Women-Owned Business Series: Joann Nicolosi of The Bike Shop

This women-owned business series spotlight is on Joann Nicolosi of The Bike Shop in Carroll Gardens. Photos are taken from her Instagram @CourtCycles.

First tell us about your business and anything special we should know about it or you.

My name is Joann Nicolosi I have owned the bicycle shop at 514 Court Street since 1990 it’s not my first location as my original location was on Smith And Douglas Streets when I had purchased the store from my boss, Lenny Stevens. I always  knew I wanted to be the owner of The Bike Shop someday.  I love the feeling of independence and accomplishment. Most people who came into shop would ask “do you work here?” and when I replied “yes” they would say “I’ve never met a female mechanic”.  Then I would say “would you be shocked to know I am the owner”.  Their mouths would stay open for a few seconds. By the time I finished repairing their bikes they were still in shock. 

Any bike-related events coming up?

The five borough bike tour is this Sunday May 5th it’s our busiest time.

Tell us a little about your background and why you feel a connection to your work.

I feel a connection to the bike shop because I’m always looking for an innovation. If something a customer requests isn’t available I’ll try to make it. I was recently call female Macgyver in my yelp page for helping a gentleman repair a frame. It was the best compliment I had ever gotten.

We’d like to know about your experience within your community. Why did you choose the neighborhood that you did to open your business? How have you become involved within your community?

I have lived in the neighborhood for over 40 years. I was born on Columbia street in 1966 a few blocks from here and my family still lives in the neighborhood. I’m first generation American and my parents both born In Italy. I love this neighborhood and even with all the changes the increases in rents, I try to stay as long as I can.  It really gets hard sometimes I want to close up shop.  Other shops pop up all the time when they see how difficult it is they close within 2 years. I have put baby seats on bicycles for parents today that were children when I first met them. 

What advice would you give to young women who want to open a small business?

It’s not about the money or I think I would have been rich by now.  It’s really about loving what you do and helping as much as you can with the skills you were given. Have faith and if you have dreams and aspirations it will come true. 

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