Manistee Teen Following His Dream, Opens New Business on Friday

It’s not often you’ll find a teenager running their own business. It was only a month ago, that 18 year-old Luke Kooy was graduating from Manistee, and now he’s getting ready to open his own store.

Kooy will be having a grand opening for his business, Up North Collectors Sports Cards & More, Friday, with all sorts of cards and sports memorabilia on display.

“It feels awesome and super nice knowing that I can do this and not have to necessarily go the traditional route and just kind of do my own thing, be my own boss,” says Kooy.

It’s a dream Kooy has had from an even younger age. He’s been dealing cards for five or six years, selling them online. He’s already sold thousands of items through eBay.

But Kooy says the hobby started when he was three.

“When I was a really little kid,” he says. “I would do chores for a dollar and then a pack of cards every week was the sort of prize. And that got me completely hooked on it.”

Kooy knows he is younger than most business owners. That realization has come with some challenges while working towards his goal of opening a store.

“It’s difficult to get a business license and everything when you’re 17 years-old,” he says. “It’s not super easy trying to make phone calls and stuff. People kind of look at you a little differently.”

Kooy says he’s had a registered LLC for over a year.

His family’s support throughout the difficulties has helped him along the way.

“My parents have always been super supportive of me to be able to kind of just do whatever I want,” he says. “As I started to actually make sales and make some money, they started to realize that this could be more of a reality.”

With his online sales, Kooy has been able to save money in order to set up a retail front. He is receiving help from his dad to run the store, but the rest his up to him.

Kooy’s dad is featured on his YouTube channel with just under 20,000 subscribers. He’s been documenting the process of opening up the store as a teen.

“I hope the content will be able to inspire younger people that if they want to do that in their town, they can do it too,” he says.

Up North Collectors Sports Cards & More opens Friday, July 1, located at 237 River Street in Manistee.

For a look at Kooy’s online inventory, visit here. You can also check out his YouTube channel, here.