Josh and his wife Kara talked about running the first time they met. When they moved to Austin, they started running around the nearby lake together and quickly became supporters of their local running store, Run-Tex. Josh began to run with groups from the store and even began working there part-time. “There was a family atmosphere to the store and the customers were so positive and trying to make a life change.” And, after a trip back to Baltimore to see family, the two decided that they need to bring some RUN to the Charm City.
In June of 2002, Josh and Kara opened their first shop – Timonium. Now boasting 8 locations and an events management team that times and manages more than 150 local endurance races each year, Charm City Run has turned into a power house operation.
“Opening the store was scary! Besides my part-time gig working at Run-Tex, I had no retail experience. But, I loved all the variables of putting the store together. At first it was lonely and scary. I used to come home and say, "we're going down," but we could see that we were getting better. We could see progress even though it took a while to become profitable.”
Keeping in mind that family atmosphere they loved so much at Run-Tex, community has always been at the forefront of what Charm City Run does. “We’re a part of life, not just a retail purchase,” Josh notes. Their goal is to make every customer feel equally welcome and accepted. They want the customer to leave having learned something and most importantly, remember how they felt in Charm City Run – they want that to be a good feeling.
“I always felt that community was important and if you want the community to support you, you have to support the community. We’re always trying to give back in strategic ways. At least if it doesn't work - you did something good for your community and maybe somebody noticed.”