State of Retail: Meet BRAIN’s New Retail Panel in 2022
A version of this feature was published in the January 2022 issue of BRAIN.
BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) – This month we feature our all-new State of Retail 2022 panelists
CINNCINATI: David Bordewisch, Director Biowheels
Biowheels has been around for over 25 years and has grown from an ‘everything for everyone’ store, to an ATV store, to cyclocross, and finally to what it is now: a store focused on the road, triathlon and gravel. with bike mount as a base. Three full-time employees do it all, and we’ve seen growth and even more growth over the past four years. The pandemic has accelerated our growth, to say the least, and our trading partners have helped us overcome current supply chain challenges. My career in bike shops began in the 1980s, when I worked at the K&G Bike Center during the summers and during school vacations in high school and college. Then I made BMX parts at DK for a while and came back to K&G during the MTB boom. After a detour through financial services, I returned to retailing bikes to an upscale, fit-focused triathlon store – Wheelie Fun Multi-Sport – and a few years ago I did the moving to Biowheels. I really like it here.
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA: Linda Coburn, Co-Owner Pedego 101 Electric Bikes
My husband John and I opened Pedego 101 e-bikes in 2014. We were looking for an avid project and e-bikes did the job. After a lot of research, we decided to become an independent Pedego dealer because he had already proven that he could help newbies like us become successful entrepreneurs. We started with an 800 square foot retail store in Westlake Village, a suburb on the border of Los Angeles and Ventura counties in Southern California. In that first year, I worked in the store seven days a week with John joining me on weekends (while continuing to work in the family business the rest of the time). In 2017, we moved to a much larger space in a nearby business park, and in 2021, we doubled our space to deal with the need to store a lot more inventory. We and our three employees now benefit from almost 4,000 square feet. Seeing someone’s face light up when they first experience the influx of help is priceless. Getting them back and telling us how their e-bikes have changed their lives is even better. We are excited for the future!
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. : Francisco Cornelio, Director N + 1Cyclery.com
I’m 40 years in the industry so far, and N + 1 Cyclery has been in business for seven of those years. The store, which opened in 2014, is known as a place ‘where old school meets new school’, and we carry new bikes from Bianchi, Cinelli and Jamis, as well as restorations and ‘new to school’ bikes. you ”who we sell on consignment. We’re known as the place to find rare biking related items from around the world, and we pride ourselves on having a different vibe and attitude. N + 1 has a museum of vintage and antique bicycles and a collection of vintage clothing, accessories and other notable historical artifacts. I am the only active employee of the store and I manage sales, repairs, orders, decoration, etc. Tara Mantel, the owner, is in charge of the paperwork and legal matters necessary to keep the business afloat.
ALTO, GA: Joe Elam, owner of Habersham Bicycles
My career in the bicycle industry began at a local bicycle store in August 1984, where I worked my way up the ranks from mowing the grass to stripping frames to becoming a store manager. I worked for this store for 16 years and left to open Habersham Bicycles in August 2000. It was a difficult and scary decision to leave such a safe place to work and great people, but I had a strong desire to own my own store. Habersham, now 21 in business, is a full-service professional bicycle retailer with two locations and five staff, providing bikes, services and accessories for all levels of riders. Our primary location is 2,500 square feet in a typical mall, and our second location shares space with a running store, yoga group, cafe, personal trainers, massage therapists, and other businesses. This is a great way to lower the cost of occupancy in an expensive market. Business has been excellent, despite challenges such as low inventory, rising costs and shrinking margins.
FOLSOM, Calif .: Erin Gorrell, Owner Folsom bike
My husband Wilson and I have been in the industry for 12 years. Folsom Bike is all about the people. We have 32 staff between two shops and a cafe and have always strived to provide a community bike shop for all levels of cyclists. When we opened at the height of the 2009 recession people said we were absolutely crazy and we would never get there; However, we were determined to use our business experiences to make Folsom the “Nordstrom of Bike Shops, with a Cheers Mentality”. We have created a very user-friendly store, where “everyone knows your name” and it is aesthetically pleasing with competitive prices. We try to inspire our community by offering programs, time, money, sponsorships, events and promoting cycling. We engage our passionate and creative employees to amplify our impact. We work with industry partners who share our vision.
PORTLAND, Oregon: Tom Martin, Sole Owner of TomCat Bikes
I have worked in the bicycle industry for the lives of at least five cats (35 years), in roles ranging from mechanic in independent retailers, co-ops, and community bicycle shops; for distribution, procurement and supply side design. I am honored to have gained a lifetime of experience from it all and feel like I am living the dream life as the owner and operator of this store, TomCat Bikes, which started in Portland in 2018. The TomCat’s goal is year round service and repair. commuters, summer Pedalpalooza whips and collaborative builds. We are brand and category neutral, so I work on some really interesting bikes every day. A bike from TomCat Bikes is more than specifications and price. In December 2021, business is less brisk than the peak spring and summer months, but more than enough for a sole proprietorship with a handful of guest mechanics. I am committed to cycling as a means of transport, mobility thanks to autonomy and the spirit that only you know your bike best.
HATTIESBURG, Mississippi: Jenny Moore, Co-Owner / Manager Moore Bicycle Store
In 1984, the year I was born, my father opened a bicycle shop in the living room of our little house. We lived in the back for a while before expanding into a bigger house and bigger facilities, and I had the pleasure of growing up in the cycling business. I developed a deeper interest after graduating from high school in 2002 and started working as a part-time employee during my university studies. I had no idea that this part-time job would end up being a career that I am passionate about. After graduating from the Barnett Bicycle Institute program in 2005, I became more interested in the mechanics of a bicycle. I love to ride, but that doesn’t compare to the joy I get when helping new riders fall in love with riding. Moore’s currently has two full-time and two part-time employees, all women, and I like to joke that we are conquering the world one store at a time. Our team has done an incredible job responding to the hardships COVID-19 caused last year, and we are relieved and humbled that business has slowly started to feel normal again.
CHAMPLIN, Minnesota: Pam Sayler, Owner of Trailhead Cycling
My husband and I met at a bicycle shop in 1985; he was the store manager and it was my part time job in college. Our first meeting was the assembly of mountain bikes and this inaugural ride. We’ve been together ever since. Larry always dreamed of owning his own bike shop, and after running bike shops for others, he took the plunge 20 years ago. I was able to leave the corporate world and join it full time 10 years later. My main role is to get the best out of our staff and to teach younger people what it means to have a job. I identify the expectation, communicate that expectation, and review the results.
Trailhead has two locations and a staff of 25. Business is strong. Trends come and go; as a specialty retailer, it’s our job to find the bikes and accessories that follow these trends and keep the store fresh and exciting. Our goal is customer-centric specialty retail. We carry children’s bikes because the most important thing in an adult’s life is their offspring. Take care of the children, the parents are there. What about the children? Well, they grow up and come back.