Our quest to open a brick and mortar store is by no means a easy or quick one. We’ve been exploring options for crowd funding campaign perks, writing, and re-writing our business plan as well as inventory lists.
Keeping up with the blog and trying to work full time jobs on top of it is also quite the chore, but it’s all a labor of love. This week we’ve taken a look at our very first retail space. 900 (plus an additional 900 of storage) of beautiful square footage! It helps make the dream seem more real. The space we looked at is located in very popular neighborhood near coffee shops, mom & pop shops, restaurants, and a popular outdoor destination for Madison in the summertime.
It was thrilling to even see a space like that in real life. It’s still a ways off, but it’s helping us put a grasp on how much space we can work with vs. what we dreamed up in our heads with the business plan. While having a sprawling 2,000 square feet of floor space would be fantastic, it’s a little over kill and not very budget friendly. Especially when you tack on possible taxes as well as utilities.
Our ideal location will be somewhere on the near west side of the city. We want to bridge the gap between the downtown bike shops and the far west ones. A neighborhood haunt and reliable pit stop for commuters heading to or from work.
Check out some of the photos below! Cute right?! We’re keeping our eyes open as spring is when most retails spots need to decide if they are renewing or not. It’ll be a fun next few months scouring the city for what may be our future home!
We’ve recently become a supporter of Cats Tongue towels! They are the ultimate degreasing wipes to help keep your bike not only looking shiny and clean, but also running like a champ. Their name is based off the texture of the wipe, which gives them their scrubbing power! For every purchase made, Cat’s Tongue donates a portion of their proceeds to help support the funding of cancer research and to provide better patient care via the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
We really love companies who give back to their communities or support great causes, so please check them out. Tom and Deanna are some hardworking folks, who come out to support all the big cross races and cycling events that take place around the country. If you ever see them handing out samples at an event, stop and say hi!
There’s some new stuff coming down the pipelines, we’re working on some hat designs with Cognition Caps here in Madison. Hopefully we’ll have those available soon, as we love, love, love what Kelly & Lyle do! The design for the online store is also being worked on. The official launch date is TBA, but stay tuned as we’ll have some really great items available.
Over this past weekend we spent some time in Chicago. It was pretty apparent that commuter-ship and cycling has increased since the last few times we’ve visited. It’s nice to see neighborhoods like Andersonville, Lakeview, and Wrigleyville embracing cyclists with a plethora of bike routes/lanes. The level of pedestrian/cycling traffic in those areas has allowed for some really great small businesses to flourish. We’re currently planning a bike related trip for the early summer for some riding on the Lake Shore Path and a picnic on the lake with friends. A big to do for any cyclist traveling to the wind city!
One of the most fun finds on our getaway was the famous Puppet Bike in Andersonville. Always a great source of entertainment when strolling the streets of little Sweden!