Riding Self-Employment

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Riding Self-Employment

Laura Mauck is the Co-Owner & Communications Director of Juggernaut Cargo Bikes in Denver, Colorado. Juggernaut Cargo Bikes was born from Laura’s experiences in urban planning, architecture and design. These influences came together to create a handcrafted and precision-engineered product that is practical, effective, and beautiful.

When and why did you join the NASE?
We joined NASE a year ago when we applied for and received the small business Growth Grant.

What inspired you to enter your current field?
We were inspired to start our business because of our backgrounds and our love of biking. My partner Jeff is a designer and urban planner and my other partner, Dan, is a real estate agent with a unique perspective on the changing urban environment in Denver, and I am a historic preservationist. We are all avid bikers and we wanted to offer an alternative form of transportation in our ever growing and congested city of Denver, with the dream of selling our product throughout the United States.

When and why did you start your business?
We started our business in 2017 after being inspired by European cargo bikes. We saw that they were very popular in places like Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Barcelona and thought that the United States would embrace the concept as well.

How do you market your business?
We market our business through social media, newsletters, attendance at events/shows/conferences and by word of mouth.

What challenges have you faced in your business?
Our biggest challenge has been being “first to market” in America. While cargo bikes are very popular in Europe, Americans have not quite caught on to the movement. We are overcoming this obstacle by building awareness of our product and taking advantage of every opportunity that is offered to us to help share our love and passion for this product.

Do you have any employees?
We do not currently have employees, but work with independent contractors such as our bike builder and engineer. We hope to have employees after we have finished our production run.

Can you tell us about your schedule and what a typical day is like for you?
Since we are currently in the production phase of our business, a typical day finds us spending a lot of time with our bike builder and engineer. It takes a lot of effort to make sure all the parts are ordered and coming in at the right times from all over the world. We also spend a lot of time doing outreach and marketing both through social media and by attending events. We are also passionate about changing biking infrastructure for the better, so we spend a lot of time advocating on the local, state and federal level for improved bike lanes.

What’s the best thing about being self-employed?
The best thing about being self-employed is being able to express our creativity and to take advantage of constant opportunities to learn new things. There is so much satisfaction in mastering new challenges and accomplishing something new and unknown.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received from a client?
The best compliments for us are always the look on people’s faces when they first drive, or ride in our cargo bike. They express sheer happiness and amazement at how easy it is to use and how comfortable it is. We love reminding people of the freedom that can come from letting go of your car and getting on a bike.

What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?
The most important piece of advice I would give to someone starting a new business is to make sure that the thing you are starting is something you are passionate about. When the going gets rough, the pressure is on, or doubt starts to creep in, it is important to believe in your product and to be passionate about your purpose.

Which NASE member benefit is most important to you?
Applying for and receiving the grant was a great help to us, but we also enjoy receiving the informative emails and taking advantage of the discounts at Office Max.

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Courtesy of NASE.org