Designed and Made in Australia
My name is Barbara, and I am the Creator of Birds on Bikes.
I am also a mum, a grandma, a wife, a friend and I ride a bike.
My career started in design about 18 years ago. I was 41 and a newly single when I completed my Diploma of Graphic Design and Advertising at Commercial Arts Training College in Brisbane. The trick then was to find a job which proved to be quite the challenge, as it turns out years of full time employment as a mum doesn’t count for much in the job market. So when the phone didn’t ring I decided to take matters into my own hands, by creating my own job and starting a graphic design business.READ MORE
My now husband is an avid cyclist and with much encouragement from him I became one too, but I didn’t look like the ladies I saw in magazines. I’m a curvy cyclist, and this was a problem. I wanted to feel comfortable and stylish when I went for a ride and I couldn’t find anything. Everything was tiny. I would try on cycling pants and found I couldn’t pull them past my knees! I hated looking like sausage meat stuffed into Lycra! I’d go into the cycling stores and the reaction would be “No sorry we haven’t got anything like that, but we have been asked a lot lately…”
It was then that I decided to create my own range of cycling clothing for women of ALL sizes. Lumps, bumps and all.
Things were a little slow to start with, there was just so much to do! I was still heavily invested in my graphic design business and there just weren’t enough hours in the day. I was doing everything; my own photo shoots and product shots, writing my own copy, doing social media, developing the website as well as designing my styles and sourcing the fabric and notions.
In 2019 I participated in the Fashion 360 Incubator programme. An intense 6-month programme where we worked on our business, spoke to industry specialists and had access to great mentors. It was here that I developed and launched the new range of products. Those 6 months ended with a Fashion showcase and a pitch to a panel of industry specialist. A very daunting and stressful time but also unforgettable and well worth all the late nights leading up to it.
The programme and the showcase was an invaluable experience; it gave me a lot more confidence and credibility as well as the contacts and resources to grow my brand further. People started talking to me a lot more seriously after that because not only could I talk the talk, but I showed that I could walk the walk now too.
Since then the business has continued to grow every year and Birds on Bikes has a very loyal and diverse customer base. I launched an online community called Birds on Bikes Nests for like-minded women that ride or want to ride a bike.
It’s a safe space for the ladies to share their stories, make new friends as well as support and encourage the other riders. When I look at this group it always reminds me why I created Birds on Bikes. The joy on the faces of women that are normally neglected when it comes to cycling fashion is what keeps me going.
I’m happy to say that the business is now at a stage where I can start looking for the right people to join the Birds on Bikes team and contribute to the success and grow, grow, grow.