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October 24, 2014
Ithaca, NY 54°F | Clouds

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Alumna to sell records and music paraphernalia out of retail truck

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  Courtesy of Amy Bertram
Amy Bertram ’12 stands with a cardboard model of her retail truck, which will be on the streets of Los Angeles in May. Her truck will sell music products, like records and turntables.

Though self-described as “just your average music lover,” Amy Bertram ’12 is definitely not your average businesswoman. Bertram will be riding into the music retail world in Los Angeles with her new business, Beat Cruiser.

Beat Cruiser is a music lifestyle brand that operates as a mobile retailer out of what will be a purple-and-black converted metal step van or walk-in delivery truck. Though not the first retail truck in LA, the Beat Cruiser is the first to have a music focus rather than food or fashion. Bertram said she is planning on selling the latest music products: new records, turntables, headphones, as well as famous musicians’ books, clothing and jewelry.

With the help of her uncle, Henry Bertram, and connections she made at Ithaca College, Amy Bertram, who studied business administration with a minor in economics, said she will be hitting the roads of L.A. with the Beat Cruiser by May.

Henry Bertram has been a general contractor for the last 26 years. He will be using his experience on housing construction sites to build and design the truck itself. The Bertrams just purchased the metal delivery van the week of Jan. 30, so the design for the interior of the truck is still in progress.

“I myself am a businessperson and entrepreneur,” Henry Bertram said. “So I was very pleased to realize as a young person [Amy] was following in the footsteps of other entrepreneurs in her family.”

Jennifer Tennant, assistant professor of economics, worked on the business plan with Bertram.

“She is a very smart woman who is combining her business and economics training with a love for music to create an interesting new business plan,” Tennant said.

According to CNN, most people launch mobile boutiques as faster and cheaper alternatives to traditional brick and mortar retail shops. There is no lease involved, but trucks have other costs such as generators, liability and auto insurance, cleaning supplies and storage rent. The space has to be reset at new locations with the proper permits, licenses and codes for those locations every day.

“For my age and lack of experience, banks won’t touch me or give me a loan, so this is a good way to start,” Amy Bertram said.

She received investments from friends and family, and she will be starting an Indiegogo campaign for further financial support.

Amy Bertram plans on joining the American Mobile Retail Association for added assistance. The association takes an active role in proposing legislation and working with cities to develop regulations for mobile retail.

However, the majority of the Cruiser’s support has come from past classmates, Bertram said.

Classmate Luiggi Ramos ’12, who used to do music mash-ups and DJ with Bertram on campus, designed the logo for Beat Cruiser. The logo features purple brush strokes with a record and tire tracks in a simplistic circle behind the company’s name on the black truck.

“Our love for music started off as a hobby and turned into her business,” Ramos said.

Jessica Dillon ’12 is helping Bertram with marketing and communications. Bertram said the college community is really special in that if you ask for help, everyone is excited and willing.

“I do think that Ithaca College values collaboration between students and professors, and the professors take an interest in what our current and former students are doing,” Tennant said.