It’s challenging to run a small business in the best of times. Everyone at Team Dream has to wear multiple hats and be ready to adapt at a moment’s notice. Truth be told, we’re a scrappy operation driven mostly by the desire to connect with people, make cool stuff locally and contribute to our community. Fun and cats are at the front of everything we try to do, but it takes a lot of serious work to keep things running, smoothly or otherwise.
This year the challenges have been raised to a new level. Figuring out how to operate through a global pandemic has been exhausting. Managing the safety of our team and customers, worrying about payroll and bills against uncertain financial times, disruptions to manufacturing…. There hasn’t been a moment where we feel comfortable because we’ve had to adjust and adapt almost constantly. Everyone on our team has been working extra hard to juggle even more than usual, and our priorities have had to change. As our focus turned to supporting our local community through The Cub House we ended up taking an unplanned break from the internet/social media.
When we felt we could start to shift back to Team Dream it was important to us that our first step be in support of an end to all racial injustice, but especially in the bike industry. Once we became aware of the ways our business had overlooked the inequality in our industry, we could not continue to ignore it. Hours, weeks and months of conversation followed. We decided to put our time and resources into a small collection to make a statement and raise funds. We worked with our production partners to bring these items to life at a much lower cost than normal so we could donate all profit to support the work of The Los Angeles Bike Academy and The NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund. We are incredibly grateful for everyone’s purchases and will be sharing more about the outcome of this effort with you soon. The products are now sold out, but you can read more about the launch in this journal post.
Back in March, when we closed down The Cub House as the pandemic upended things, we had no idea what was ahead. A lot has happened since then and we thought we’d share some updates from our small corner of the world as we continue to adjust and move forward with this year. It's been hard, but we don't take for granted how fortunate we are to be healthy, working and sharing our love of bikes with people. Keep scrolling for news from the last 7+ months and follow @teamdreamteam for updates about our upcoming Holiday Launch.
The entire Team Dream/The Cub House Team thanks you for your support.
The Bike Shop
The bike shop has been a part of The Cub House since we opened in San Marino in 2017, but it’s small and not usually the primary focus of our operation. Immediately, and dramatically, after the California stay at home order went into effect The Cub House became 100% bike shop. We initially closed for two weeks to assess the situation and make a plan to move forward safely. Then we reopened for essential bike service by appointment only and we were flooded with repairs for a solid 3 months. In the times before the pandemic we’d hold 15-20 bikes in the shop for service. This past spring we were taking in 15-20 bikes every single day. At one point we had close to 200 bikes in the shop for repairs.
The big surge in service seems to have settled down. We’re able to turn things around more quickly and build up new bikes, when we can get them. A huge shift in demand, on top of supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic, has meant shortages and delays on all kinds of things this year. We sold out of available stock quickly and even when we can get bikes, we haven’t been able to fully match the demand.
Operating under strict new safety protocols has slowed things down for us, everything takes longer. We are so appreciative of the patience and understanding that our customers (online and in-person) have extended to us through this period. Ultimately, we are excited to see people enjoying bikes. We’ve met so many new people in our community and seeing them out riding is keeping us going.
One silver lining of not having customers in the shop is that we were able to do some long delayed improvement projects. We tore down the ceiling by the front door to gain access and fix a persistent leak. Our friend Todd Regalado built and installed new custom shelving to expand our storage. And we have several projects going on outside, beginning with a fresh coat of paint on our peeling exterior. The Cub House is one of two places most of us spend our time this year - the other is home - so it feels really good to give it some love.
The New Boss
Some of the best news to come out of the last 7 months is the arrival of Benicio Franklin Merckx Talkington (AKA Benny Franks), who joined our team on August 4. He's tiny but mighty and already favored to win the 2044 Tour de France. Having a baby hasn’t just been an adjustment at home, it’s meant some changes for Team Dream/The Cub House, too. Carla has been at home for most of this year, to protect her health during pregnancy and now to care for Benny. Being down one of our most valuable team members has been a big adjustment and we miss her a lot, but Carla is doing important work to support the health and happiness of our new CEO.
Limited In-store Browsing
We are cautiously allowing customers to browse inside again. 1 person, or group from the same home, allowed at a time. Face masks required. No appointment necessary. We are still setup and able to help you outside if you'd prefer. This is subject to change at any time. Follow @itsnotabikeshop or visit cubhouse.cc for the latest operating protocols.
Wear a mask and stay safe out there!