After graduating from OU, Eric Melton decided to shift gears and begin the ride of his life. And he’s never looked back.
A PATH TO HAPPINESS
For most people, the natural next step after finishing college is to simply take your degree and go get a job. Eric Melton chose a different route. Over the years, Eric’s love for cycling had grown to be a passion. And he realized that his true path to happiness was to pursue that passion by opening his own bike shop in Norman. Eric wasn’t entirely sure where to begin. He didn’t know much about running a business or how to get financing. But he did know bikes. And he also knew First United loan officer Debbie Hoover.
GENERATIONS OF TRUST
Debbie had gone to school with Eric’s mother since 2nd grade and was a long-time family friend. She had done business with multiple generations of the Melton family and even remembers opening Eric’s very first checking account. So when Eric expressed interest in opening a bike shop, Debbie was not the least bit surprised. She knew cycling was his true passion and she was more than ready to help him make his dream a reality.
“I wanted him to be successful and do something he loved to do.” – Debbie
According to Eric, everything about the process went smoothly. With Debbie’s financial and business expertise as guidance, he developed a 5-year plan to remain focused on his long-term objectives. She helped Eric start an IRA as a savings plan, open a business account and secure just the right loan to start up his bike shop. It all came together when Eric teamed up with his riding partner Se Kim, and 405 Bicycles was born.
A BETTER COMMUNITY THROUGH BIKING
Today, 405 Bicycles is a strong player in the competitive Norman biking market. Eric and Se are active in the community, sponsoring weekend rides, working with the Bicycle League of Norman and putting on regular maintenance clinics for the public. They love helping people from around the region find just the right set of wheels, especially kids who are just beginning to catch the biking bug. Eric likes to think that the more folks he can get on bikes, the better and healthier the whole community will be. We couldn’t agree more, and we’re happy to be along for the ride.
Empowering Sooner entrepreneurs to achieve their goals. It’s just one more way First United helps our neighbors SPEND LIFE WISELY®.