Company name: Bayside Runner www.baysiderunner.com
Mission: Bayside Runner is the South Shore’s independently owned and operated store for runners and walkers. We are committed not only to helping runners and walkers at all levels find the right shoes, apparel and accessories, but also to inspiring our customers to live a healthy life and to enjoy the benefits of being fit.
The Start: February 2009
Where: Plymouth, MA
Your name, email, phone: Adam Stuhlfaut MBA ’07, 508-591-8422, firstname.lastname@example.org
Employees:1 (2 if you include me)
Founder’s Past: My passion for running began when I raced my first mile on a cinder track in his 7th-grade gym class. I went on to run competitively at Wayzata High School (Minnesota), where I won the state cross-country championship in my senior year, at Princeton University (New Jersey) and for the New Balance Boston racing club. I also has coached runners at every level and age. Prior to Babson, I was a founding teacher at the Epiphany Middle School in Dorchester, MA, a conference coordinator for the Unitarian Universalist Association and the manager of the Gutman Conference Center at the Harvard Grad School of Education. During Babson, I interned and consulted for Puma International and after Babson I worked as a product manager for track & field footwear at New Balance.
How The Idea Began: I was practically raised inside Talbots stores by my mother who managed multiple stores in the Minneapolis area. One of my early jobs was at a running store in a suburb of Minneapolis. I’ve worked other retail and small stores such as coffee shops, so this environment is very comfortable for me. I can’t remember when I first starting thinking of opening a specialty running retail shop. In fact, I can’t remember when I didn’t want to do it! I worked at New Balance from 08-09 and visited many similar shops and my interest in opening a shop was the dream was revitalized. Also, when I was working at New Balance I noticed that shops like this actually grew during the recession, so I knew that if I found the right location there was potential. Last June, my wife and I took stock and decided it was a good time to go for it.
Favorite Thing about the Business:When you do what you are passionate about, it doesn’t feel like work. Starting this business was also a family effort. One of my brothers designed my logo and webpage, another brother is helping me with my medical referral business (he’s a doc at Jordan Hospital in Plymouth), my dad helps me write copy and build my checkout counter, my father-in-law is a lawyer and helped negotiating my lease, my mother helped merchandise the store, my mother-in-law painted my shoe fitting benches, my wife among all the other support she gives me named the business. It was amazing to work with my family in this way!
Worst Thing About the Business: Hmmm…I’m still learning so much about the business. I think I’m only unhappy when there is no one in the store.
Biggest Challenge: Since I’ve only been open for a short time by biggest concern is starting up the cash flow stream. I have financing that will get me through the first few month, but them I’m on my own.
Lesson Learned: Be flexible, and don’t listen negativity. Be ready for simple things to take forever and otherwise complex things to work out smoothly.