Well what the heck. Ive been so preoccupied with other stuff I forgot that March 1st, last Saturday, was the one year anniversary of moving into the new store. How could I let than one slip past me? But I did.
This morning when I realized this I just sat back in my chair. Trying to even remember the old store. I do drive past it everyday. Its still empty. And today I still cant believe I own a bike store. Let alone a bike store in this building. Adjacent to the city’s river boardwalk. With an attached deck. A stones throw away from coffee shops and restaurants. Its still surreal even after a year.
In fall of 2008 one of the LBS were looking to sell. Ive been in business my whole life but was currently not doing anything in that regard at the time. I had talks with the owner but was asking way too much for what was left so I dropped it. Then I heard the store was just going out of business so I started from scratch with help from some of the stores former employee’s. We opened May 1st, 2009. For the first two years I was not an employee of the store but still put a lot of time in there. Then my job situation changed and I went into the store full time in 2011.
It was then I became what is known as a bike bum. I’ll never get rich but get to ride many bikes that cost over 10k. Pretty much a fair trade off in my book.
Late 2012 I had thoughts of expanding. Another store in another city. I looked around. Found some spots and was almost ready to pull that trigger when this building went up for lease. It sat for lease for some time actually. And about this same time I decided not to go multiple locations. I was just too old for that. All the extra issues that would come up with two or more stores is a situation that I just did not want to get into anymore. Maybe 10 years earlier I would have done it. And that moved my thoughts to at the least moving the store to a bigger location. Keep one store but expand. Easier to manage.
I was working on a location in a local mall, and I think that would have worked out fine but when this building came available I just jumped on it. Pretty much blind. Without any research. As far as retail go’s I had no idea but it sure was a cool building in a cool spot. Just looked way more fun than a mall. So fun trumped business in my book again. That way of thinking has gotten me in trouble in the past. Time will tell I guess. But I have never been afraid to gamble in the business arena. Never.
So here I am in the high rent district of town. When asked if I thought the move was good I would answer “Ask me in a year”. Its been a year now but I feel its still a work in progress. Still getting a feel for what to do and sell down here. Its only four or five blocks away from the old store but it might as well be a million miles away. Different type of foot traffic. Different everything. Adapt fast or lose.
But I can tell you all business aside, I feel blessed to be able to walk into this building down by the river’s boardwalk and call it my store. What a dream. You should stop in and see it someday. Its pretty cool. Im very proud of it.
In two months will mark the store’s 5 year anniversary. Thats another milestone I guess. But I think this one year anniversary is way better!