HOW HAS YOUR IDENTITY OR CULTURE SHAPED YOUR BUSINESS AND BRAND AS A BLACK SMALL BUSINESS OWNER?
I take immense pride in being a Black Trans woman and expressing myself freely. My love for bicycles is a huge part of my identity and I have channeled this passion into my business, Carvelle Bikes. Our store is situated in the bustling city of Wilton Manors, where we aim to provide our customers with top-quality products and exceptional service.
WHY DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?
After spending 15 years in the cycling industry, I decided to start my own business. I had encountered some unfortunate instances of subtle racism in the industry, and despite my expertise, I found myself hitting a glass ceiling. As the only African-American and trans woman in the company's service mechanic department, I faced many challenges. However, I persevered and started my own bike shop just before the onset of COVID-19. Thankfully, the pandemic led to an increase in people riding their bikes, which has been good for business.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU WANT TO DO WITH YOUR BUSINESS?
The significance of my business may seem like a common sentiment, but I wish to convey that with the right mindset, anyone can accomplish anything. My personal experience has been riddled with numerous challenges, including homelessness, run-ins with law enforcement, and estrangement from my family for a period during my journey. However, I have managed to overcome these obstacles and establish my business.
WHAT DOES YOUR SMALL BUSINESS MEAN FOR YOUR LEGACY AND FAMILY?
Watching my mother battle pancreatic cancer twice while also being an entrepreneur has imbued in me the tenacity and determination that my family is known for. I am pleased that Carvelle Bikes is family-owned and operated and I know she would be too.
HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS HELP THE COMMUNITY?
I hold the esteemed position of a CAAB (Community Affairs Advisory Board) member in Wilton Manors, where I work diligently to curate and organize various city events that highlight the town's rich cultural heritage. Notable among these events are the Artwalk and a classic automobile show, which attract both local and international enthusiasts.
In addition to this role, I also serve as the Deputy Director of the Florida Democratic LGBTQ+ Caucus. In this capacity, I am dedicated to the protection and promotion of voting rights for all individuals irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity. As a part of my duties, I actively engage and empower young members of the LGBTQ+ community to be socially aware and involved in civic activities, ensuring their voices are heard.
Superior Bicycle Repair and Sales in Wilton Manors and Oakland Park
Carvelle Bikes is a full-service bicycle shop that has been serving the Wilton Manors and Oakland Park community for over 4 years. We offer a wide range of services, including:
Bicycle repair: We can fix any type of bicycle, from simple tune-ups to major repairs.
Bicycle sales: We carry a wide selection of new and used bicycles, including road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, and electric bikes.
Community engagement: We are committed to giving back to our community. We support local bike clubs and events, and we donate bicycles to those in need.
Visit our store today and let us help you on your new bike journey!