At the peak of the financial crisis, David Beattie was living the same nightmare haunting millions of Americans: He had been laid off late in his career. Unable to find work, he wasn't sure where to turn.
"Losing your job when you're up in age, when you're 48 years old, it's a very scary feeling," Beattie says. But rather than giving in to fear and taking another unsatisfying job, he turned to a childhood escape that would eventually become his million-dollar passion project: Slot cars.
As the youngest in his family growing up, his many older brothers let him play with their replica slot car tracks, but it wasn't until his job as a manager at a printing company ended in a layoff that he rediscovered the hobby. Friends visited his Detroit basement to race as he started designing a few tracks himself with the extra time, even selling a couple here and there.