When Lynn DeLaurentis began her career with Harley-Davidson 11 years ago, her family and friends questioned the decision and drastic change in her career. After moving back to the Region and having difficulty finding a job in her field, DeLaurentis’s friend said Harley-Davidson in Calumet was hiring.
“I visited the store and was hired right on the spot for the motor clothes department,” DeLaurentis said. “My family thought I was a little crazy. I had originally come from Chicago where I worked in commodities at NBC Tower, so my family was shocked at the change.”
For DeLaurentis, however, it was one of the easiest decisions she made at that point in her life. Immediately drawn in by the comradery and connection that defines the Harley-Davidson culture, DeLaurentis knew it was the right place for her.
“I told them that these are some of the best people you will ever meet,” DeLaurentis said. “I was in Motor Clothes until 2014, then I was promoted to manager of the department.”
DeLaurentis remembers the chills she would get when bikes’ engines would kick on and everyone would drive away. While she herself doesn’t ride, she wanted to experience that kind of feeling for herself.
“I took the Riders Edge course to learn how to ride, passed that, and got the necessary endorsements,” DeLaurentis said. “Everyone kept asking if I rode, and I didn’t. So, I wanted to know what it was like, and I had such a great experience that I became the person everyone came to talk to about it.”
DeLaurentis managed the department until the Calumet Harley-Davidson closed in September of 2020. She officially began her career with Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso in February of this year, a transition that has gone smoothly for her because of the dealership’s welcoming atmosphere and people.
DeLaurentis works closely with customers to pick out the gear they’ll wear while riding. From jackets, to boots, to helmets, and more, DeLaurentis guides customers as they choose gear that offers them good looks and safety.
“The ladies love to look great, so we have a ton of items that add bling to their look,” DeLaurentis said. “Our jackets, boots, and other gear are things everyone loves and needs right now.”
DeLaurentis remarked how the hardest part of the Calumet Harley-Davidson closing was no longer being around Harley people.
“It’s really the people who make Harley-Davidson what it is,” DeLaurentis said. “Some people will just come in for a cup of coffee and a chat, and they will have the best stories about what they’ve seen and where they’ve been.”
Thankfully, now that she is at Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso, that sense of connection has been returned.
“After a while, you wonder, ‘Well, where’s the people?’” said DeLaurentis. “So when I interviewed here at Valpo, I told them that it’s all about getting to be around a great group of people again.”
These connections that DeLaurentis is able to have with those who visit the stores are deeply personal and often feel just like family.
“We hear stories of these incredible moments, like a rider whose Harley broke down and another rider came and gave them a ride,” DeLaurentis said. “All those stories you hear from people who have been riding their whole lives or people who just got on a bike for the first time; it’s really like a big family.”
DeLaurentis has three children; her oldest is an Indiana University Northwest graphic design graduate, while her middle and youngest children attend Purdue University where they are studying psychology and computer gaming, respectively.
She loves to create in her spare time, enjoying any activity that allows her to be creative and artsy. DeLaurentis loves to cook and bake, but her current creative venture is her family’s small candle and soap business.
“My daughters and I own a small business that we are trying to get off the ground,” DeLaurentis said. “Our business is called 112th Avenue Creations, and we make candles, soaps, bath bombs, body products, and more.”
The business is currently expanding into home décor as well. Their products can be found at Sher Bear’s Craft Mall in Lowell, Indiana and also feature the option for creating custom orders.
“I’m currently trying my hand at making mugs, but I love our candles and our soaps,” DeLaurentis said. “Everything we sell is handmade, and it’s so much fun and something the three of us enjoy together.”
Check out 112th Avenue Creations’ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/112thAvenueCreations/ for new releases and sales. Visit Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso at www.hdvalpo.com for more information about the motor clothes department.