SelfInformed

July 2013


Member Spotlight: Perfect Partners

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Shelley and Kevin Booth have been NASE Members since 2006. They own Suspension Experts in Asheville, N.C.

Tell us about your business.
Suspension Experts is the go-to destination for suspension system repair, tuning, and 
sales for mountain bikers; a service partner for bike shops; and a trusted associate for bike manufacturers. Kevin and I founded the business together in 2005 based on Kevin’s 20 years of experience as a mountain bike rider, racer, and bicycle industry rep. 

 We make it our business to understand the complexity of each manufacturer’s suspension system, and how to achieve the best results for each rider. That intimate knowledge led has led our team of five to develop and manufacture custom tools and procedures that let us give customers the best service possible. 

What’s the coolest thing about your business?
The coolest thing is that we’ve made a truly niche business operate successfully. In the beginning, we took things very slowly and managed to grow in a measured, purposeful way. We’re now at a level where we are partnering with the leading mountain bike suspension manufacturers in the industry. We feel good about our choices and are more than ready to take it to the next stage of growth. Plus, our business really is about mountain bikes and making sure riders are getting the most performance out of their bikes—how cool is that? We love spending time outdoors, riding our bikes, and building a great business. It all comes together for us in our business. 

How do you give back to your local community?
We’re always striving to buy locally, from our drinking water to embroiderers and printers for marketing materials. The other way we give back is by making contributions to local non-profits that support the cycling community, the environment, and education. We are also proud of the fact that we donate services to non-profit bike organizations for their races and cycling events. 

Any tips on running a business with your spouse? 
Kevin and I are fortunate in that we have very different skill sets. He’s focused on the bikes, our technicians, relationships with the suspension manufacturers, new product development and partnerships, as well as the day-to-day operations. My background is in administration and financial management, marketing and public relations. I don’t tell him what tools to order and he doesn’t mess with the spreadsheets. His passion is bikes, and mine is managing a great business. The important thing is that we both agree on the “big picture” goals and vision for our growing business.

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in running the business that you forget to take care of your relationship. We’ve learned that when your relationship with your partner is strong, your business will benefit.

GET PUBLICITY FOR YOUR BUSINESS!
Your business could be featured in the SelfInformed Member Spotlight or another NASE publication. Let us know you’d like to be featured and tell us more about your business on our Publicity Form.

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