Bryan Wachs is a visionary entrepreneur and founder of QuikrStuff, a bike rack company based in Grand Junction. Driven by his passion for creating not just a superior product but an opportunity for the community in western Colorado, Bryan founded QuikrStuff with the mission of bringing manufacturing jobs to the area. As the proud recipient of our Energize Community Program loan, Bryan is determined to augment his efforts and create more employment opportunities for the people of Grand Junction. His commitment to the community is an inspiring example of how small businesses can make a big impact.
What is your name? And what is the name of your business?
Bryan Wachs and I am the founder of QuikrStuff.
How long have you been in operation? And what services/products do you provide?
We’ve been in business since January 2020 and we manufacture the best damn bike rack on the market, made right here on the Western Slope. It’s a premium, modular, tool-less, aluminum bike rack. For all sizes of bikes, especially heavy e-bikes, with a 300 lb load capacity. It’s the rugged standard that is upgradeable and repairable to last a lifetime.
What has been the driving force behind your business? And in what ways are you hoping to grow in the future?
For me personally, growing manufacturing jobs on the Western Slope was my main impetus for taking on this challenge. Yes, being a ski and mountain bum, i love sports, but this was more about walking my talk regarding rural economic diversity and development. Creating the best bike rack you can buy is a bonus and I’m honored and humbled to be part of this project. We hope to move into a bigger facility, scale operations, and add other products and even other brands.
As an entrepreneur what is one challenge you’ve faced in the past? And how did you overcome it?
I think my biggest challenge is starting a company at the beginning of COVID. Knowing that it would be next to impossible to obtain raw materials in a supply chain debacle created a monster hurdle for us right out of the gate. We decided to continue to move forward with our plan to raise funds via pre-sales, “Kickstarter” style, and produce product to be shipped in six months. Well, that was a lie. It took us ten months.
How was your overall experience working with Energize Colorado? What solution did Energize Colorado provide? And how did/will the solution benefit you and your business?
Capital for small businesses, especially new businesses, is broken. Banks are overprotecting capital that needs to be reinvested in their communities. Real Estate investments are good and safe, but don’t put fluid cash into the economy to circulate. Energize CO is one of the very few organizations that are helping on this front. Demand for our bike racks is very high and we cannot keep up. We must expand. We need capital that is not outrageous to obtain and maintain, as we cannot continue to grow.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone with aspirations to start a business of their own?
Figure out the biggest problem you are solving for your target audience and double down on solving it. Any business would gladly split 50/50 any savings you could provide to them by paying you. Knowing that, build your model around that savings/income and determine if it can be sustainable, and at what scale.