022, LX6 attended their first trade show in Novi, Michigan. They were there all three days. In an overwhelming surprise, the company sold out of their lifts by 2:00 Saturday afternoon, and stayed and continued to take orders to ship after the show. In February, the entire family is headed to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan for the International 500 where, not only are they going to be set up in the vendor tent with snowmobile lifts on site, but they are also sponsoring the race. “It has been an incredible opportunity to work with the I-500 staff to bring LX6 to Sault Ste. Marie. They are all working hard to bring our small company to their race and helping to make the most of our journey,” said Liz. “We are humbled by and grateful for this snowmobile community and their willingness to help a small family business get their name out there.” They have more plans to attend other events and shows throughout the year. So stop by and see them. They’d love to talk with you! •