To say that we’re excited to be able to give back to the sport that we love is an understatement…
BowlerX.com started about 12 years ago when I purchased a milling machine from Ernie at Precision Bowling Products and had it set up in my basement. I remember saying to myself and my wife (girlfriend at the time) “I want to learn how to drill bowling balls, how do I know what I’m using now is best for me and my game? I want to know how different layouts and drilling angles affect ball motion. How pitches can help me release the ball more effectively and consistently, etc.” I gathered information from every source I could find and I studied it. I applied it on my own equipment and soon for some of my closest bowling friends (thanks for trusting me back then). Back then the shop was named Precision Drilling.
Shortly after the drilling business (more of an extreme hobby at the time) began I dabbled in offering products online. I set up a website for the business and changed the name of the shop. I always liked the mysterious “Racer X” of the cartoon Speed Racer and thought that’s a cool premise… “Mysterious Bowler X”. My wife Krista Leibenguth Sandt worked up some sketches of an early logo and we launched Bowler X Pro Shop. The site was very clunky (in my opinion) as I attempted to promote our local drilling service as well as having a “Shopping” section where web surfers could actually purchase equipment from us and pay online. As the drilling business grew the website was put on hold.
After drilling in my basement for a couple of years I was offered my first location in a bowling alley thanks to Bill Reece. Our first shop was located in Slatington Bowling Center & Lounge and we were there for two seasons before an opportunity was presented to open a shop at Town and Country Lanes in Bethlehem, PA. For a while we operated both shops but quickly decided to move everything to the Bethlehem location where we still operate today. The shop isn’t as large as we (and probably some of our customers) would like it to be but we make the most of the space and as of two years ago, we have two milling machines operating at all times. For a brief stint we operated a second shop at AMF Parkway Lanes in Allentown but I felt like having our staff split between the two locations was a hindrance to our overall quality of services and that we better served our customers by working out of one location as one cohesive unit.
Around the time that we moved into the Bethlehem location I re-dedicated myself to building the e-commerce site. Creating the entire site on my own was a massive undertaking. Months and months of staying at the shop after hours and weekends spent with my face buried in the computer screen. It’s probably no coincidence that my eyesight deteriorated so quickly around this time. To this day most of my waking hours are spent in front of a computer screen staying on top of what is happening in the industry and with our customers. Technology never slows down and so neither can we. Our “new” website, which has been in the works for well over three years should be ready to launch sometime this spring. It’s been a painstaking and costly project, but a necessary one (I keep telling myself) to keep up with the ever changing internet environment.
That brings me to the “we” that I refer to. That “we” is my employees and staff. I have been blessed to have some of the hardest working, conscientious and trustworthy people to lean on. There is NO way that we could have come this far without the efforts of these individuals. From my wife, Krista who took over the customer service aspect of the business years back when I could no longer handle, nor desired to handle it on my own J. Even though it may be the most stressful aspect of the business she handles it with grace and in my opinion is the best in the biz. To the guys in the shop who keep the mills, spinner and bevel sanders running. Drilling, measuring, sanding, plugging and doing whatever it takes to keep our customers satisfied while I now attend to growing, marketing and strategizing the business. Some are still with us and some are not, but they have all contributed to our growth. I am truly so thankful for all of them.
What the future may bring is really unknown. When we started 14 years ago I never even saw this point ahead of us. There really was no “goal” other than to work hard, keep moving forward, never be satisfied with where you are, never stand still. The road in the rear-view mirror is hazy. Many times my wife or friends remind me of some of the milestones that were achieved and we reflect on things that we’ve experienced. I love being reminded of them but even more I love thinking about the future even though I don’t know what it is. All I know is that we will keep moving forward, doing what it takes to satisfy our customers and supporting the sport we love. Bowling.