By Kristin Kinnamon, Board President
After 15 years in our current location inside the Broadway Mall building, many of us have been excited by the prospect of moving to new space down the hall. Volunteers and staff have spent many hours mapping out how we’d fit bikes, volunteers and services in this more retail-oriented location.
The more serious we got about the move, the more concerned we got that it wasn’t the right fit, period. Our monthly costs would double, easy access to the garage and parking lot would be gone, and our work would still be spread across 3 different rooms.
Ultimately, after reviewing the benefits, downsides, and risks of a move, Executive Director Christy Cowley recommended that we “bloom in place.” It’s a strategy that invests in major improvements, but keeps our focus on accomplishing our mission rather than making rent.
A grant from the City of Everett is expected to help pay for a new see-through garage door and more direct entrance off our back alley.
We’ll work to brighten up the garage so it can be a more welcoming community space. Shop Coordinator Aaron Taht and volunteers continue to organize and reconfigure things inside the shop, with the goal of making more efficient use of space to everyone’s benefit – more work stations for volunteers, parts and tools easier to find, less excess and rarely-used stuff in our main shop (you can help by shopping at our March 26 Garage Sale.)
We are committed to working with our landlord to pursue investments in lighting, plumbing, electrical and other improvements to the shop and garage.
Finally, rather than street-front visibility, we plan to invest in our virtual presence. The goal is getting all our ready-to-ride bikes online with photos and basic information to draw customers into the shop.
Bottom line: Sharing Wheels is moving ahead, but not moving. In addition to “blooming in place,” we are excited to put time and resources into mission-based activities like bike repair clinics in the community, a monthly educational booth at the Everett Farmers Market, and connecting even more bikes to people who need them.
Thanks for your continuing support in our 20th year as a nonprofit.
Things We Need:
- Volunteers to staff events on weekends
- Milk crates
- Customers – tell your friends and family about Sharing Wheels
If you can help, email Executive Director Christy Cowley or call the shop at 425-252-6952.