Take two avid cyclists, combine them with a desire to provide customers with the products they want and mix in a loan from the Utah Microenterprise Loan Fund and you have Spin Cycle, 4644 Holladay Blvd., a bicycle, accessories and repair shop.
Run by co-owners Robyn Koning and Rod Kujaczynski, Spin Cycle offers mountain and road bike sales, accessories and clothing. They and other businesses sponsor a cycling team, and they have a cycling club that takes periodic rides and encourages people to become cyclists.Ironically, Kujaczynski is back at the same location where he worked for a time for a bicycle shop before getting fired for having a difference of opinion over how the shop should be operated. He and Koning purchased the business in January 1996 and signed a lease for the building.
They said the former bicycle business had poor lighting, had a poor mix of inventory and wasn't providing customers with what they wanted. Using their savings and with financial help from relatives, Koning and Kujaczynski closed the store for six weeks and re-opened Feb. 20, 1996.
Thanks to a clean store, a wide selection of bikes and accessories, knowing what customers want, having a good service manager and knowledgeable employees, Spin Cycle showed a dramatic increase in sales in the first year over what the previous owner was doing.
Because Koning and Kujaczynski didn't meet the criteria for a bank loan, a friend and consultant referred them to the fund, and they got a $10,000 loan in February 1997. They used the money for store fixtures, restructuring some debt, purchased new inventory and had some left over for working capital.
They said the fund's loan was absolutely necessary to keep the company on its timetable. The couple said they could have made it through another year, but without the loan sales would have been impacted.
Kujaczynski said the cycling industry is different from some other businesses because dealerships are hard to come by. However, he considers the Cannondale, Specialized, Trek and Colnago lines of bikes to be among the best.
Spin Cycle has about 200 bikes in stock ranging in price from $220 to nearly $4,000. He said many people want to purchase a mountain bake because they are the rage, but Spin Cycle employees try to explain that a road bike might be better if it will be used on asphalt and not in the mountains.
A Salt Lake native, Koning attend the University of Utah, did commercial equipment leasing for two different banks and took up cycling as a hobby eight years ago.
Kujaczynski has lived in Oregon and California and has lived in Salt Lake City since 1978. A Canadian citizen with dual citizenship, he took some business class at the University of Utah and worked for Fidelity Investments for two years.
He started cycling as a hobby to reduce stress and met Koning while working at Kathy's Ranch Market, which is only two blocks away from their new business. He started her in cycling.
Kujaczynski got a job in a bicycle shop on Redwood Road and after 21/2 years the owner sent him to another shop at Spin Cycle's present location, but he eventually was fired. He went to work for Bike, Board, Blade and after two years learned that his former business was for sale.
They decided to take the business ownership plunge, and so far everything is working out.