New women’s bike boutique opens in Midtown Anchorage
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - It’s not easy to launch a new business during a pandemic, but two Anchorage women believe they have a ready market.
Krystal Offord and Nancy Richmond opened AK Cycle Chic in what was the Midtown Alaska Walking Store in Anchorage last week. The store sells women’s biking gear and apparel, something that’s been difficult to obtain in Anchorage, according to Offord.
“We were hearing from other women that they had to order online,” she said. “And if they weren’t able to try it on, which you’re not, and they get it and it doesn’t fit, they have to go to the trouble of mailing it back. So we are trying to mitigate that problem.”
Offord said the idea to open the store was hatched during a “COVID Happy Hour” in a friend’s garage after a bike ride. She knew she would have a large customer base among her biking friends.
“We have a lot of connections in the bike community and everyone’s on board and they’re super excited,” she said.
The pandemic may bring them even more business. Across the street, at the Bicycle Store in Midtown, Manager Nicholas Carman said COVID-19 has nudged people outdoors and many of them are buying bikes.
“We are still seeing record numbers of people looking for bikes, a lot of new cyclists getting into the sport. So we are equipping and outfitting a lot of new cyclists,” he said.
And, a lot of them, according to Cycle Chic co-owner Nancy Richmond, are women.
“There’s a lot of beginners now because of COVID, I believe. A lot more women, people in general, but a lot more women getting out on their bikes,” Richmond said.
Richmond and Offord said they want the shop to be a place where women feel comfortable, not just buying merchandise, but also getting advice and support when it comes to any sort of biking question.
“We are bringing women together and kind of empowering them to be a little bit more confident out there,” Richmond said.
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