Fearing’s History – A TV Technician with a Dream
Fearing’s Satellite and Sound, Inc, as it was originally named, began humbly in a modest 600 square foot facility in Portage, Wisconsin with 5 employees (owners included). It was founded by Douglas and Lois Fearing and ultimately fulfilled the dream of business ownership that was instilled in Doug by his father Lester who was a partner in Fearing’s TV & Appliance in Reedsburg, Wisconsin.
Fearing’s TV & Appliance, originally named F&F TV and Appliance, was originally founded by Doug’s grandfather Claude in 1953 and still exists today. As Claude’s three sons exited the military, each entered into the family business. Lester went to DeVry Institute of Technology in Chicago on the GI Bill and learned how to service televisions for the business which were starting to become mainstream. When Doug was in high school Lester informed Doug he would go to DeVry also and learn to repair TV’s and when Lester was ready to retire Doug would purchase Lester’s share of the business. Doug was quite happy to have his life planned out for him. Unfortunately, when Doug graduated from DeVry in 1976 there was not enough work at the family business to provide fulltime employment so he worked part time at Fearing’s, learning the trade of television repair, installing TV antenna systems, and assisting with deliveries.
A full time opening never presented itself at Fearing’s so Doug took a position at BJ’s TV & Appliance in 1977, beginning as a TV repairman and working himself up to manager of the electronics division at BJ’s while still anticipating the day when he would go back to Fearing’s when Lester was ready to retire. Then tragedy hit and Lester passed away in 1981 at age 50, while marching with the VFW in the Reedsburg Memorial Day Parade. That event also ended the possibility of Doug becoming a partner at Fearing’s TV & Appliance.
Doug remained at BJ’s for 20 years and continued to build the up the electronics division at BJ’s, adding video rentals, satellite TV sales, and custom residential audio visual systems which included Home Theater. He also established relationships with the hotels in Wisconsin Dells, before it was the waterpark capital of the world, servicing their TV’s and TV distribution systems. As the Dells began to grow, Doug started filling other needs of the hotels, namely satellite TV, video surveillance, and background music systems.
By the mid 1990’s Doug’s inbred entrepreneurial spirit had outgrown BJ’s and he needed to venture out on his own. Instead of starting the business from scratch he and his wife Lois reached an agreement with the owner of BJ’s in 1997 to purchase the portion of BJ’s which Doug was directly responsible for creating and, in fact, rented a portion of BJ’s building until it was time to expand a year later. Fearing’s Satellite and Sound, Inc was born and a dream was in the process of being fulfilled.
Growth and Expansion
At its inception, Fearing’s primary business consisted of installing residential and commercial Satellite Systems, residential custom sound, video surveillance, and background music systems for businesses.
Fearing’s early clients included the Wilderness and Kalahari Resorts in the Wisconsin Dells. Fearing’s grew significantly during its first two years of operation, forcing it to expand into a new and larger facility on the north side of Portage. It continued to add product lines and services including access control and burglar alarm systems, audio and video conferencing systems, and structured cabling systems (i.e. voice/data/fiber cable). In 2003 Fearing’s was awarded the Columbia County Small Business of the Year.
Fearing’s expanded its territory to include Dane county and central and southern Wisconsin. Due to the success of these new markets, Fearing’s added a satellite office in Madison in May of 2005 on Mendota Street behind what is now Hy-Vee. Then in April of 2009, due to continued Dane County growth, Fearing’s relocated operations and headquarters to Madison, moving into a new 6000 square foot facility located at 722 Walsh Road, Madison WI 53714.
In 2015 Fearing’s expanded into Milwaukee and opened an office in Brookfield, Wisconsin located at 3315 N 124th St, Ste E, Brookfield, WI 53005.
Excellence in Audio, Video, & Security
Fearing’s continues to refine the products and services it provides to better serve its client’s ever changing needs. During the course of Fearing’s 21 years in business, the company has undergone three name changes to better reflect its evolving role in the market place, currently maintaining its original corporate name as Fearing’s Satellite and Sound, Inc, but now doing business as Fearing’s Audio Video Security.
In 2015 Fearing’s was recognized as Dane County Small Businesses of the Year. In March of 2017 Fearing’s was recognized by the Wisconsin Electronic Security Association as their Dealer of the Year, and in March of 2018 Marcus Theatre’s award Fearing’s with the Vendor Partner of Excellence Award.
Fearing’s now employs over 40 staff as it continues to grow along with its clients and they have performed work for its larger accounts outside of Wisconsin with projects completed in 18 different sates and, even, Shanghai, China. Fearing’s dedicates itself to providing quality audio, video, security, and cabling solutions to our clients by focusing on delivering the very best return on investment (ROI) and a great customer experience.
Stay tuned as the dream lives on………………..