In late 2017, SpinShed.com went live, collating 12 cycling brands all linked together by three things: great style; quality; and service. Just a few months down the line, the site has brought a host of new names on board, won a prestigious industry award, and sold products to customers from all around the world. The site’s founder, Katie Barwood, talks through her inspiration for setting the site up, and why the idea is particularly helpful for female cyclists.
Almost two years ago, myself and a friend, set off on the challenge of a lifetime. We cycled unaided the length of France, 1060 miles in 14 days – with a slight detour up Mont Ventoux! This was a huge challenge for us, because just nine months before setting sail to St. Malo on the ferry, we had never even set bums on road bikes before, let alone ridden 80 miles a day for two weeks straight.
We based the trip on the France en Velo book written by the brilliant cycling author, Hannah Reynolds, but little did I know at the time, it would be the inspiration for setting up a new online retail store…
As complete newbies to cycling we needed to get kitted out from scratch! Bikes, pedals, shoes, clothing, gloves were all on the shopping list, and one of our biggest challenges, apart from the physical challenge itself, was finding cycling clothing that we liked. We found the choice in mainstream outlets and high street shops could be limited, particularly for women, and also most of it made us look like pros (which wasn’t what we wanted when we were still having the occasional fall at traffic lights). We just wanted something stylish that we felt good in. Having the confidence to get out on the road can be daunting enough, without feeling uncomfortable in what you’re wearing.
On our way down to Nice, I decided to launch a new stylish women’s cycling brand. But it wasn’t until I got back and started researching the market, that I realised just how many amazingly stylish independent brands already existed, just customers like us didn’t know where to find them. And that’s how Spin Shed was born.
The concept behind Spin Shed, is that it really helps everyone. Independent brands get to feature in a store along a similarly stylish range from other providers, therefore reaching a much wider audience; and customers can find brands they may not have seen elsewhere, all in one place. The more customers we can encourage to shop through Spin Shed, the greater audience we can build for each of our brands.
We’ve been lucky enough to work with some fantastic independent and stylish brands, run by brilliant people from various countries. The site doesn’t just stock the usual cycling clothing (although we are especially proud of the choice we offer), but it was really important to us to bring together gifts, art and accessories. This has led to us forging close partnerships with various businesses, from our local coffee roaster in Leeds, who have produced a special roast for cyclists, to Team Sky’s photographer, who stocks amazing fine-art prints from the world’s best bike races. The reception has been fantastic, and the icing on the cake was winning a Bike Biz Award earlier this year, amongst some much better known names than our own!
Bikmo + Spin Shed
Bikmo is very pleased to be supporting Katie, Spin Shed, and the independent brands who design and produce awesome products but don’t have the desire or scale to get their products into the massive stores. We all love riding with quality kit and we think most of our customers do too. It’s a win-win.
We’re pleased to welcome Spin Shed to our Bikmo Reward options offer customers 15% off their basket at Spin Shed with code SPINMO. This is a limited offer valid until 30/04/2018.