FORT WORTH — Robin Glaysher, an unemployed Fort Worth woman, has found a way to put herself back to work — powering her business with strong legs and a determined spirit.
She found ready allies in a Near Southside community where leaders were ready to believe a pedicab business would bring customers.
In 2010, Glaysher was on top of the world, working in marketing. "I was traveling all over the world working trade shows, basically I was really happy in my job," she said.
Then, her company lost a contract, and Glaysher lost her job. "You can never really get ready for that day," she said.
Resumes went out, but Glayser said she had "zero luck."
She took stock, asking herself what she enjoyed. The answers included her neighborhood, Fairmount, and cycling.
Glaysher decided to start a pedicab business, concentrating on the eclectic Near Southside neighborhoods of Historic Fairmount, Ryan Place, and Magnolia Avenue.
Then Glaysher learned that the city's zoning regulations did not allow the bike taxis.
"They said I had to go in front of City Council, so I went to Fort Worth South, Inc.," she said.
Christina Elbitar serves on the marketing committee for Fort Worth South, a business development organization. "It didn’t seem right that she couldn't be here," Elbitar said. Fort Worth South helped Glaysher navigate the process.
"We all know business brings more business," Elbitar said.
Today, the zoning has changed. Glaysher's now been in business for a few weeks. She has customers and advertisers.
"I have a waiting list!" she gushed.
As more restaurants, shops, and offices move into the area, Glaysher says Fairmount Bike Taxi will expand.
She has officially gone from unemployed to entrepreneur.
"I hope I have a fleet of 100 pedicabs around Fort Worth and everyone uses them instead of their cars," Glaysher said.
Fares for a pedicab ride start at $5.