EZE Ryders rolls into Level Loma
Spring of 2020 may not have appeared like the very best time to launch a brand new enterprise, however for Devin Raymond , the timing proved to be excellent.
Raymond was working within the logistics trade in Los Angeles, however when his girlfriend accepted a place at UC San Diego, they moved right here on the finish of 2019. On the time, his plan was to pursue a job in the identical trade, however after all, 2020 had different plans.
“With the pandemic, loads of firms stopped hiring,” Raymond stated throughout a telephone interview. “I had a aspect enterprise within the electrical bike trade for the previous couple years; it was my aspect hustle. Successfully, I used to be promoting bikes out of our storage. It was a enjoyable factor to do, and a approach to make a bit extra cash. So as soon as the (logistics) jobs dried up final 12 months, I pivoted into working extra on this, after which it simply so occurred that bikes, particularly e-bikes, grew to become the most popular ticket merchandise of the 12 months.”
Bicycles and e-bicycles had been one of many few industries that boomed through the pandemic. Individuals instantly discovered themselves with numerous time on their fingers and, with gyms closed to cease the unfold of the virus, the necessity for various types of train was excessive.
“It was an odd confluence of occasions the place the e-bike trade was rising to start with, and the pandemic simply threw fuel on the entire enterprise,” Raymond stated. “It was truthfully troublesome to maintain up final 12 months, with all the things occurring. We had loads of issues with manufacturing delays and delivery delays, they usually’re nonetheless persevering with now, which might in all probability be the most important problem to our enterprise.”
He defined that due to the pandemic and the stay-at-home orders, which restricted actions that folks may do, biking grew to become a pure resolution for dependable transportation and train.
“Everybody was shaken out of their regular routines and we had a bit extra time to cease and scent the roses,” he stated. “Additionally, we had been restricted on what we may do to sure actions which might be outdoor, which might be by your self, the place you’ll be able to socially distance. Biking is ideal factor for that.”
“Add in, hey, perhaps you don’t wish to take the bus anymore or the trolley or take an Uber someplace, and it’s like, properly, perhaps there’s one other alternative for that. I believe folks began realizing how useful these motorized bikes might be and that they’re not only a toy, they’re an precise device for getting round.”
Initially, Raymond’s aspect hustle concerned not solely promoting bikes wholesale, but additionally manufacturing bikes and serving to small companies do the identical.
He manufactured non-branded bakes and offered them at bike outlets that would flip them into their very own model.
“That was sort of a singular spin, the place everybody else was like, ‘Hey, right here’s our personal model,’ I used to be serving to smaller companies to create their very own model, and to essentially take bike outlets, skate outlets and surf outlets and provides them a further income,” he stated. “I do know it’s robust to be a small enterprise and if I can get a product within the door of your native surf store that helps them drive a bit bit of additional income or rent one other individual, then that’s an amazing alternative.”
All through 2020, Raymond continued constructing his aspect enterprise till it was profitable sufficient for it to turn into his full-time career, permitting him to depart behind the logistics trade.
“Why would I trouble doing anything when I’ve one thing that I believe is thrilling, that offers me a possibility to be an entrepreneur and have my very own enterprise? Why would I am going work for any individual else once I might be working for myself?” Raymond stated.
“[I realized] this isn’t going away, this isn’t a one-time factor, that is occurring and it’s occurring everywhere in the nation and actually, Southern California is the hotbed of exercise for it as properly. In order that’s once I stated, ‘Hey, let’s go all in with this factor.’”
Raymond started methods to lift cash to open up his personal store. He’d been understanding of a warehouse in San Clemente, which he visited a number of occasions every week to meet orders.
He didn’t qualify for presidency help, since these had been designed to assist already present companies. So he cleared out his financial savings and borrowed cash from family and friends to go all in on his enterprise and open up a retailer.
As for the place to open up store, Raymond stated that as a result of he lived in downtown San Diego, he wished one thing nearer to house.
“I spent months scouring the realm, on the lookout for a great location. I’d actually go on bike rides, day-long bike rides in numerous areas… I knew what I used to be on the lookout for, I knew the sort of house I wanted, I knew the sort of neighborhood I wished to be in. I actually wished to be in a neighborhood the place we may care for the local people,” he stated.
He landed on a spot off Voltaire Avenue within the Level Loma Heights space and in mid-January, EZE Ryders formally opened.
Raymond likes the neighborhood’s group, in addition to the picturesque panorama. And, after all, being close to the seashore is a plus.
“Our seashore cruisers and the opposite electrical bikes that we do lend very properly to that,” he defined. “(They’re) sort of the right instruments to take full benefit of a seashore group.”
Raymond stated that what units EZE Ryders aside from different on-line, direct bike sellers is customer support and experience.
“What we noticed with loads of these on-line bike firms is that they actually lack the customer support. Yeah, you may be capable to get a motorbike from one in all these on-line firms shipped to your home. Perhaps you avoid wasting cash on doing it, perhaps you don’t, however on the finish of the day, there’s actually nobody there that will help you,” Raymond stated.
Additionally, as a result of the bikes are each mechanical and electrical, they want particular care and adjustment — providers you’ll be able to’t at all times discover should you purchase on-line.
EZE Ryders gives leases and repairs on electrical bikes, and promote quite a lot of manufacturers, together with its personal customized line known as Coastal Cruisers. Greatest-sellers embrace motorized seashore cruisers and extra distinctive merchandise, like OneWheels, that are motorized, one-wheeled skateboards.
Within the meantime, together with his enterprise flourishing, Raymond has absolutely embraced residing and proudly owning a enterprise in San Diego.
“It’s very nice to have the chance to maneuver right here and to start out a enterprise right here and be a part of the group. I don’t wish to be sappy, it’s sort of like a dream come true,” he stated.
Raymond says they’re planning an outside soft-opening occasion on March 21. For extra details about EZE Ryders, go to ezeryders.com.