As part of Incfile’s ongoing Spotlight Of The Month (SOTM) series, we are shining a light on some of the real-life business success stories of Incfile customers. These entrepreneurs used Incfile’s services to officially start their business and are out in the world serving customers and selling great products. This month we’re featuring Tonik Cycling, a performance apparel company that makes cycling wear and activewear that comfortably and stylishly fits real women’s body shapes.
Kristina Vetter is the owner of Tonik Cycling, which is based in Palo Alto, California. Kristina has many interests and talents that have combined for her journey as the owner of Tonik Cycling. She has a background as a corporate lawyer and worked for 20 years as a General Counsel for tech startups; she also has a degree in fashion from the University of Arts London. Kristina is also the mother of four teenagers.
Inspiring Confidence in Active Women
Tonik Cycling is more than just a “clothing company” — it has a mission to help women look fabulous and feel confident while being active. Sometimes it can be hard for women to find comfortable high-performance activewear outfits that are well-suited to biking, hiking or running, and that also look great from a fashion standpoint. Traditionally, the fashion industry has often failed at creating stylish activewear that fits and flatters women’s bodies.
Kristina saw an opportunity with Tonik Cycling to provide a solution to this common problem. “Tonik Cycling makes performance apparel — cycling and activewear — with a fabulous fit for real women’s body shapes,” Kristina said. “We make cycling jerseys, tanks and jackets featuring original designs and beautiful performance fabrics.”
Building on Previous Experience and Buying a Business
Many of Incfile’s Spotlight Of The Month features are people who started a business for the first time, but Kristina has an interesting background. Tonik Cycling is not her first venture into entrepreneurship. Kristina had previously founded a small design and fashion company called Sûr de Soi Design, which focused on timeless cashmere pieces.
And Tonik Cycling already existed as a business before Kristina was involved. In 2018, she bought Tonik Cycling from its previous owners who were retiring. She had been a customer of Tonik Cycling and enjoyed wearing the clothes herself, so she wanted to purchase the business to take it to the next level of growth.
“I was a customer of Tonik and loved the product,” Kristina said. “When the founders of Tonik retired in 2018, I was looking for something new to do. So I decided to buy the business from them.”
Buying a business can be an excellent way to get started in entrepreneurship. Buying a business can give you a head start on acquiring a customer base, building a brand and earning market share in your industry. Many entrepreneurs, like Kristina, decide to buy a business that they love as a customer because they already have a passion for the product and can see the potential to build the business to the next level of success.
Navigating Challenges During the Current Situation and Beyond
During the pandemic, there has been a strong demand for bikes and bike equipment, as more people have been looking for safe, socially distanced outdoor exercise. However, one of Kristina’s favorite marketing techniques has been curtailed by the pandemic: traveling around the country and attending cycling industry trade shows and events to introduce the Tonik brand and meet customers in person.
“Business is a little harder for everyone right now because of the pandemic,” Kristina said. “In a year, I sincerely hope it will be under control and I will have been able to introduce the Tonik brand to even more active women!”
Even though many in-person sales and marketing activities are currently not possible, Tonik Cycling is making the most of their online marketing and ecommerce channels. The company website has detailed, colorful photos of the various types of activewear that they sell, and their Instagram page is fun to follow for inspiring ideas of how to be active and look fabulous in everyday life.
Even if your business is struggling due to the pandemic, or your usual marketing channels have had to change, there are opportunities to pivot your business, explore new marketing strategies and keep pushing forward to find new customers and make sales.
Getting Comprehensive Help to Start an LLC
After buying Tonik Cycling from the previous owners, Kristina needed to form an LLC for her new business. She decided to work with Incfile to set up her business as a new legal entity.
“I was looking for an incorporation and filing service that was well-priced but also included everything I needed,” Kristina said. “Incfile had one of the most informative websites of the filing services that I looked at and I also liked their comprehensive LLC information.”
Kristina said that the process of forming her business with Incfile’s services was “quick and easy,” and that she especially appreciates the convenience of Incfile’s online dashboard and the official hard copies that Incfile sent after her LLC was officially formed.
“The box file of incorporation documents that Incfile sent when everything was done has been hugely valuable,” Kristina said. “I keep it handy on my shelf as I’m always having to refer to it for something. If for some reason I need it and I’m away from the office, I can access all the documents on my Incfile online dashboard and that is super helpful also.”
Working with Incfile can help business owners have peace of mind that their business formation documents and other relevant business filings are being handled correctly, in accordance with state-specific rules and policies. You don’t have to go it alone with creating and filing an LLC. Even an experienced entrepreneur and attorney like Kristina still appreciated getting help from Incfile.
“Incfile was the right balance of all the services and help that I needed for the right price,” Kristina said. “The filing process was very easy and it’s nice to feel confident that everything is set up correctly and in compliance.”
Tonik Cycling has a mission to help women feel more confident while exploring the outdoors. In a way, Incfile has a similar purpose: to help entrepreneurs start their business journey with confidence while having the reassurance and support of an experienced business filing service.