Her.ie Speaks To Joyce Brereton Of Stylish Cycling Label As Bold As
Joyce Brereton is an entrepreneur and designer who has set up a label As Bold As creating and selling cycling clothing that is practical, durable and (the key) fashionable.
We spoke to her about her design inspiration, business experience and why she saw the gap in the market for cycling gear that actually looks good.
Brereton says that she has always had the desire to start a business, and it was through "...a combination of courage, frustration and finding an idea that resonated" that she founded As Bold As.
"I cycled to work every day and sitting behind a row of tasteless high-viz got me thinking. I whizzed up prototypes on my sewing machine and that’s where the journey began."
Brereton combines durability and well-structured design with gorgeous use of colour and geometric shapes, and finds inspiration everywhere.
When it comes to creating cycling garment designs, "It needs to look fantastic and be functionally rock-solid too." She is inspired by Roksanda Ilincic, whose brave and saturated colours are an influence. In terms of product design, she looks to everything from Art Deco jewellery to "the flat packaging of an Ikea kitchen".
As a businesswoman, Brereton is obviously keen to get responses to her products from customers and they have been very positive.
"They love the bright colour injection, attention to detail and the high-quality fabrics. They also relate to the look and feel of the brand."
Her gear also has an appeal beyond just style-savvy cyclists, with runners, skiers, walkers and golfers putting in orders.
Brereton describes herself as lucky to be able to act as her own boss, but she also knows business can be tough as a small startup.
The best piece of advice she has ever received can be summed up by the phrase "cash is king".
"You need to understand how you’re going to pay your personal and business expenses at every step of the journey. If you’re not generating cash for 2 years, how are you going to make your rent and pay your creditors during this time?"
"Try and double-job for as long as possible or take on some contract work which will give you the oxygen when your company is developing."
Brereton has high hopes for the company and for cycling in general, and would love to break down some of the elitism that surrounds cycling, making it fun and accessible.
"Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sweat but I also love a meander by the seafront or a quick nip to the shops."
She also hopes to open sales channels to Scandinavia, where many people are both keen cyclists and design appreciators.
Lastly, we asked her where here favourite cycling spots are;
"You can’t beat cycling through a city. My husband and I rent bikes every time we go away and you get a great feeling of how the city is connected, it’s like the insider’s guide. In Dublin, I love to cycle to the Head of Howth. It’s a quick achievement-fix and outdoor-endorphin-fix all in one. Stop for a quick chat at the top – bliss."