Pashley, Passion & Why I Do This by Robin Bylenga
Business ownership can be challenging. Some of my entrepreneurial friends have been known (myself included) to call it business ownersh*t – and for many reasons. But regardless of the challenges, working for yourself has its rewards. Personally, the best rewards come from my customers that fall in love with the passion that created my business, Pedal Chic. On occasion, this happens. About a week ago, I received a call from a woman named Rose. She was searching for the perfect city bicycle – not just any bike, but the bike of her dreams. She had been researching my favorite brand, Pashley. These bikes are the crème de le crème of the bicycle world. They are manufactured in the small town of Stratford-upon-Avon, England. A truly lovely bicycle rarely seen on the streets of South Carolina.
When Rose called, I was so excited to talk to someone equally excited in such an exquisite product. We talked about all the incredible features of the bicycle – as well as the beauty of actually riding this bike. She had done her research and knew exactly what she wanted – all that was lacking was the choice of the color. We looked at a gallery of photos from all over the world to try to envision the best color choice for her. She called a few hours later to tell me she was on her way to meet me and to make her selection. When she and her husband arrived, she had the most beautiful bouquet of flowers. She said, “I saw these and I thought of you…and even though I hadn’t met you, I thought they were perfect for you!” She couldn’t have been more right. What an amazing feeling to have my customer show up with flowers for me!! Awesome. Here I was trying so hard to help make her dreams come true – little did she know how she was fulfilling mine by simply appreciating me so much.
Together we chose the beautiful Regency Green Pashley Princess Sovereign bicycle. When it arrived, I think I was as thrilled as she was. Rose showed up in a beautiful green dress that perfectly matched her bicycle. Her husband was there with camera in hand to capture the beauty and excitement of the moment. They even took the bicycle out for a photo and video shoot, which they posted, on the Pedal Chic Facebook site.
What was not spoken was the gift that Rose gave me throughout this process. You see, a few months prior, I almost lost my business due to a huge disastrous flood in my shop. We were very close to closing the doors … re-igniting my passion after months and months of hardship seemed exhausting and at some points, unfathomable. But then came Rose. She made me feel as if my little shop mattered. We actually served the purpose under which the passion was borne. She renewed my spirit and my desire to continue to build the best, most unique bicycle shop in the country. For that, I will be eternally grateful. This is why I do what I do – and this is why I love being a business owner.