For the past six years, brothers Yevgeniy and Boris Mordkovich have been slowly building out Evelo, an online retailer of electric bicycles. Convincing customers to shell out $2,000 for an item purchased online is no easy feat — but they gained exposure for their brand by riding the bikes cross-country.
The stunt helped get Evelo off the ground but eventually, the company’s leadership wanted to take the business to the next level. Their path led to another cross-country move — this time relocating headquarters from New York City to Seattle.
This week, Evelo is opening its first retail store in Seattle’s Madrona neighborhood, more than 2,000 miles from the city where the company was founded.
Evelo was drawn to the Emerald City because of its “active biking community, educated workforce, and access to beautiful trails,” said Jonah Bliss, director of community for the company.
“While we’ve previously been an online-sales only brand, Seattle made perfect sense for our first foray into the ‘clicks-to-bricks’ world,” he said.
Evelo’s presence in Seattle will expand beyond its showroom. By relocating headquarters, Bliss hopes to tap the region’s “educated workforce” to grow the team. Bliss also cited access to other west coast ports and the relative affordability of Seattle over other tech hubs as reasons for the move.
Electric bicycles have become an increasingly popular option for cyclists. They’re equipped with a motor, which can be helpful during long or particularly strenuous rides.
“E-bikes are a great way for Americans of any age maintain an active and healthy lifestyle, stay connected with loved ones, and engage in the activities they love,” Bliss said. “Electric bikes can be especially useful in a hilly city like Seattle, which some riders may find intimidating due to age, fitness, or physical ability.”
Evelo’s showroom and new corporate headquarters are located at 1411 34th Ave in Seattle. The company employs 13 but not everyone will be working out of the Seattle office.