Shawn McKean of Broad St. Cycles is a fourth-generation Downtown Victoria business owner. In honour of #IWD2020, she highlights why equality for all and the relationships between people in this complex world are important aspects of a successful business.
Fourth-generation Business Owner
Broad Street Cycles was launched in 2012 in a space that, in 1909, housed stage coaches. It’s cool that the building is still a home for green transportation!
We like to think of ourselves as more than a place that sells and services great bikes. We strive to bring good energy, ideas, and support to our wider community. We put on weekly rides, help run local races, support and run skills clinics and contribute to many cycling-related nonprofit organisations such as the Greater Victoria Velodrome Association, South Island Mountain Park Society, and the Jordie Lunn Memorial Bike Park under development in Langford.
We bring innovative and hard-to-find products to our customers. I come from a long line of family members running businesses in Downtown Victoria. My great grandfather owned the Windsor Grocery on Government Street. My grandmother was Manager of D’Allaird’s clothiers (a true female pioneer in business at the time) before she and my grandfather founded and ran Smith’s Grocery in James Bay. My grandfather founded Garside Displays, which my father and mother took over and ran for decades on North Park Street.
I love the fact that I am a fourth generation of my family who is continuing to do business and contribute to the fabric of our vibrant downtown.
Equality is fundamental to our values at Broad Street Cycles. For us, equality means that nobody who walks through our doors is judged based on the body they inhabit or their background.
Cycling has traditionally been a male-dominant activity so we have made it a priority to support activities that recognize, encourage, and empower women. Broad Street Cycles is a strong supporter of the Tripleshot Cycling Club’s annual women’s road cycling skills clinic, which is run by women, for women. We love encouraging new talent, so we are very proud to have supported and helped to launch many local female cyclists, including Olympic medalist Gillian Carlton, former pro Megan Rathwell and new pro Holly Henry. For 2020, Broad Street Cycles is supporting the Vancouver-based UCI Continental women’s professional race team Instafund La Prima as their official bike shop. There are two Vancouver Island riders on this team, Kristen Kit and Gillian Ellsay, and we can’t wait to watch them race!
Along for the ride!
My professional background is in Education and I approach business ownership with a simple belief that I always shared with my students:
The world is a complex place but, when all is said and done, everything important boils down to the relationships between people. That’s all that really matters. And people thrive when they are supported, valued, and empowered so ours is a business without a boss.
It’s a true collaboration where everyone uses their own strengths to contribute to the goal. We gathered a dedicated, knowledgeable, and honest group of people who truly love bikes and gave them the reins – the growth and success of this bike shop is truly thanks to our staff. The greatest compliment I ever receive about my business is when when a customer assumes the staff are the owners.
It’s such fun to be along for the ride!