Airbnb hosted small businesses from around LA at our American Express Shop Small Market on November 19. We are proud to spotlight some of the merchants who were there. Check out Airbnb Open Spotlight.
When Adam McDermott and Chad Kushner biked around the world, they noticed a distinct difference between bike culture in the US and abroad, and saw an opportunity: Meet Linus Bike
“The founders grew up in South Africa,” says marketing director Cathy Chang. “They saw how cycling was more integrated around the world, and wanted to bring that to the US.”
In the US they noticed a two-pronged approach to cycling: either you went all-out for a custom-built bike, or you went to a big box retailer. “Adam and Chad wanted to introduce a more European/Italian-inspired experience from the 50s and 60s,” says Cathy. “They want to focus on high-quality parts, they put a lot of effort into colors — they wanted the bikes to be something they would want to ride themselves.”
The duo decided to set up shop in Venice, California in 2007. For them, Venice offered a “slower pace of exploration — of life,” says Cathy, which suited the Euro-centric vibe Adam and Chad were striving for.
We are a community of travelers.
The company is very proud to be a part of The Airbnb Open Shop Small Market, curated by American Express. “We are always looking to partner with like-minded brands, “ exclaims Cathy. “And working with Airbnb, a global brand that is also about a community of travelers, was a perfect fit.”
Linus’ showroom is located on “America’s coolest street,” Abbot Kinney boulevard, and participated in Airbnb’s Venice merchant crawl over the summer. “Abbot Kinney is full of unique, boutique shops, locally-made goods — it’s a top foodie destination, and overall very authentic vibes,” says Cathy. “It was great to be a part of the merchant crawl. We got to meet 20-plus hosts and tell them about Linus face-to-face.”
Linus’ customers represent a wide spectrum of locals. “We get a lot of people who live in Venice,” notes Cathy. “It’s almost a rite of passage. Our bikes are super popular here. People will just come by the shop to hang out, or to get some air for their tires. It’s secluded, chill environment.” Linus is also the go-to bike supplier for Hollywood heavyweights. “We have some celebrities that are big customers,” she adds. “Netflix has used our bikes in various shows as well as commercial production houses, photographers and catalogs.”
The bike shop definitely appreciates being recommended by Airbnb hosts, as well as the shared values between the two companies. “Word of mouth is one of our strongest marketing vehicles, so we value that audience” says Cathy.
We want to help alleviate the general chaos associated with travel.
“Like Airbnb, we believe we are helping people get from place to place easier, and alleviating traffic and general chaos associated with travel, and ultimately making neighborhoods more friendly with face-to-face interactions.”