"When I started the store, there were tons of websites selling biker jackets, helmets and motorcycle parts, but not many with a good selection of biker gifts and smaller accessories," Black says. "I saw an opening and jumped at it."
"Royal Oak is a great place to base a motorcycle-theme business; the twice weekly bike nights downtown during the warmer months are always a great source of inspiration," Black adds.
More Motorcycles on the Road
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the number of registered motorcycles in the United States jumped 75 percent from 1997 to 2006. More than 11 million people in the U.S. own motorcycles, and it's estimated that more than 25 million people in the U.S. ride motorcycles each year.
And beyond the numbers, biker culture is more popular than ever. Biker TV shows, motorcycle inspired fashion and custom bikes are all contributing to people wanting a piece of the biker lifestyle, even some that don't have a motorcycle. And while the percentage of motorcycle owners who are 50+ years old has risen above 25 percent, motorcycling is gaining traction with Gen Y. Motorcycle ownership in this group grew 62 percent between 2003 and 2009.
The increasing number of online shoppers is another trend that is hard to ignore. According to research company eMarketer, the number of consumers shopping online will surpass 200 million by 2015, up from around 190 million today.
From Hobby to Business
Black is a second generation biker retailer and enjoys riding motorcycles. She knew as early as the spring of 2010 that she wanted to create an online store for biker gifts, but it wasn't until the following year that progress began.
"Making this store a reality had been a dream of mine for about two years before I really got started working on it. Now that we're actually making a profit, it's all a little surreal."
Today the store features a growing catalog of biker gifts including popular items such as motorcycle cup holders, leather hats, biker wallets, guardian biker bells and leather bags. The store ships anywhere in the United States and is hoping to expand to Canada in the next year or two.
Black, who designed and built the website herself, works to keep overhead low to pass the savings on to customers whenever possible.
The site also runs the Biker Blog, featuring articles on biker culture, biker movie and TV reviews, ride reviews, news and updates. The goal is to provide visitors with more than a shopping experience; the company wants to provide entertainment and information as well.
About Biker Gift Shop
Biker Gift Shop LLC is based in Royal Oak, MI, and sells biker gifts and accessories through their online catalog at bikergiftshop.com. Additional information is available at bikergiftshop.com/content/about
Source: Biker Gift Shop