My successes. 

My greatest success has to be in founding and running a non profit that touched the lives of thousands of people over the years. Creating a space that could serve a community and a people that often go overlooked and providing them a space where respect is the only cost of entry. My greatest success is in serving my community and in turn being lifted up by those I have helped. It’s what I consider a win-win situation.

What do you do? 

I’m an advocate for the bicycle and all the forms it takes, recreation, commuting, social riding, fitness and more. I create products that make the bicycling experience better and provide access to culture around cycling.

What inspired you to start your business? 

As co-founder and Executive Director of San Francisco Yellow Bike Project I heard many people’s issues around what keeps them from riding. As the non-profit is focused on supporting mechanical access (parts, tools and knowledge) I couldn’t help but tackle other concerns. That’s where LWD comes from - the desire to answer every question and solve every issue that keeps people from riding.

What's special about your business? 

LWD is focused on the needs of cyclists, from all angles or vantages, we want to help every interested person to be able to ride. We also strive to create positive outcomes across all of our business operations, supply chains and for all stakeholders. There are immense benefits for choosing to ride and we aim to celebrate them all.

What have been the high and low points of being a business owner? 

I’m a brand new business but have been developing my strategy and products for over a year. The highs come in the form of serving a role that allows someone to feel the empowerment of riding. The lows have revolved around toiling alone, trying to identify how best to move forward with ambitious plans.

What have you learned from your experiences as a business owner? 

The value of work, and if I’m being honest, my privilege in this society as a white male. Additionally, my family never had a lot, but they planned and saved and allowed me to have opportunities that many others have not had. I’ve learned through this that the best part of business ownership comes through serving those that ultimately need what I have to offer and helping make another person’s day better, brighter, safer, or more fulfilling.

What influenced you to seek help from SCORE? 

As a newcomer to Philadelphia I needed to make some connections. As listed above, I needed a mentor and someone that would be interested in my success. As a lifelong learner personality, I knew that even if I had experience in some aspects of business that I could always learn something new. Telling my story, asking for help, making new connections. It’s what is available at SCORE.

How SCORE helped. 

Gloria Reisman, my SCORE mentor, helped me to immediately focus on one aspect of my plans. After making that decision she helped connect me to a local resource that was perfect for the next steps on my project. I believe that this connection stands to be one of the most valuable leads my young business has ever received. Local knowledge and connections are absolutely what SCORE had to offer me.

What's great about my mentor? 

Gloria helped me focus on an aspect of my business and encouraged me to hone in on what I needed to do to start to bring about success through it. She then connected me to more resources that would immediately help me on my journey. It felt great to be believed in and pushed along on my journey.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business? 

Find a mentor, believe in yourself and recognize that you are bringing something to life. It’s a challenge each and every day to accomplish something but when your work pays off there is a sense of accomplishment that you can take pride in. This achievement is the result of your efforts.

What would you tell a fellow business owner about SCORE? 

If you need support with your business the mentors and classes that SCORE offers will stand to help. Whether specific needs or as general motivation the mentors know what it takes to understand you and help you get the information or connections your business needs.

LWD Better Bicycling