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Paria X Spin Shed; meet the team behind the site

As one of many independent cycling brands which sits firmly on the fringes of the mainstream cycling scene, Paria has to work hard to gain cut through to you riders out there; and this covers everyone from our customers, to retailers, to media sources.  Social media (particularly our Instagram page) has helped immeasurably. There is no filter in communicating to our community of riders, we can be as raw, as left field and subversive as we like, and we can also respond immediately to questions, feedback and the odd bit of apparel-love. The days of sycophantic relationships with print media have gone; we no longer have rely on the traditional physical word printed to leverage our profile, we can talk direct to YOU.

However, the waters get a little more murky when you look at web-shops, as well as bricks and mortar retail. Living in the grey areas means you don’t fit a mould, which translates into all aspects of your brand. Unfortunately, this means there isn’t really a shop/outlet out there within which we naturally sit.

When the guys at Spin Shed approached us, and explained their thinking behind their e-commerce site, we were all over it like a cheap suit.  Servicing the needs of the more style conscious rider, their thinking was to source and then promote independent cycling brands, such as Paria, and bring them to a wider audience. Clearly this deserved a fist bump, and the Paria fountain pen was quick to sign on the dotted line. A select range from our current collection is now available on their site, along with a wealth of other more niche offerings from the world of cycling clothing.

We’ve asked Jules and Katie to explain their thinking behind the site, and also a bit more about themselves.

Spin Shed was born out of a frustration with the lack of choice offered by the established cycling outlets and a belief that there was a better way for customers to find the many unique, stylish and independent brands that exist, from around the world.

Built with a focus on collaboration, the team at Spin Shed believe in the benefits of working together for mutual benefit, which has shaped the way the site was conceived, designed and developed. Spin Shed allows customers to buy some of the best independent cycling brands from one place and means brands get their awesome products in front of even more people.

Spin Shed co-founder Katie explains a bit more about the inspiration behind the business…

Two years ago I was looking for a challenge, something to get me to the gym through the winter. My friend found a great book by Hannah Reynolds, France En Velo, biking 1000 miles self guided, from the top to the bottom of France (including a quick detour up Mont Ventoux), in 14 days. Game on, date set, ferry booked, Grand Depart looming just 8 months later! I should probably mention at this point, neither of us had really been on a bike since we were kids, or for that matter even owned a bike!

So the logical first step was to get out and buy our bikes, kit and everything we’d need for the trip. Aside from the physical challenge of training, the biggest thing for me was finding some lycra I was happy wearing. A well-known and established cycling brand were kind enough to give us a free jersey from their Harrogate store, but I hated feeling like people thought I was a pro (sponsored kit and all), when I was still falling off my bike at traffic lights. Plus all the other mainstream outlets only had the same few brands, with the same feel and no real way of showing off individuality.

So during much of our training and trip we discussed setting up our own clothing brand. When I got home, I started my market analysis (yes, years of banking experience made me a SWOT analysis geek), during which I realised just how many amazing stylish and independent brands were out there already. Often, customers just didn’t know where to find them, and that’s how Spin Shed was born.

I teamed up with my partner Jules, who was already a keen cyclist, having set up his own race team and who had some contacts in the industry, and together, we called in favours, built connections (taught myself web development) and launched Spin Shed to the masses in winter 2017. We recognised that great independent cycling brands extended wider than just clothing, so we brought in brands from across cycling, art, luggage, apparel – even working with a coffee roaster on our own brew! We’re also lucky enough to share a local bar with Sam, founder of Paria, and discussed the finer details of his brand’s participation with Spin Shed over a beer, as all the best deals are done.

We both already had a real passion for independent brands across different industries, so this was an idea we could both get really excited about. Collaboration is a key word for us, and one that’s been front of mind when developing our idea. Spin Shed helps brands extend their reach, helps customers shop independent brands all in one place, and hopefully will help us earn a living doing something we’re really passionate about.

To celebrate launch, Spin Shed are giving customers who create an account and sign up to their newsletter the chance to win £100 worth of credit, to use on the site. See spinshed.com/100offer for more details.

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