David Swatting Goliath: Christopher Davenport’s Keys to Success
Christopher Davenport has always wanted to be the center of attention.
It started early on when he was growing up, living life with a pretty weird and diverse crowd that included bikers, druggies, and bank robbers. It could have ended up a huge disaster for him. Still, somehow, he was able to scrape up enough of the best values of life, thanks in part to his mother. He went out on his own to make a name for himself, first in entertainment, then mobile dentistry, and just recently into an e-commerce project targeted to take on Amazon itself.
“I feel like I’m David taking a swat at Goliath,” Davenport chuckles, and his voice catches a bit. A lot of his life has been that way, after all. “I think I’ve always done that. I take after my mother a lot. She’s the driving force of my strength. She’s always faced challenges and overcame them somehow.”
His mother, in fact, once fended off the infamous 1970s Portland serial killer, Jerome Brudos, so that tells you how feisty she is!
“It was just me and my twin sister, my mother, and my grandmother as the matriarch of the family. I was surrounded by girls and women, so I had a very colorful childhood.”
At just six years old, Davenport was used to the good-life of Cadillacs and RVs. But after terrible turbulence erupted within the household leading to a bitter divorce, he learned about poverty, and that was something he clearly didn’t like. “Growing up poor was just not what I wanted. I think it was the idea of living this kind of life, with relatively small things, or not enough things, that got me motivated to do something about it. So, I started learning to be independent and still look out for myself and my family.”
And thus, his road to successful businesses began. At 13, he helped with a flea market, taking money at the door. He soon discovered the joys of buying and selling items on his own, wheeling and dealing with all the finesse of an Arab trader. In high school, he was bitten by the theatre bug and took part in numerous stage plays. After high school, when the entertainment industry didn’t seem like the right fit, he headed to Las Vegas and earned an associate degree in business. Then he attended the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland for dental hygiene.
Davenport started working at a dental practice right after graduation but almost immediately, he knew what he really wanted to do was work for himself. This ultimately led to the creation of his first business — OnSite, a mobile dentistry service. This endeavor became the talk-of-the-town in Las Vegas and earned him a featured story in the New York Times. Every casino on the strip hired him for their workers. He was soon creating residencies for the National Guard and multi-million-dollar contracts for the government. He made a respectable exit from the business in 2012 but was ready for something new.
And what attracted him the most was the exciting world of e-commerce.
“If you’re going to create value for millions of people in the world, you’re going to ultimately be very successful,” he says. “You want to solve a problem, either buying or selling. You’re disrupting the status quo because you’re doing something no one really knows about or expects.” And that’s how it’s always been for most of his life — making choices he felt would impact not just himself but for others around his orbit. “It’s about the people. I’ve always tried to help anyone who needs help. If I ever saw someone pulled over on the side of the road and needing gas, I’d be the first person pushing the car.”
This instant charisma he has brought him to India, during the height of the pandemic, where he spent three months working side by side with their programming team to launch the world’s first automotive parts-only digital marketplace, which plans to be in direct competition with formidable tech giants like Amazon, eBay and Walmart.
Now at 50, and helping to raise three very talented children, Davenport has recently launched his newest accomplishment — The 4Less Group, a public company trading on the OTC (over the counter) markets under the ticker symbol FLES. The 4Less Group operates various e-commerce web sites with an emphasis on automotive parts. “We’re not in competition with other auto-parts sellers,” he says, “Quite the opposite, really. We’re helping a lot of sellers out there get their products in front of a lot of people.” It already appears to be attracting an audience.
One of their web sites, liftkits4less.com, has been announced as the title sponsor for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in Darlington, South Carolina later this year on May 7th.
“Every day, it’s a new adventure,” Davenport says. “And I like that. It’s very entertaining. It uses every part of me, my creative side, the analytical side, the passion, the people, the fun of the internet. I just love it so much. It’s literally David versus Goliath, as I said before. We’re taking on the powerhouses of Amazon, Walmart, and eBay here. We’re competing with tech giants that have significant resources that have been in the e-commerce automotive parts space for decades. I don’t honestly know what’s going to happen from one day to the next, but I’m prepared for whatever happens.”
In the past year, the 4Less Group enjoyed impressive gross revenues and are already off to a strong start for 2021. “Our strategy of strong branding and utilizing cutting-edge technology is paying off. We’re moving towards expanding our footprint with the upcoming launch of our flagship automotive parts-only digital marketplace Autoparts4Less.com.” This site in particular almost certainly guarantees to turn heads. According to Hedges & Company, a well-known auto parts marketing company, online sales of auto parts and accessories in the U.S. will be around $19 billion by 2022, with an annual growth rate of 14% to 16%. This is on top of an industry already valued at approximately $6.2 billion.
Davenport is eager to see what happens in the next few years, as the 4Less Group really starts to mature. As well he should be. His newest endeavor already has the automotive world talking. Given the way he puts people’s passions and needs to the forefront in all his dealings, and also has the unique ability to jump from one industry to another with ease, we honestly don’t see anything stopping him from continuing to thrive in life, whatever he decides to do next.
— Published on March 16, 2021