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Wheeling and Dealing

Aug 29, 2012

In 2006, Lesley Tweedy and her husband made a longtime dream come true when they took an old Chicago storefront and converted it into a neighborhood bike shop. With seed money from investors, they built up their inventory and created Roscoe Village Bikes, a store they hoped would meet the needs of local residents.

But there was a particular bike helmet that just gathered dust on the shelf; no customer was interested in buying it.

That’s when Lesley and her husband started their own online marketplace, They wanted to be able to sell items like this bike helmet to a wider audience, and to help other local shops do the same. “I found fellow store owners have the same issue…sometimes [they] find themselves with an item that lingers too long,” Lesley says. “There was no inexpensive and simple-to-use online marketplace just for independent stores like mine.”

The website helps small stores from 20 different states unload items, like Chicago Cubs wallpaper, a 1940s pillow, and a little girl’s tutu. “When I think about sales,” she says, “I actually think about matching somebody with something they’re looking for.”

On the surface, getting specific products into people’s hands is what Lesley does on a daily basis, but her ultimate goal is to always put a smile on each customer’s face. “If I can do that 20 or 50 times a day,” Lesley says, “at the end of my day, I feel like I helped somebody—and that makes me feel good.”


To read more about It’s Your Business—Run It!, click here and to see other entrepreneurs in our video series, click here.