We had the good fortune of connecting with Connor Swegle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Connor, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
The thought process was similar to a lot of people who have around 10-15 years of work experience- you start to Prioritize. You analyze your past experience, think about what you want to be doing moving forward, and who you want to be. For my partner Dave and me, both of us wanted to be working on something we were passionate about. Dave loved the idea of making bicycles for the masses that were much simpler and more accessible, through a blend of product development and technology. For me, I loved the idea of using brand storytelling to connect a product to the lives of the customer. It started as one bike and a lot of hard work. Now it is about 15 bikes and a lot more hard work.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’d say I am most excited about just keeping our heads down and working for the last 8 years since Priority Bicycles started. I think that one of our keys to growth was that we didn’t get stuck in feeling like we didn’t know what to do next, when in fact we had no idea! We kept pushing, trying things, taking calculated risks, and not resting when we had successes. I don’t think that there is anything easy about any job, no matter what you are doing, but if you can find the milestones and envision how to get to them, you can feel that sense of accomplishment that keeps you motivated. As far as what we want people to know- this is a brand that means something to us. The name “Priority” came from the idea of getting our “Priorities” in order. We wanted to do things in a meaningful way, with products that people loved, and with coworkers who shared the same values. We believe that comes through in the brand. Even though we are online, we like to believe we are a part of our riders’ lives.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
A week in New York might end up in a hospital! haha. Too much fun to be had here! That said, I’d definitely recommend the late Spring, or early Summer. For people who want a unique NYC experience- come during the US Open. You can spend a day session watching the tennis players, have a few drinks, and then come back into the city for an amazing dinner. Then, the next day, walk the park with coffee, ride the west side highway on your bike, and then head back out to the US Open for a night session and see the prime time players under the lights. Back in the city, you can’t beat a cool drinks in the West Village and dinner at Olio e Piu. Grab a show on Broadway. Do breakfast at Balthazar in Soho. Catch some outdoor drinks at the Baylander on the West Side of Harlem. Hop a ferry to Governor’s Island where you can ride bikes, eat oysters, and catch amazing views of the city.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My business partner and CEO of Priority Bicycles, Dave Weiner has always been a complementary perspective. It is important to have people around who see things differently when you are trying to grow something. You can’t get too focused on what you think is the best solution.