Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cool Biker Chicks

(Post: English)
"As Bank of America was getting ready to take over last year, LaSalle Bank executives had some big decisions to make."

For Denise L. Maple, 39, it was a no-brainer: Take a buyout, cash-in some options, and, after 17 years at the bank, hit the open road on her new, dual-sport motorcycle.

The former vice-president for corporate development also became an entrepreneur, investing $31,000 in VaVaVroomonline, a Chicago startup that sells hoodies and snug, multicolored riding tops she helped design alongside accessories and apparel of other brands.

While motorcycle sales overall have declined, the number of female buyers has increased 20% since 2003.

"I saw a need in the market," Maple explains.

"When I started riding five years ago, there was almost no motorcycle gear in women's sizes, let alone with style."

Racer Café in St. Charles, Ill., was the first of 14 Chicago-area stores to retail her T-shirts.

Maple is expanding into more sizes and aims to hit $300,000 in sales in 2008. This is one easy rider.

Source: BusinessWeek

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