CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Typically, a startup business only lasts around less than ten years.

It is even rarer for a business to survive for 50 years still managed by its founder.

“To make a very long story short, I struggled for many years, continued to evolve the catalog, and here we are today,” said Bill Crutchfield, the CEO and founder of Crutchfield.

Crutchfield has blossomed into an international retailer of consumer electronic products.

“I had this 'eureka' thought of starting a car stereo mail order company, and I did that starting in March of 1974, exactly 50 years ago,” said Crutchfield.

Since 1974, Crutchfield has expanded to over 600 employees, and opened various locations across Virginia.

“I don’t know if many people in the community realize how unique we are. We’re certainly one of the largest privately owned companies in Virginia, and I suspect we are the largest company in Virginia owned by a single stockholder,” said Crutchfield.

Crutchfield has adapted to the era of social media and understands that there are multitudes of people who need their help, and who can help Crutchfield grow.

“One great thing about Charlottesville is the caliber of people in the community. We have The University of Virginia, which lets us hire some amazing employees,” said Crutchfield.

In the next 50 years, Crutchfield hopes to continue to innovate and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“You’ve got to follow your passion. You can’t start a business if you’re not passionate about the product or the service that you’re in,” said Crutchfield. 

Crutchfield is having birthday celebrations all week. To learn more about how to offer support, click here.