I had the pleasure of interviewing Aileen Brousseau, the CEO of “Cycle Party”. The start-up is now in its seventh year of operation in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach and is beginning to license the concept in other States and in the Caribbean.
My husband was born in Hamburg and we are both avid adventurers. We absolutely love to do our adventures by bicycle! On one of our trips back to Germany, we planned a journey of about 700 miles across Germany. Near the end of our journey, we found ourselves in Freiburg. This is where we saw a Party Bike in action. It was such a unique contraption but I immediately thought it would be a perfect fit in South Florida. Our son Christopher was in Miami for school at the time and we already had strong roots since we had lived there previously for 11 years. The stars seemed to align just right to make this idea come to life. We’re now on our 7th year of operating where I can get to work with my husband, son and his best friend from middle school.
We began our operation out of a local Fort Lauderdale complex called Riverfront and in 2015 we took on a project to take over and restore a 100 year old historic home that is now our main office. Both my husband and I have taken on projects like this before but this was one of the most complex as far as getting approval since it was the restoration of a historic home. Initially, when we first started working on our approval in Fort Lauderdale we sat down with the commissioner who actually recommended the historic home but it took us 6 years to realize it was the perfect fit for Cycle Party.
We found a fabricator in Florida to build our first custom designed party bike. I recommended that he get a bicycle mechanic to help him. He has built custom cars and motorcycles but did not know bicycles. He refused to seek any help throughout the process. Within the first two weeks, the pedals fell off the party bike while people pedaled. It turns out he did not know that there are Right and Left pedals for that reason.
Don’t trust any man who is too proud to ask for help.
This is a family run business and we work out of a historic home. We are constantly striving to be environmentally conscience and community oriented. Cycle Party itself is one of the most unique ways you can get a view of the city through any of our unique tours.
While we working on our approval to get into Miami, we set up one of our party bikes during Wynwood’s art festival. We invited local artists to bomb the bike. We preemptively bought chalk paint to offer to the graffiti artists thinking it would be easy to wash off the next day. It was a huge success because every inch of the party bike was covered in paint when the festival was over. Boy was I wrong though about the paint. It took us about a week of scrubbing and powerwashing to get the paint off.
We are having a radically new Party Bike designed with the help of my son’s father in law. It will be the first of it’s kind and we are hoping to revolutionize the industry. How do you think that will help people? It will help push towards more environmentally friendly tours.
Enjoy what you are doing and allow your employees to make mistakes.
Praising your employees for doing a good job goes a long way.
Eugenia Duncan Ellis, President of Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale Can you share a story about that? Genia has been instrumental in getting Cycle Party established. I met her while participating in benefits pro-bono before we got our license to operate in Fort Lauderdale. She introduced us to influential people around the community during festivals and benefits. After that we were able to smoothly get approval and for that I am grateful for everything she’s done for us.
At Cycle Party, I have made it my mission to be environmentally friendly. By using only human pedal power and electricity we help lower the carbon output. Our tour operation also supports many local establishments and helps boost the local economy in whatever neighborhood we’re in.
“Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of travel” by Margaret Lee Runbeck.
Instead of working to achieve happiness, I want to make it a goal where I find it hard to remember when I’m not happy. Living this way has awarded me with such great triumphs.
Sara Blakely would be an amazing person to sit down with. I first heard about her when she was named as one of the most powerful women in 2016. After reading more about how she grew spanx and her charity work. I imagine I could learn so much from her from one conversation with her.
Originally published at medium.com