We just realized that we opened our doors 19 years ago today. That first year, we crawled all over each other in a 1000sf space that had machines, builders, desks, phones and computers packed into it tighter than a Russian nesting doll. Then we moved into our current space, much larger. We had a party (and an indoor race) before we hauled all the lathes and mills in. Here is a snap from those heady times. We were young and (almost) carefree, at least when racing around the shop floor wearing a chimp mask and a Santa hat.
We were so busy building bikes (and shoveling snow) in January that we failed to remember that we turned 18. It was January of 1997 that saw Seven, in its first incarnation, 1000sf of machinery, desks, and bike builders all jumbled together, putting out the first all-custom frames from our original location in Topsfield.
Eighteen years later, 30,000+ frames, 17,000sf and a team of 30, we’re all grown up and still growing. Like so many milestones, you don’t see them coming. They creep up on you, you reflect on what they mean, and you move on. When we set out, we believed the world’s cyclists would respond to the idea of a fully-custom bike, built on a short timeline, but you can never see the future. It’s nice to be here now, and see it working out.
Sunday, January 6th marked our 16th year in business. It’s kind of a big deal, though we’re just here, building bikes, like we always are.
We told Rob it was our 16th Annivesary, and he said, “Ok.”
Jennifer was more expansive. Things were different in 1997. We didn’t know if a “medium sized” bike company could even exist. We didn’t know if the world wanted as many custom bikes as we wanted to build. Along the way we’ve had to reinvent the way we do things a thousand times. We’ve had to solve a million problems. Reflection comes naturally at any milestone.
We have a joke here at Seven that if something feels too hard to do, then we must be doing the right thing. We think about myriad obstacles overcome, and of course we think about all the riders who have our bikes, the people who have made these 16 years possible.
We’re just going to spend the day building bikes, but your support demands we take a moment to say, “Thank You.”.