Judi LoPresti, Spun Bicycles
Judi LoPresti runs Northside's newest bike shop, Spun Bicycles, with her husband, Dominic LoPresti. The business recently received a new sign through CoSign, a philanthropic design contest whose winners each receive a free sign for their business to help elevate its street presence. The first two rounds of CoSign have benefitted more than two dozen Northside businesses, and the next round will focus on businesses in Covington. Spun Bicycles of Northside is less than one year old, yet revenues its first year have doubled expectations. The bike shop has been named a SCORE client of the month.
What services and inventory does Spun Bicycles offer?
Spun Bicycles is a full-service bike shop. We can fix anything on two wheels. Our mechanics, John Myers (our head mechanic) along with Dominic, have over 50 years of wrenching experience put together. We stock affordable bikes for the average person. We have everything from entry-level road bikes to BMX bikes for kids, flat bar road bikes, cyclocross bikes, fixed gears and affordable mountain bikes. We also stock all the basic necessities a bicyclist would need—tubes, lights, locks, bags, panniers, racks, tools, pumps, helmets and various parts for bikes. We stock a lot of BMX stuff like grips, headsets, specialty frames and forks, bars, cables, stuff like that. We keep all of our stock affordable and of good quality. We don't stock uber expensive brands.
You started a business with your husband; how does that affect the daily operations? Describe a normal day at work for yourself.
We have our roles in the business. I take care of ordering inventory, accounting, banking, the books, payroll, and oversee all operations. Dominic is the heart of the business, the salesman, the guy you go to for just about everything. He is in charge of tooling, mechanics, he does all the bike fits, and tells me what needs to be ordered for repairs and customer requests. He also does all the construction inside the shop along with John. He had a vision for the space, and they created it from the ground up.
A normal day at the shop is usually Dominic opening the shop. I come in a little late, catch up on paperwork, order inventory for the week, or check new inventory in. Dominic usually waits on all the customers, and I assist when he needs me. We work really well together as a team. It took a bit of work to get where we are at now, but knowing our individual roles in the business from the beginning was a BIG help. I stick around the shop while Dominic is wrenching. If he's really busy with repairs, I stay all day. If he finishes wrenching and we're slow, he usually sends me home to take care of our dogs. John works three days a week, and in the summer we have another part-time mechanic who works two to three days a week.
At night after the shop closes, we go home to our dogs, sometimes go work out at the gym together, and we usually don't talk about the business. Sundays we ride bikes and don't discuss the shop at all.
Saturdays are my favorite day at the shop. Dominic and I run the show together all day. We wake up, have breakfast, open the shop, work on orders, wait on customers and always have a good day. We go home together, have dinner, walk the dogs, and watch a movie.
It's important to have a balance with the business and our marriage. Our marriage is strong and we really work well together.
How could Cincinnati be a better city for cyclists?
Cincinnati is starting to come around. The bike lanes are helping, but it's a slow process. Educate motorists on the laws for cyclists, get more people on bikes and get them riding. Bicycling is up like 200 percent in the last few years ,so it's moving in the right direction! Queen City Bike
does a great job with advocacy too. I believe that everyone can ride bikes in the city if they want!
Are there any exciting developments for Spun?
We just received our sign from CoSign
! Our storefront is finally complete! We are really excited about 2014 and bringing on Kona Bicycle Company
to our brand of bikes stocked at the shop. We are working on the interior of the shop this winter, adding in some more color and merchandizing displays. We're excited about the wheel-building workshop we're having in January. We are just so happy with the first 10 months of our little shop's success, we can't wait to see what 2014 brings us.
Interview by Sean M. Peters