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Meet the Founder: Kristina Vetter

From Cyclist to CEO: See How a One-Time Customer Evolves into Owner

Kristina Vetter spent most of her career in corporate law. That is until her passion for cycling turned into an opportunity to take over an existing brand that would change the course of her life. Now, she works to bring fashionable, high-quality cycling apparel and gear to women just like her. This is her story.

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A Phone Call That Changed Everything

It’s been well over two decades since Kristina packed up and moved to the west coast to chase her dreams of success as a corporate attorney for tech startups.

For 20 years, she juggled life as a busy professional, wife, and mother. But Kristina had other interests, like fashion and design. And eventually, something else.As a hobby cyclist, Kristina started borrowing her boyfriend’s (now husband’s) gear. And while she eventually fell in love with cycling, she didn’t love how she looked or felt.

When I first started cycling, I was wearing hand-me-down cycling jerseys, and they didn't fit. They looked terrible. I felt frumpy and ugly. And it wasn't helped by the fact that I wasn't a very good cyclist, either. So I just felt like a train wreck on a bike. You feel better when you wear gear that fits and looks good on you, no matter what level you are.

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Kristina found entrepreneurial success where fashion meets fitness.

Kristina went back to school to pursue a degree at the London College of Fashion. She also found a brand that sold women’s cycling apparel that she loved, because it made her feel stylish and confident.

She didn’t know it then, but her interests were all culminating in a major life change. In 2018, the two women who owned the brand she purchased her cycling gear from sent her an email. They were retiring but didn’t want to dissolve the business. They asked Kristina if she’d be interested in taking over.

While her initial reaction was a resounding “no,” Kristina had to admit she was intrigued. She agreed to a phone call to learn more. That turned into an hour-long discussion and then follow-up phone calls and eventually a visit to Seattle, where the brand was headquartered.

Real Style for Real Bodies

As a woman in the 50+ age demographic with an education in fashion, Kristina felt she knew what women — especially women like her — wanted. “When I was getting my fashion degree,” she says, “most everyone else in my class wanted to design for a luxury brand. But the 1% — I’ve never wanted to do that. I always wanted to design for everyone else.”

In 2019, she decided to go on the ultimate ride and agreed to take over as owner and CEO of Tonik Cycling. She did the rounds at trade shows and worked to make connections with thousands of existing customers. But then, COVID-19 hit, and the business model shifted to primarily online sales.

It was hard work, but Kristina was committed to making a go of it. Her passion for fashion (and cycling) had driven her to find more ways to create clothing that real women loved. “In terms of my customers,” she says, “they are women who are recreational cyclists. Probably 90% of them are aged 55-65. So we build all kinds of things into our garments to work well for women whose bodies have been around a little while.”

The best part? Kristina has found new meaning and fulfillment in her work as an entrepreneur.

In 20 years of corporate life, I really couldn't see that my work was affecting people. I just couldn't see that I was helping anyone. And now I get so many emails from women who say, ‘I love your stuff. I love your clothes. They fit me so well. I love that you make large sizes, and I've got something great to wear that makes me feel fantastic.

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Functional and fashionable...

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Made for real women and real bodies...

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That's Tonik Cycling.

Kristina’s focus now is on making garments that use high-quality fabrics that drape in flattering ways and make the wearers feel confident and comfortable — the way she wants to feel when she’s behind the handlebars.

Kristina’s Top Business Tips

Kristina faced a lot of uphill battles when she took on Tonik Cycling. She had to retain the brand’s existing customer base while trying to grow it in the midst of a pandemic. Securing materials and manufacturers was another challenge. But through it all, Kristina kept herself grounded in reality.

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So what are Kristina’s best business tips?


Believe you can.

Kristina knows that what keeps most would-be entrepreneurs from achieving their goals is simply thinking, “I can’t.”


Stick to the schedule.

Whether you’re an early bird or night owl, find the time that works best for you to maximize your productivity, and always make sure you leave time for what matters — time with family and time to do things you love.

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Don’t try to do it all.

No woman is an island, and none of us can do it alone. Find partners who can help, offer advice and act as a support system.

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I love being an entrepreneur. I love working for myself. I've gotten much more satisfaction. I would have to say I've learned much more in my years at Tonik than I did as a corporate lawyer.

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What’s Next for Kristina and Tonik Cycling?

Now that the world is reopening, Kristina is preparing to go back on the trade show circuit, but she still plans to nurture the progress she’s made as an online retailer. But even more than that, she wants to:


Be authentic.

Kristina wants to continue shaping her brand into an authentic company that resonates with the target audience. Her goal isn’t fast-paced growth; rather, it’s to reward her loyal customers and expand organically.


Create a community.

Kristina’s always looking out for her target audience because they represent her. They share the same concerns and many of the same goals and needs — especially when it comes to cycling. She hopes to serve this community and has created a private group on Facebook for like-minded women to come together to share their challenges and set goals for their health and their future.


Make time for travel.

Kristina is exploring the idea of partnering with a travel company catering to mid-life women, which she can then pitch to her Tonik tribe. “That’s a huge interest for almost my entire customer base,” she says. “I’d love to figure out ways to serve this group of women, besides just the product.

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Kristina hopes to strengthen Tonik's online community.

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While continuing to offer in-demand designs.

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Why Kristina Chose Bizee

Transferring business ownership to someone else can be a tedious process, and Kristina knew they had to get it right. She wanted a knowledgeable company that could handle the ins and outs of business transfer so she could focus on the hard work of taking over as owner.

But more than anything, Kristina wanted to feel that she could do this and that she was in good hands while she made a major life change.

If you have an idea or a dream for a business, just think — will you regret not doing it? It's much better to go ahead and give it a try and see what happens. You'll learn; you'll iterate. And it may not grow like you hope, but it certainly won't if you don't give it a try.

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Bizee made it possible for Kristina to try. And by giving it her best effort and trusting us with the rest, she’s been able to make Tonik Cycling a success story.

Kristina’s Top 3 Business Tools

  • Klaviyo
  • Shopify
  • Facebook Ads

From lawyer to hobby cyclist, from consumer to CEO, Kristina is living proof that when you reach mid-life, there’s still so much more to come. For Tonik Cycling, it’s a future that’s full of opportunity and promise. And at Bizee, we’re happy to be along for the ride!

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