Small-Business Success Story: Bryson City Bicycles

Opening a bike shop let this couple turn their passion into a new career.

Kiplinger's spoke with Diane Cutler, co-owner of Bryson City Bicycles, a Bryson City, N.C.-based bicycle shop, about why she and co-owner Andy Zivinsky, left the safety of their 9-to-5 jobs to pursue entrepreneurship. Read on for an excerpt from our interview:

Why open a bike shop? We are lifelong bicyclists. I rode across the U.S. when I was 20, and Andy was an accomplished BMX racer as a kid. Andy had mechanical prowess and friends who owned a bike shop, so he thought a shop would work. I was against it. I'd been in bike shops my whole life, and I was never treated with respect. It was a "boys' club" kind of thing. But Andy said we could be inclusive.

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Patricia Mertz Esswein
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Esswein joined Kiplinger in May 1984 as director of special publications and managing editor of Kiplinger Books. In 2004, she began covering real estate for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, writing about the housing market, buying and selling a home, getting a mortgage, and home improvement. Prior to joining Kiplinger, Esswein wrote and edited for Empire Sports, a monthly magazine covering sports and recreation in upstate New York. She holds a BA degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, Minn., and an MA in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University.