Small Business Spotlight: Community Bikes and Boards
The first thing you notice about Community Bikes and Boards on 4th Street in South Philadelphia is that it is not your average retail store. Community has moved well beyond simply peddling merchandise and, as the name suggests, created a tight knit community of people with a passion for bikes and boards. The store has an inviting atmosphere that allows you to browse the extensive collection of bikes, skateboards, clothing and accessories without the hassle of tacky sales talk or pushy employees. Community is so chilled out that it kind of feels like you are shopping in someone’s living room rather than a store. As it turns out, this is not far from the truth.
When owner, Rob Everitt, opened Community he was, in fact, living inside the store. Everitt initially started Community while sleeping on a futon in the middle of the sales floor, eating almost all of his meals at nearby Essene Market and showering daily at a local gym. Everitt, in good humor, described this situation as luxurious, bragging about the size of his master bathroom and the gourmet meals he managed to whip up on his George Foreman Grill. Everitt also expressed his deepest appreciation for SBDC of Widener and myentrepreneurworks.org for helping him get his dream off of the ground. Personally, we feel that these humble beginnings add a whole new level of respect and amazement to the massive growth and popularity of Community. This is one business that was truly built from the ground up!
When you start talking with the staff at Community you immediately begin to realize that they truly love everything that they do. They love interacting with customers and seeing the “Kool-Aid smile” on people’s faces after they purchase a new bike or board. Community employees and “Ambassadors,” describe themselves as never being off the clock because they are always on the lookout for new terrain to ride and constantly thinking about new ways to inspire people to get on a bike or board. Community’s staff describes what they do as an almost spiritual practice, stating that it clears their minds and keeps them in the present moment. After talking with them it was really hard not to feel inspired. Rob Everitt explains his philosophy and business model by quoting Simon Sinek, who said..
“people do not buy what you do…they buy why you do it.”
Community and its staff are on a mission to share their love for what they do with the City of Philadelphia (and beyond). They want to get people off of the internet, away from the TV and onto a bike or board. They want to expand the biking and boarding terrain in this city and eliminate empty, wasted space. They want to inform people about the fact that many local ski resorts actually turn into amazing bike parks during the summer month. These guys and gals are all about getting people to experience the joy and passion that they get from what they do. So, get down to Community Bikes and Boards, change your life, and experience all of the awesome terrain and biking/boarding events that Philly has to offer.
Written by Patrick Kaisinger (Mike McCann Team Blogger Extraordinaire)