Candice Davis: In the Driver’s Seat

By Melanie Johnson

August 9, 2013

Candice Davis became a business owner almost by accident. She and her husband were in search of a motorcycle in her favorite brand, BigDog. When they visited the local BigDog store, Davis proposed an entirely new purchase—buying the store itself.

“How would you feel if I bought the whole store?” Davis says, recalling what she asked her husband after looking at motorcycles.

The thought of owning her own motorcycle store drove Davis into action. She found investors and bought a 49 percent stake in the BigDog store. Her co-owner had recently acquired it, but had no definite plans for the store. Davis was on the opposite end of the spectrum.

“From the time I was little, I have loved street motorcycles,” she says. “Because of my gender, I was raised that it wasn’t an option.”

Her new venture did not go as planned, however. Three weeks after investing in the store, BigDog went out of business. “My investment was pretty much set for self-destruction,” Davis says.

With her pipeline to BigDog products cut off, she went to work building a new business model with the help of her general manager and mechanic.

“I couldn’t lose that kind of money. It was the first thing I had done that was for me,” Davis says. “It was a personal thing for me; I could not let someone see me fail because it was deep-seated in me.”

Her new business model came to life with the opening of Addictive Behavior Motor Works in 2011. The dealership offers outdoor recreation enthusiasts a one-stop consignment shop for everything that suits their tastes. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, jet-skis, wave runners and dirt bikes can all be found under the full-service dealership’s roof. The company also provides parts and service for each vehicle it sells out of its Salt Lake location.

Realizing her dream took grit and determination—especially in a male-dominated industry. But Davis refused to take no for an answer and has not looked back. Her goal now is to help other women who love motorcycles embrace their passion. When women come into the store with their husbands, she helps them to see that it’s not just a man’s hobby.

“A lot of women don’t want their husbands to buy a motorcycle because they don’t want to ride on the back,” Davis says. “One way is to promote them riding it themselves. It gives them more control.”

Another goal for Davis is getting more women involved in this corner of the outdoor recreation industry. The first parts-and-service worker she hired was a woman. Davis wants women to feel comfortable embracing the idea of making motorcycles part of their lives.         

“There’s no reason why they can’t,” she says.

When she isn’t involved in running Addictive Behavior Motor Works, Davis is active in giving back to the community. A mother of nine, Davis works to promote education, encouraging children to stay in school and eventually go to college. Davis wants them to have an easier road than the one she has traveled.

“I am not educated,” Davis says. “Everything I am learning, I’m learning backwards. I try to promote education and getting that experience in advance to make their road a little bit easier.”

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