We had the good fortune of connecting with Shelley Patterson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shelley, what do you attribute your success to?
Our brand Buddy Bike® builds a bicycle that can provide therapeutic benefits for riders with special needs. The most important factor behind the success of our brand is that we treat this special population as we would want to be treated ourselves.
What should our readers know about your business?
What do we do at Buddy Bike, LLC? We make smiles and bring joy to families with special needs children who may think they are out of options. Buddy Bike, LLC is the manufacturer and worldwide distributor of the Buddy Bike®, an inline tandem bicycle that steers from the back seat and provides therapeutic activity for riders with autism, down syndrome, sight impairment and other disabilities that would make it unsafe for a child to safely ride a bike on their own. To understand that we are more than just a manufacturer of a bicycle, I think you need to know our story. In the early 1990s, Robert “Bob” Gardner from Willits, California invented the Love Bike so he could ride with his young son in the front seat. In 2003, Barry Nelson, from Golden Beach, Florida, discovered the Love Bike and its benefits in riding with his son, Jesse, who has autism. Barry found that placing the child with a disability in the front seat offered a security that no other cycling option offered at that time allowing Barry and Jesse to continue enjoying cycling together long after Jesse outgrew the other child cycling options. Barry wanted other families to experience the same joy that he and Jesse had with the special bike so in 2005 he purchased the patent and inventory and changed the name of the Love Bike to the Buddy Bike. Barry’s long-time law firm Marketing Coordinator, Shelley Patterson, was hired as the Director of Marketing and Business Development of Buddy Bike. I am Shelley Patterson. For 15 years, I have managed all aspects of the business including product development. I have worked hard to build a company that promotes cycling and brings the cycling experience to as many families as possible – especially to families with kids with special needs who might not think riding a bicycle would be am option. I am proud that with the help of the knowledgeable crew at Fairing Industries, I am able to provide a quality bicycle that is life-changing for some families. I am also proud that I have been able to help many families who thought they could not afford a Buddy Bike, by providing information and resources and by connecting them with funding sources. There have been many challenges along the way and they continue today with new difficulties created by these Coronavirus times. I have learned that as long as you have a quality product that you believe in, you tell your story honestly and with your heart, and you treat people well, the word will travel and the sales will come.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am based in Jupiter, Florida. When I visit the warehouse in Chino, California, I leave it up to my West Coast Family at Fairing Industries to feed me well and show me the sights!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The Buddy Bike wouldn’t exist without Bob Gardner (our inventor), Barry Nelson (owner), Jesse Nelson (inspiration) and the crew at Fairing Industries (providing manufacturing, warehousing and dependable support). In addition to our own crew, we are grateful to the families and customers who take the time to say kind and positive things about the Buddy Bike and our company and who help us spread the word about the Buddy Bike and its benefits for riders with special needs. We also have to send a big shout out to all of the non-profit organizations, case workers, county agencies and other groups who have helped families find funding to obtain the Buddy Bike. In 15 years of operation, there are several people that I have met that I admire as mentors. These people have provided support, advice and friendship. There are too many people to name!
1st image – https://jimharrisphoto.com/