In the summer of 2013 I had hit a breaking point in my life. Like many other working moms, I was struggling to keep up with the daily demands of my career, family, and home. The stress I was under effected me terribly, as well as my three young children, my husband, and any hope of a social life. I feared that I had lost sight of who I really was as an individual and knew that I needed a change. We all did.
For most of my adult life I had dreamed of someday owning my own business but had no idea what type of business I wanted to do, so I started researching. I looked into various franchises thinking that would be the “safe” way to go but none of them felt right for me. Then one day while attempting to shop for a leather motorcycle jacket, I realized how little there was to offer for women motorcyclists. I was weary about shopping online because I’m usually an awkward fit in apparel. I know I’m not the only one. It was then that I began to ponder starting a retail store that would cater to women riders and directed my research to the motorcycle industry. Things moved pretty fast after that. I talked to everyone I could think of; family, friends, entrepreneurs, business development professionals, the bank… I was able to put a full business plan together in six months (Jun-Nov 2013), and in December of 2013 I had financing. I opened the Ride Empowered store in my hometown of Sioux Falls, SD on March 1, 2014.
I’m not one of these amazing women you read about who grew up surrounded by motorcycles and started riding at an early age. I didn’t start riding until I was 31, and it was on the back of my husband’s new bike. He didn’t have any life long connections to riding either. It was just a new hobby for us to enjoy, but for me it grew into a lot more pretty quick. The summer after we bought his bike I took a basic rider course and bought my own. It took me a few years to get comfortable riding, but when I did it was life changing… A life change that I desperately needed.
The name of my business may seem odd to some, Ride Empowered, but it’s how I feel when I ride. I feel empowered to be myself, to face my fears, and to live my life the way I want to live it. This is something that I feel is important to share with others, particularly with other women, because I know many of them face the same struggles I did and still do face. I believe that motorcycling hits women in a different way than it does men. It’s wind therapy for all that ride, but for women it’s more… It’s also about facing their fears, overcoming challenge, and/or taking their place as an equal in a man’s world. It’s my hope that as a female business owner in the motorcycling industry I can share this passion with other riders and become a source of support and information for them.
Ride Free. Ride Beautiful. Ride Empowered! xoxo