Camille Raneem, up-front & unfiltered here! Typically I try to anonymize our presence on the internet for the sake of branding & tone. However I want to speak in my own voice ahead of my business's two year birthday, which just so happens to fall on the heels of Women's History month.
When Chris & I decided to take over Full Lane Logistic's shop space it was with a twofold goal; First, we wanted to continue to support working cyclists in a way other shops seem to be unable/unwilling to. We found solutions for riders, instead of making customers play bike-shop-bingo. We took the time and energy to seek out cyclists in need and offer much needed support, which leads to our second goal. We wanted to offer more than just mechanical support, we wanted to support & represent the cyclists who have been left behind by the industry.
We are talking about the cyclists who ride because it's the only transport they can afford. We are talking about food delivery workers & couriers who work those gigs because it's the only they can get. We are talking about the women, queer, and trans folx who love to ride because cycling offers us a sense of freedom society does not afford us. We wanted to support the dreamers, the self-starters, the riders who fight for their own space and ride to the rhythm of their own cadence.
We also wanted to find a way to support ourselves by supporting our community. Christopher literally moved to New York City with a plan to work in bikes to support his sisters' goals of going to school but that was about it. For myself, I have worked in many a support role, finding myself unable to make ends meet and being completely powerless to get on my feet well enough to care for myself, let alone my aging mother fighting cancer. So, instead of retreating we took a risk and bet on the underdogs, just like we always hoped someone would do for us.
My goodness am I glad I dug in. It's been very challenging, and at time terrifying. It's been filled with sleepless nights, long days, and problems I could have never dreamed of. However I have never been one to shy away from a challenge, and working hard is easy when you wholeheartedly believe in what you are trying to do. So all things considered, the past two years have been the best years of my life, and I have all of our customers and supporters to thank for that.
You all have help us meet our goals year after year. From our odd warehouse space to our beautiful storefront; we got here because we believed in you and you believed in us. You saw us for who we are, and saw yourself looking back. Or at least that how I feel with every customer who walks through our doors. Moving into our third year, while we still have some ground to cover with our long-term goals, we are excitedly taking on new challenges and manifesting the seedlings of the solutions we think New York so desperately needs.
Since we moved into the storefront we have expanded our inventory to better serve our customers beyond our quality repair services. Being one of our strongest product lines, we have expanded and refined our wheel-building services. We have also taken on the exciting opportunity to have a high school intern at the shop, giving us the opportunity to build a curriculum surrounding the basics of bike maintenance and business ownership/management; A curriculum we hope to be able to crowd-source and pass on to other shops, educators, and cycle-advocates. Finally, we are excited to introduce our shop team Team Kween, currently an all-womens' team who will be racing in a category near you this spring, summer, & fall.
With all this goodness going down we (and by we I mean me) just can't help but give so many thanks. I hope this little adventure in breaking-the-forth-wall is found in good spirit! I just want to be sure that the folx who have stood behind us this whole time understand how vital they are to this business, and I want to remind everyone that we are here for you. If you have an idea or a project you need some guidance on, you know where to find us. Only need us to fix your bike? That's fine too. Gladly my friend. I'm happy I could be here for you.
To celebrate us entering our third year we would like to do a small promotion, in the spirit of mutual aide. If you have ever come to us for bicycle services or even just to pick up some apparel, and had a positive experience, tell somebody! It's been said there is no greater tip than a referral, and in the internet age that can be as simple as saying a few kind words about a business online. All customers who give us a review on Facebook, Google, Yelp, whatever, by the end of April will get 10% off their next visit to Kween Kargo. Pretty sweet right? Already shown us some love? Well this deal is retroactive, so expect a discount next time you drop in! Thank you for the incredible ride y'all, I could not be more grateful or more excited for whats to come next!
LONG MAY WE RIDE!