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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Beg, Borow but never steal!

Friends, we need your help.
Almost eight  years ago we started our little enterprise out of our garage at the old house on Highland. We had no business plan, or direction, just a hankering to get dinner on December 13, 2007.  I'd been working in construction and it had all but dried up and couldn't find any other work, and with no money and no food we needed to do something. With all our kids, we had several old bikes in the garage, so we cleaned them up, stuck them out on the front lawn, and in 45 minutes, sold four. Over a splurge of pizza that night, Angi and I talked.
Well, the rest is history.
In the beginning we slowly began to  realize we were on to something. A cheap alternative to boutique bike shops, inexpensive repairs, and a realistic blue collar family  attitude seemed to resonate with folks.  As it turns out, the fact that we seem to be the ONLY bike shop in all of Florida that deals exclusively in used bikes and does repairs with refurbished parts (an idea that wrinkles the noses of any other shop you ask) has become a popular idea.  The claim "we're not looking to get rich, only popular " resonates to this day.  There have been tight times, no surprise there, but we have always held on strong to the love and desire we have of this little place and have been blessed to meet and help so many wonderful people. Money can't get you that.
Trouble is what keeps it going.
Last year, we had a horrific summer, and almost didn't make it. The rains were horrible, as well as the heat. If not for the generosity and patience of both our landlords, we would have shut our doors. It took until May of this year to get almost caught up, then the summer hit, and this year has been wore than last!  Me getting two more jobs help, but only for the house.  Oh, I've shelled out some of it for shop expenses, but it only goes so far.
So what am I getting at? Well, tonight I made my now normal 6.30 pm call to Angi to see how things went today and was met with a very distraught voice. She'd made nothing all day, had no money, no food in the house and was on her way home to dig for change to try and buy something for dinner. With my paychecks from last week, long gone, I could only listen helplessly to her panicked dilemma.
Deja vu.
Recently,  I made a promise to myself and our friends and customers that we weren't going anywhere, and I desperately want to keep that promise!  So, here's where we are, and forgive me as I've never done this before, so I don't know the protocol.  We're asking for donations to keep us open. It's that simple. If you like what we do, what we stand for and what we want to continue to do for our community and beyond, we're pulling a whole PBS thing. We know things will come back around by late September, but we have to MAKE it that far. Sadly, it's a number that doesn't seem all that big when you think about it, we only need to raise $3167.37 to get us there, to keep the lights on and the bill collectors at bay.  We'll take any size donations, and have set up a PayPal account for it  (just go to pay pal, and when it asks who it's going to just type in our phone number (727) 831-9742 and send what you can) , or you can mail us a check or better yet, if you're local, swing by and grab a bike with cash! This is no get rich quick scheme. We'll let you know where we're at each day, and stop taking donations when the goal is hit.  So please, if you can donate, please do so..  we want to keep this dream alive.
Thank you, so very much. 

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