Cycling enthusiast turns web-based entrepreneur
VELO VENTURE: Katie Barwood and Jules Pearce, who have launched Spin Shed, an online cycling boutique platform. Below left, Russ Ellis’ Tour de France work, and right, the exclusive Pente shirt.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 12 Dec 2017
AN entrepreneur from Grimsby has launched an online cycling boutique, offering global brands a platform to share their wares.
Katie Barwood, a former Healing School and Franklin College student, discovered a niche while on an epic cycling challenge of her own.
Having relocated to West Yorkshire to work in corporate banking after reading marketing and advertising at the University of Hull, she is now heading up Spin Shed with partner Jules Pearce.
Together they have a strong background in finance, product development and branding.
The online store aims to showcase the best of cycling style, uniting independent global brands from around the globe, providing customers with a wider choice. It brings together a mix of cycling apparel, luggage, gifts and art.
Miss Barwood said: “Two years ago, I was planning my first major cycling challenge with a friend – cycling the length of France, from St Malo to Nice. It was really hard to find cycling kit that suited my style, but what I realised, was that this wasn’t through a lack of available choice, but rather customers didn’t know about all these great alternatives.
“Having researched independent and stylish brands from around the world, we wanted to create something that allowed customers to reach all these great brands in one place, mix and match styles, and give them a real choice. We also wanted the site to be so much more than just another cycle clothing retailer, so we’ve worked hard to bring in other stylish products, such as fine-art prints, handcrafted luggage and even an artisan coffee aimed at cyclists.”
It has launched with 12 brands, with an extensive range of male, female and unisex styles, and the promise of new partners being added on a regular basis.
The model allows suppliers to showcase their whole range, rather than selected garments.
Prior to going live the pair have been working with emerging and established brands. London-based Pente has created a jersey which will be exclusively available via Spin Shed, while 2014 Dutch National Road Race Champion, Iris Slappendel, will stock her extensive range on the site.
Photographer to the cycling stars, Russ Ellis, will also showcase and sell selected prints, having worked with Team Sky, while a community feel will be created with unique cycling-focused content.