Youth turns love of outdoors into career
Peter Olson, teenage entrepreneur
WASHBURN – In grade school he was making and marketing fishing tackle. By age 14 he was a regular contributor to a popular regional fishing television show. Now, at 18 years of age, he’s released the first of 15 pilot television shows of his own.
He’s Peter Olson and he’s doing what he loves.
“It’s been a crazy, crazy nearly 11 years,” said Olson. “I started doing small stuff and now am working with some of the biggest names in the fishing industry.”
Olson is following in the footsteps of his father Geremy, an avid outdoorsman with extensive experience in video production. His work, which has included a national Republican convention and Super Bowls, has been seen in every country in the world and produced in 37 different languages.
“We’re capable and know how to do production at the highest levels,” said Geremy Olson.
Geremy Olson graduated from Des Lacs High School in 1993. Later he was operating a production studio in Atlanta, Georgia, where he says he was “running some of the most expensive toys in the country.” He returned to North Dakota in 2003 “to raise kids.”
Two years later, while serving as a volunteer firefighter in Wilton, he was overcome by a prairie fire. His injuries were so extensive that it took him three years to learn how to walk again. Unable to work, much of the family responsibilities fell upon young sons Peter and Dan.
Today Geremy Olson is an inspirational speaker, columnist, AIM fishing tournament director and owns and operates 241 Ink Productions in Washburn. His resume includes four years of home schooling of Peter, who graduated from high school a few weeks ago.
There were many days, said Peter Olson, when he went fishing or hunting to put food on the table. All the while though, he never forgot to enjoy the experience.
“It’s a lot of fun doing something you love to do. I was providing for the household and having a good time,” said Peter Olson. “I’ve always loved fishing. I don’t know what my life would be without it.”
“It’s been cool watching him grow up,” said Geremy Olson. “It’s a lot of fun because I get to work with him still. Funny thing on the TV pilot. It was in the works for quite a few years and, at age 15, he had the maturity to say I’m not ready for it yet.”
Now, with high school behind him, Peter Olson has turned full time to fulfilling his dream of writing, talking and promoting fishing. He is co-owner of Missouri Secrets Tackle along with his older brother Dan, writes a monthly column for Midwest Outdoors, a popular magazine produced in Minnesota; appears on Fox Sports North on the Angling Buzz television show with updates on North Dakota fishing and continues to tinker, experiment and design new fishing tackle.
“I graduated and walked right into what I am going to be doing and I’ve got a real good head start on all sorts of stuff,” said Peter Olson.
He hopes that his pilot television series will eventually catch the eye of a network producer. For now, his work can be found on YouTube at Missouri Secrets.
“The show can be picked up local or national,” said Peter Olson. “The goal since the beginning is to have the stuff for new anglers to get on the water. There’s so much equipment that it can easily get overwhelming. We are trying to simplify everything. We want to keep things short and sweet and memorable.”
“Fishing was incredibly influential on our children,” said Geremy Olson. “The first year of Missouri Secrets Tackle they tied 35-hundred spinner rigs, prop rigs and sold them to 16 bait shops. The whole purpose wasn’t to have the kids run a successful, profitable business but to teach them how to interact with what their talents allow. Peter is always trying to come up with the newest lure. He’s a design genius when it comes to fishing tackle.”
“I’m trying to build the business and build myself as a person,” added Peter Olson. “The nice thing about being out of school is that I can focus on the business, the fishing side of things full time. Making something that works is really satisfying.”
“He’s been amazing to watch. One thing that has been constant, and what I love about watching him grow up, is his desire to teach other people to fish, to help people,” said Geremy Olson.
Peter Olson has a very solid and likeable approach to his endeavors, believing that failure is to be expected, even necessary, on the path to success. His eagerness to learn as much about fishing and the business of fishing has already captured the attention of some of the biggest names in the industry.
“Peter’s biggest issue is who can he hire, not who’s going to hire him,” said Geremy Olson. “There’s no way to tell how bright his future is going to be.”
He is off to a remarkable started. Jeremy Olson will turn 19 years old in February.
(Prairie Profile is a weekly feature profiling interesting people in our region. We welcome suggestions from our readers. Call Regional Editor Eloise Ogden at 857-1944 or call 1-800-735-3229. You also can send email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.)