She survived a brutal attack and somehow came back to succeed in a male-dominated business. See how one woman took over the driver’s seat in the RV world and her advice for first time buyers.
At 25, Gigi Stetler almost died when a homeless man she had helped attacked her.
“He was on top of me carving me up like a turkey, stabbed me 21 times.” Stetler shared.
Amazingly, she survived. “They thought I was going to lose my left arm and fingers.”
Enduring two years of painful physical therapy, Stetler never let go of her dream.
“My goal since I was eleven was to be a millionaire.” Stetler said.
As a child she loved to travel and compete in horse shows. Then she worked for a man who owned an RV business and decided that was her future. Her first dealer meeting was an eye opener.
“When I showed up with my new ideas, they were like little girl, what are you doing here? You need to go home and bake cookies.” Stetler said.
So she did but not to bake cookies. In 1999, she started her own company. She became the first female founder of an RV dealership in the country.
“At the end of 2007, we grossed a squeak over $20 million dollars in sales.” Stetler stated.
Stetler credits her success to knowing her customers and giving them good advice. Like not buying new, but refurbished.
“Instead of spending $35,000 or $40,000 dollars on a new one that depreciates as soon as you drive off the lot.” She said.
She says if you are new to the RV world, rent first.
“Because they need to know what they can handle on their own.” Stetler explained.
Also she says make sure you buy what you need.
“You might need a raised toilet, you might need a bigger space in the bathroom, you might need a split floor plan.” She said
And lastly, she says bigger may be better.
“Bigger class A’s, the heavier the vehicle, the better they drive.” Stetler said.
This smart woman just keeps helping customers hit the road safely and in style.
By the way, Stetler wrote a book about her experiences called “Unstoppable: Surviving Is Just The Beginning” available on amazon. For more information on Stetler and her company please visit https://www.rvsalesofbroward.com/
Contributors to this news report include: Janna Ross, Producer; Judy Reich, Videographer; Robert Walko, Editor.