Business Owner Spotlight: Fairmount Bicycles

Shelly Walker

Fairmount Bicycles & Brewerytown Bicycles


Instagram: @fairmountbikes & @brewerytownbicycles

Years in Operation: 7 on Fairmount, 3 on Girard

Member-to-Member Discount: 20% off service, accessories, components

How did you come to be a business owner? When I saw that Fairmount didn't have a bike shop, I really wanted to make it happen! I took a super helpful business course through Entrepreneur Works, which helped me figure out the basics. With a lot of help from friends and family, I figured out a way to turn Fairmount Bicycles into a reality. It was (and still can be) both terrifying and exciting all at the same time.

What is the mission of your business? Bike shops have a reputation for being condescending places where people are scared to admit that they don't know anything about bikes. We pride ourselves on being friendly and accepting, and I hope that comes across to everyone who walks in our doors. When our customers are happy, I am happy.

Give three words that describe the small businesses you like to visit as a customer. Friendly, quality, and affordable.

In a few words, describe your small business corridor or community. When we first opened up on Fairmount Ave, I quickly realized that the neighborhood felt like a small town within a big city. The community seems to pride themselves on shopping locally and being good neighbors.

How does your business fit into the larger business community in Philadelphia? More and more, bikes are becoming a mode of transportation. Even if people aren't necessarily buying their bikes through us, they do need a place to get their bike serviced. A handful of bike shops have opened up in the last few years, which to me indicates a growing demand in our city.

What’s one thing you know now about running a business, that you wish you knew then? Note to past Shelly: "Don't try to do your own payroll - it will cost you more in penalties when you mess it up than paying a payroll company!"

How do you relieve stress that accompanies owning a business? Hanging out with dogs! I also play hockey, mountain bike, and have a super supportive partner.

What’s the one concept or principle that has been key to your success? Hire friendly. You can teach skills, but you can't teach friendly. I received this advice from someone else and it has been the most important factor in creating a workspace that is comfortable for both customers and employees. I'm grateful for my awesome staff because they are what keeps us in business.

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