Beauty

Bringing magnificence again to bikes with Bluejay Electrical Bicycles


Jen Cohen Bogan, owner of Bluejay Electric Bicycles, started her company because she wanted an e-bike that was both stylish and practical.
David Jackson/Park Record

Jen Cohen Bogan and her family recently packed up their lives in the Bay Area of California and drove into the mountains to their new Park City home. And they brought a little something special along with them to the Wasatch Back: Bluejay Electric Bicycles.

The idea for an e-bike business came to mind shortly after Bogan decided she needed a break from her role on Sephora’s executive marketing team.

“My career dreams (were) coming true, but my kids were 2 and 4, really young, and I just was missing a lot of time with them,” Bogan remembered. 



But it wasn’t long before her business-minded brain began searching for her next thing. Living in Marin County outside of San Francisco at the time, she was introduced to the e-bike.

“I didn’t know much about e-bikes, but once I rode one, I was hooked. When I went around to shop and search for one, I couldn’t really find one that fit my style,” she said. 



Drawn to the classic-bike look like the ones she’d seen in Amsterdam, Bogan felt the stylish segment of the e-bike market was missing, especially in the United States. She thought, here is an opportunity.

“In 2018, when I was researching, it had taken off in Europe — 30% in some countries to 60% in Germany, which is sort of the leading bike country, of the entire bike market. And in the U.S. it was like 2%, and the U.S. isn’t even known for its bike market. It’s kind of a joke around the world because they’re like, ‘Oh Americans are never going to ride a bike,’” she said.

Maybe the average American wouldn’t ride regular bikes, but they would ride e-bikes, she thought.

“Just from an overall macro perspective, I was like, ‘This is going to get bigger. E-bikes will get bigger. It’s an untapped category,’” Bogan said. “Then I was wondering, why had it not taken off more? Why wasn’t it more popular and how come I didn’t even know about it?”

Thanks to her years with Sephora, she recognized it as a marketing problem.

“Coming from beauty. I really had a very good education in product marketing and … I know that formula,” she said. “No one is taking this approach to e-bikes or to cycling or anything in this industry. And so I thought, I could take this expertise coming from fashion and beauty, and also understanding marketing and social media, and apply it to a completely different category.”

When it came time to create a brand that she could market, she returned to her idea of combining a tasteful cruiser that was designed to ride over all terrains.

“I think there is an element to a timelessness of design. And so when I saw that everybody seemed to be forgetting the beautiful, classic design that’s been around for almost 100 years and making everything look like a motorcycle, I thought this needed to exist too,” she said.

Her premiere edition bike came to life soon later: a creamy white cruiser with leather accents and designed with head tube angles optimal for riding hills. Throughout the process, Bogan prioritized safety and quality, choosing bike parts that bike-knowledgeable riders would recognize as trustworthy, like Tektro hydraulic disc brakes and a Bafang 350W mid-drive torque sensor motor.

It’s a Class One electric bike, which can cruise at speeds of 20 mph and ride up to 75 miles. Priced at $3,295, it comes built in with a vintage-style light and bell, a rear rack and a front basket, designed to stay straight even while the front wheel is turned. This iconic Bluejay style now has 15 different colors, from French Lavender to British Racing Green, and can be even more personalized, Bogan said.

The leather saddles and grips can be customized between ivory, light brown or dark brown colors. A wider saddle can be added for increased comfort, and the tires can be tan, brown or black.

Over the years Bogan has added other models like their kids bike, the Bluejay WILD, which comes in small and large sizes, and the Bluejay Sport, which is a Class Three e-bike that can reach speeds of 28 mph.

All the Bluejay bikes are created with pedal assist technology, especially useful to make biking up mountain town hills effortless, but Bogan intentionally decided not to add a throttle.

“They don’t have a throttle, so you can’t accelerate like that. (It) can cause a lot of problems with e-bikes, and I’m against throttles. … I think it’s one of the things that makes them really dangerous,” she said.

Applying the marketing strategy that she perfected with Sephora, Bogan leaned heavily on social media, influencers and gifting to create a wealth of online content that would get her bike out into the world. This year, they are teaming up with hotel partners across the country to provide Bluejay bikes for guests to ride during their stay.

Bringing Bluejay to Park City from California feels like a natural fit, Bogan said, as the infrastructure and community in the town are already on board with e-bikes.

“What I love is you’ve got the bike paths, you’ve got trails, but you’ve also got the bike paths riding along most of the roads that have cars, so that you can really bike ride anywhere in town safely,” she said.

It makes embracing the lifestyle of e-biking more acceptable, especially a bike that can handle the inclines of a town nestled in the mountains.

“To me it’s like, this is a lifestyle. Everybody wants to be a lifestyle brand, but this is a lifestyle because if you are swapping out your car you have to think about (it),” she said. 

Through partnerships with local bike shops, Bluejay bikes can be purchased online and are shipped directly to the shop for assembly. They also come with a two-year warranty, and if anything needs to be replaced, Bluejay will work with the local shop to coordinate repairs and parts.

For anyone interested in trying before they buy, Bogan will be at the Park City Farmers Market every Wednesday this summer with a selection of her bikes to test ride. She hopes to see more “Bluejays in the wild” as people catch on to the joy of riding an e-bike.

“It’s a really fun feeling, and people always get a big smile on their face,” she said. “You feel like you’re doing it, like you’re strong. It’s just something psychological.”

More colors and larger kids sizes are in the company’s future, Bogan teased. The big news: A new, more affordable model is in the works for release during the holidays, a design geared for younger audiences. Stay tuned for upcoming details on their Instagram @bluejaybikes, and visit their website, bluejaybikes.com, to learn more about the different models.

“It’s always about creating a brand that inspires people. And so I feel like it’s a small group of people right now, but we’re on the right track,” she said.

Katie Hatzfeld speeds by on a Bluejay WILD e-bike.
David Jackson/Park Record
Bluejay Electric Bicycles founder Jen Cohen Bogan loads her dogs into baskets attached to one of her e-bikes.
David Jackson/Park Record
Katie Hatzfeld rides a mint green premier edition Bluejay e-bike, designed to be an everyday rider.
David Jackson/Park Record





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