Jill Wersell: Wersell's Bike & Ski
Jill Wersell is a dynamic business owner in Toledo who is determined that people of all ages and backgrounds get to experience our city in a fun and unique way. As the owner of Wersell’s Bike and Ski Shop, she “gets to wear many hats.” Wersell’s Bike & Ski was started by her parents in 1945, and Jill took it over in 1986.
Born in Toledo, Jill loves this area. “Toledo is a big-small town, and everybody knows everybody. It’s a very close knit community.” She wishes that she were able to ride her bike around town more, but her number one priority is customer service, which keeps her at the shop a minimum of six days per week. When she does get to ride, she enjoys the Wabash Cannonball Trail by Oak Openings because of its beautiful scenery and the length of the ride.
Bikes roll in and out of the shop frequently, and Jill estimates that at any one time, there are likely a couple hundred on the showroom floor. It is important to her that people are able to come in and find what they want already assembled so that they can get out on their new bike immediately. She shared that it is very infrequent that someone has to actually come back to pick up their bike at a later time. In addition to bikes, Jill offers maintenance services, accessories, as well as winter ski rentals and tune-ups to help keep Toledoan’s outside through the winter.
Jill enjoys the business climate in Toledo and finds it particularly interesting that she is running her family business and caters to families that come into the shop year after year. “I’m very loving and appreciative of all of the support for all of the years that we’ve been in business. I now see third generations coming back into the store.”
Beyond her incredible customers, one of Jill’s favorite aspects of owning her business is that her two dogs come to work with her every day. “I love what I do.” She sometimes has customers that come in only to say hello – to the dogs that is.
The biking culture in Toledo is really fun, and Jill encourages everyone to get involved! “We have some very nice trails around here. They are in the process of making more, and eventually they will all be connected which will be really, really nice.”
Giving back to the community is an important aspect of the culture that Jill has built at the bike shop. She partners with I Can Shine, an organization that helps children with autism learn to ride a two wheel bike. Jill always enjoys the experience of teaching the kids to ride, “It is so rewarding; it is amazing.” She also works with Charles Boyk attorneys to award one bike per week to a child in need. The MS Bike to the Bay event is another way that Jill gives back by serving as a mobile repair unit. In the winter, she and her employees keep Toledo’s neighborhoods safe by offering snow removal for senior citizens.
If you haven’t met Jill, or attended one of her glow rolls, go visit her at 2860 W. Central Ave. “I love Toledo. There’s a lot of things to do, and you just have to find them. I love the Mud Hens, the Walleye, and the Rockets. It’s a fun place to grow up. Toledo is home.”
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