Pretty cool – an aluminium wheel turned into an elegant clock by pixelthis.
Posted: 31st March 2011
Pretty cool – an aluminium wheel turned into an elegant clock by pixelthis.
Posted: 30th March 2011
Posted: 29th March 2011
Melbourne’s autumn colours are not generally as spectacular as our North American friends, so here’s some fall cycling inspiration for you all the way from Toronto.
via 416 Cycle Style
Posted: 28th March 2011
Pays-Bas Cycle Chic captured this picture of a young girl with our Dutch-made Blue Peony Double Panniers in action.
Do you think the boys are admiring her pretty face or her pretty panniers?
Posted: 25th March 2011
Melbourne loves its fashion and one of the most beloved labels of the city is Genki.
I first visited Genki‘s Cathedral Arcade shop when I arrived in Melbourne way back in 2003. I immediately fell in love with the tiny colourful shop and the adorable aesthetic of their clothing and accessories, especially their ‘I love….’ range of T-shirts (I still own a limited edition tee designed to commemorate the 2006 Commonwealth Games – ‘I love the Games’).
Fast forward to 2010 and I discovered that after a hiatus from the retail world, Genki was reopening with an online store. As I browsed through their collection I realised what was missing – ‘I love cycling’! So on a whim I contacted Chanie Stock, the owner of Genki, and suggested that she launch a cycling t-shirt….and when she did I would stock them in CycleStyle.
Find out more about Chanie and Genki here…
Chanie, tell me a bit more about your background and how you came to start your store and label Genki?
I studied Arts/Law but my true love was always fashion. Even from a very young age I had a very clear aesthetic and dreamed of having my own label. My grandparents worked in the fashion industry so it must be in my blood, but unfortunately they sold the family business when I was just a baby. I got my first job at Portmans when I was only 14 and then continued working in retail all through school and uni and never tired of it.
I decided to leave my job as a lawyer after 2 years to pursue my dream to work in fashion and after a few years as a buyer, I decided to open Genki. Many people though I was crazy as there was nothing like it happening at the time and no one (except the first incarnation of Alice Euphemia) was in Flinders Lane. But I had such a clear vision for Genki – that it break away from traditional retail concepts and be something totally new. I wanted to create a space where it didn’t feel like you were shopping but more like visiting a friend. When I discovered the Cathedral Arcade space I had butterflies in my belly, as I knew it was perfect and then with the amazing design by Six Degrees my dream became real.
I was inspired to sell all the things that I wanted to wear but couldn’t find locally (remember, this was 1998, well before online shopping). The original product mix was Japanese accessories, homewares and clothing, mixed with exclusive UK labels like YMC and US brands, Daryl K and Built by Wendy (which at the time were only available at Genki in Australia). I also tested a few simple styles by the Genki home brand, which to my surprise really took off. So as time went by the Genki label developed into something very special with its own identity and great loyal following.
One of your most popular lines is the ‘I love…’ T-shirts. What’s the story behind how you came to develop that range and your collaboration with Beci Orpin?
This is a funny story which shows how even with a clear business plan things pop up along the way that you never expect.
I had a weird vintage t-shirt from when I was little that said ‘I love talking’ with the strangest illustration of a boy (like those oddball 70s tees that are NQR). At that time I had just started working with Beci, who I met through Misha Hollenbach (who designed the Genki logo and the graphics during the first year). The minute I met Beci I knew she was a kindred spirit. We instinctively understand each other’s language and working with her is effortless and always a joy.
So, back to the “I love..” t-shirts…. I went to Beci with the idea for an “I love talking” tee with a Genki character. It was an instant success. The rest just flowed from there. Soon they had a cult following and even now, 12 years later, people still love them.
When I had the Genki shops, I used to get a lot of inspiration on my trips to Japan. It is a place that truly stimulates all the sense and is an aesthetic paradise. But it also gave me a break from the day to day so my mind would open up to new ideas.
Today I can’t travel as much as I did, but I find inspiration in the simplest of things. Food, nature, films, art, old magazines but mostly inspiring friends. There are some days when I wake up and feel fresh and clearheaded and I know something exciting will happen. I don’t want to get old, dull and boring so I need to keep learning and surrounding myself with innovative people.
You used to have very popular shops in the City and Windsor but now sell only online. What kind of challenges have you faced launching an online store?
Closing the city shop in 2009 was very difficult for me and while it was the right decision I still miss that part of my life. It was such a pleasure to go to work with fantastic staff and wonderful customers and do what I loved most. It wasn’t just about selling fabulous things. We laughed and chatted and built close friendships and a special community. My challenge with the online store is how to preserve some of that magic and create that warmth and familiarity in a virtual space.
It has taken some time, but since I turned the “Genki News” section into the “Genki Blog” so there has been a shift and I sense an online Genki community is forming.
What advice would you give to people wanting to start their own business?
The most important thing is really believing in what your business is about. Be it a product or a service, you must live and breathe it and know it inside out. Following on from that, it must be original and have your own fingerprint or flavour.
Assuming the passion and dedication is there the next step is good planning and discipline. A clear detailed business plan is essential and use the resources you have around you (for example if you have an accountant in the family or someone who has specialist skills). Never be afraid to ask for help.
What are your next plans for Genki?
I would like to develop the Genki Blog to touch on other aspects of life. Not just style, but food, hobbies and funny odd topics.
I will continue producing the “I love..” tees, the striped tees and the basic denim pieces as long as the demand is there. There have been many requests for our fleece hoodies and jumpers so I’m planning to bring them back for winter. My plan in the next 12-24 months is to reach new customers, especially the 18-25 year olds (the most popular age demographic back in the day).
Posted: 24th March 2011
In our travels around Melbourne we’ve often seen enterprising cyclists strap plastic milk crates to the back of their bikes to help carry all those bottles of milk/wine/beer home.
Bowery Lane Bicycles from New York takes this a glamorous step further, by handmaking vintage cruisers with American steel, dual-spring saddles, cork grips – and attaching a wooden crate stamped with their name on the back.
We’re thinking flowers, crusty baguettes and cupcakes in our dream cargo.
Posted: 23rd March 2011
Phillip Lim‘s Fall 2011 collection caters specifically for women who like to ride their bikes in style.
“It’s about these chic women who ride bikes to work, to brunch, to a cocktail party,” Lim said backstage before the show. “But how do you make everything functional without sacrificing form?”
We would happily own every single item in the collection for our cycle chic wardrobe. Swoon.
via The Common Elite
Posted: 22nd March 2011
Posted: 21st March 2011
via Cool Hunting
You know that Anarchy in a Jar is not going to be any sort of fuddy-duddy company with a name like that.
Working out of her Brooklyn apartment, Laena McCarthy creates jams that she sells locally to shops and markets, as well as delivering jars by bicycle (named Bluebell) to private homes in Brooklyn and lower Manhattan on weekends.
We like the idea that the person stirring the jam pot is also the person who delivers the product to your doorstep – what an eco-friendly and personable business!
We’re also reliably told that the jam is packed with flavour – almost all the seasonal fruit is sourced locally and the jams all have a particular ‘vintage’ because they’re made from fruit grown in a particular year and under those unique environmental conditions.
Posted: 18th March 2011
Posted: 17th March 2011
Bike blog Melbourne Cycle Chic not only take photos of chic cyclists on the streets of Melbourne, but they have a Featured Fashion section which promotes the bike-friendly couture of local fashion designers.
Their latest Featured Fashion shoot is by Neisha. The collection is inspired by designer Neisha Smith’s travels in Gambia and Senegal and featured fabrics have been hand-dyed in those countries, with 5 per cent of all sales going towards building sustainable artistic business for the Bakau, Gambia community.
Photo: Sudeep Lingamneni for Melbourne Cycle Chic
Posted: 16th March 2011
Posted: 15th March 2011
We find that sometimes reusing bike parts for design objects works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
This falls in the former category – rough up pretty twinkling tea lights with steel holders made from recycled freewheels and cogs.
You can check out other bike-recycled gifts made by Resource Revival here.
Posted: 14th March 2011
When I tell people I don’t have a car and I get to most places by bike, one of the common questions I get asked is ‘but how do you do your grocery shopping?’.
OK, so I don’t have to shop for a huge family and I live pretty close to various shops and markets, so I definitely have it easier than some other people. But I think you’d be surprised at the amount of stuff you can bring home on a grocery shop using panniers and baskets. If you’re happy carrying a backpack or messenger bag (which I tend not to) then there’s even more capacity.
Cycling blog Change Your Life. Ride a Bike! illustrated the point perfectly.
And this messenger bag…
Equalled this many groceries…
What can you carry on your bike?
Posted: 11th March 2011
The Autumn edition of our newsletter is here.
Posted: 11th March 2011
Po Campo was one of the first suppliers to our store because as soon as we saw their fabulous bags we had to have them.
Here’s Emily, one of the founders of Po Campo, as shot by Bike Fancy. Naturally, Emily is sporting a Po Campo Rack Tote in Fleur de France and coincidentally, a Nutcase helmet (another one of our brands). Pretty cute Schwinn bike too!
Posted: 10th March 2011
Posted: 9th March 2011
In Chicago Dottie from Let’s Go Ride a Bike organised a Cocktail Party Ride to show that it’s entirely possible, nay chic, to ride a bike while wearing a cocktail dress and heels or a suit and top hat.
Here’s some of the fabulous photos, including one with Emily and Maria from our label Po Campo (with their Bungee Bag and Rack Tote, of course) and you can just spot Dottie’s Nutcase Star Bright helmet peeking out from her handlebars. You can check out more photos here.
Posted: 8th March 2011
Sydney-based bike company Vuelo Velo shot their launch video at the Sydney Olympic Velodrome and the city streets of Sydney at 2am.
We think the soundtrack from The Cinematic Orchestra perfectly captures the beauty of night-time riding – and check out the gorgeous twinkling view of the Harbour Bridge!
Posted: 7th March 2011
Parents and schools, don’t forget that next week Wednesday 16 March is National Ride2School Day.
Did you ever ride to school? Remember what it was like – the freedom, the speed, the fun!
We think it’s a little sad these days that it’s more common that the school run is a traffic jam of cars, often big bulky 4WD, all jostling to find a car park. We’ve even heard of traffic management wardens being appointed to manage school traffic during peak hours. It sounds like an altogether stressful and unpleasant daily experience.
This is a great video featuring a group of Orlando high school kids who gather together to form a ‘bike bus’ to ride to school. Ignore the twee background music and listen to why they ride and the benefits they gain from riding to school. The themes are universal for many urban cyclists – riding in the morning is a quiet and peaceful way to start the day, it’s better than waiting for the bus, it’s a great way to meet up with friends.
Plus of course if more kids (and parents) considered the feasibility of riding of school, maybe, as one kid says in the video, it’d make going to school and the school run much more fun!