UTAH SMALL BUSINESS BLOG
“With us, you’re not a price tag. The moment you walk through our doors, you become part of a family.” These are the wise words from the team at Chapel Motorcycle in Murray, Utah and this attitude is one of the many reasons we chose Chapel as our December Business of the Month! Read all about the business that strives to be the best motorcycle shop, parts and accessories vendor in the industry below!
UMLF: Tell us about yourself and your background?
Chapel: Our team includes Karl Baird, Kolby Reber, and Colleen Reber Baird. We are the owners of The Chapel Motorcycle Shop. We also have a very solid management team including Mitch Fichialos and Robin Neilsen, plus 5 other full-time employees and 2 part-time employees.
Karl’s background has been focused on working with start-up companies for the last 13 years along with holding executive level management positions. He has a strong focus on marketing, B2B relationships, and customer service. He has built multiple departments and companies from the ground up while maintaining high levels of employee and customer satisfaction. Karl’s true passion has been riding and working on motorcycles his whole life. His skills and background are a driving force to make this company successful. The last 5 years of Karl’s focus has been on building the overall company but with a strong focus on customer service, shop operations, and efficiencies.
Kolby brings a wide range of talents, skills, and abilities to the table. He has been a professional graphic designer with 20+ years of experience working with clients and designing everything from business packages, logos, advertisements, publishing, website design, and even 3 years of pre-press experience. He has worked in retail customer service for 12+ years and understands the true value of keeping the customer happy. Kolby is also very skilled at building and creating things. He has 3 years of remodeling construction experience that taught him a full range of general building practices, including framing, concrete, sheetrock, and various finish work. He also has over two years’ experience, as the assistant head carpenter for the Utah Opera, building professional theater sets. Besides this work experience, Kolby is also a great thinker and has great problem-solving skills. He is excellent at product research and purchasing. He has a keen eye for detail and quality, and he will find the best price. He is also great at choosing products that other people enjoy. He has a great sense of what “cool” is. The last 5 years of Kolby’s focus has been on building the overall company but with a strong focus on running the Design Studio which includes Embroidery, Design, Vinyl, and clothing, this further includes designing custom artwork for custom products, ads, web design, flyers, logos. etc., and his great appreciation for strong customer service. Kolby is definitely a solid asset for the company.
Colleen is a retired middle school teacher from the Salt Lake City School District bringing organization and compassion into our shop. She is a mother/owner/partner / who stands behind her two son’s Kolby and Karl. She is a huge part of the foundation of our business and family, and the glue that helps hold it all together. She has a strong passion to see our business grow. Colleen has been involved in the company since the very beginning, she knew there was an opportunity and was the first investor who enabled The Chapel to grow from an idea to a major player in just 5 short years.
UMLF: What inspired you to start the Chapel Motorcycle Shop?
Chapel: On Paper, The Chapel Motorcycle Shop has only existed since 2015, but the dream and drive began long before that when brothers Karl and Kolby were riding their motorcycles both street bikes and dirt bikes as kids. We were always surrounded by motorcycles. We realized there was something missing in Utah’s motorcycle market. Our family mechanic was retiring, the dealerships treated customers and staff poorly, and the shop with a true personality was closing down. Instead of accepting the fate of Utah’s motorcycle market, we decided to make a move, and after that point, The Chapel was born. Along with our parents (investors) and an amazing determination to succeed we started The Chapel Motorcycle Shop. What started as a long-time dream quickly became a local meeting spot and social hub for bikers of all walks of life from the beginner to the lifelong biker and everyone in between. It was clear from the beginning that the community wanted a change and we were that change. We believe in treating everyone with respect.
UMLF: You describe yourself as a one-stop-shop for all Utah Motorcyclists. Tell us about all the awesome services you offer?
Chapel: The Chapel Motorcycle Shop has a department dedicated to style. It is called Chapel Customs, within this department, we have multiple commercial embroidery machines, a Vinyl plotter, weeding stations for the vinyl, along with multiple heat presses for both shirts and hats, plus other accessories. Pretty much if we can brand it, we will! This is offered to all of our clientele including small businesses, local clubs, and organizations along with our own apparel. The Chapel Motorcycle Shop continues to service all new and current clientele with a Full-Service Motorcycle Service Shop & Design Studio. The Chapel also continues to aggressively market our services to the current Harley-Davidson market from Logan to Provo, and from Tooele to Heber City. We also market to the rest of the V-Twin market that includes the non-Harley lines. The other motorcycle brands such as Indian, Victory, Triumph, Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki, are also markets/brands that we target. We are able to provide services from tires and minor repairs to full high performance and custom applications. This allows us to provide apparel, parts, and accessories to this client base as well. The full-service shop includes custom work and fabrication for items like sissy bars, custom bike modifications, lowering kits, bobber kits, engine builds, fiberglass and LED light kits. Some of these items include outsourcing to local specialists to complete portions of the builds. The Chapel Motorcycle Shop has a Trademarked logo which we use for clothing lines, advertising, and branding of our services and motorcycle lifestyle. Our custom apparel and items include our logos on shirts, hoodies, patches, hats, leather apparel, sunglasses, bandanas, handlebars, pegs, and many other items.
UMLF: You celebrated 5 years in business this year. Congrats, how does that feel?
Chapel: It feels great to reach these goals and to be stable when we do it. Everyone talks about reaching the 5 years mark but until you can do it with your own company, and a strong team surrounding you it really feels good. I would say hitting 5 years and having a solid plan to move forward to the next 5 years we are very excited. The first 5 years have been a roller coaster, to say the least. We have seen some very dark and challenging days along with some major highlights from ribbon cuttings, to securing large customer accounts and seeing our company grow from 3 people to 12 employees.
UMLF: Every business has its highs and lows. Tell us about a challenge you faced as a small business owner and how you overcame it?
Chapel: A low for our company would be when a major supporter, an advisor to our company, a husband and father to the 3 Business owners (Dee Baird) passed away in March 2018. During this time we were also dealing with a very bad person (ex-business partner) with whom we had done business and were paying for it. His goal was to sink our company and take everyone down with it. All said and done we were able to overcome these hurdles and become a top motorcycle shop in the state. Another challenge for our team would be the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. All of our social events have been canceled due to Covid-19. One of our top sources of income was instantly taken away. We sat down and figured out what we needed to do. After a meeting with our team, it was clear what needed to be done. We put our best foot forward, doubled down on our team members, and set out to have a great year of business no matter what happened. As of 11/29/2020, we can say we are still going strong and are now one of the best motorcycle shops in the state.
UMLF: How do you believe the Utah Microloan Fund has helped your business?
Chapel: The UMLF has been there for us as a small business when most lenders wouldn’t even return a phone call. As a company, we are very grateful for the relationship we have with the UMLF. Our first loan with the UMLF came at a time when we needed financial support. We were a new business and needed funds for operations. As we have grown over the last 5 years we have been able to keep a strong relationship with the UMLF. From the very first application to today we are always learning new tricks and absorbing all the advice and valuable info that the UMLF team has to offer. As a business owner and an advisor to many other companies and friends, I always include the UMLF, as part of my advice to any start-up.
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