When Kim Campanella was 21 years old, the original owner of the Bicycle Center made her an offer he said she couldn't refuse. He sold her seven bicycles and a bunch of parts and accessories that she really didn't know what to do with. On the first day of business, Kim moved to an efficiency and sold all of her inventory for less than it was worth.
Today, Kim owns her own 6,000 square foot building and a successful bicycle business. It is quite a big difference from 23 years ago, where she was literally selling bikes on the side of the road. She explains how she didn't even have money to buy inventory then and how her Dad would run down to the distributors and pick up the products each day. She shares how easy it would have been to just quit but with determination Kim pressed on.
Now, Kim says she has the best job on earth because she gets to change people's lives through cycling. She states that "the best part of my job is watching someone that hasn't ridden in years and I have the opportunity to sell them a new bike and a month or so later they come in and tell me how it has changed their life. I get to put smiles on people's faces."
The Bicycle Center is known for hosting a few great events, such as the Breast Cancer Awareness Ride. The ride started seven years ago with 30 riders raising $300. This year, the ride brought in over 175 riders and raised $7500.
With owning your own business, Kim explains there are always challenges that need to be addressed head on. Their biggest challenge came in 2004 when a hurricane came through and blew the building away. As a result, they worked out of five shipping containers across the street until the building was back up again. It was very hard for them to not give up but Kim's persistence saw them through.
To find out more information about the Bicycle Center and their upcoming rides and events please visit www.bicyclecentercc.com.