FK chats to Joyce from her fashion label with a difference, CycleStyle
Can you introduce your label to our readers.
CycleStyle is a store selling stylish clothing and accessories for the urban cyclist. I started CycleStyle just over a year ago because I didn’t want to wear fluorescent lycra and carry boring black bike accessories just because I liked to get around on two wheels.
I couldn’t find anything I liked in bike shops – so I decided to search for fashionable and functional cycling products from Australia and overseas, as well as producing some of my own designs, and gathered them all in one lovely store.
What is your background and have you always been a little entrepreneurial?
I’m an intellectual property and IT lawyer by trade but an entrepreneur at heart! I love owning my own business – it’s a constant learning experience, I get my shopping kicks sourcing products for the store and I get to chat and meet all sorts of different people online and offline. As for my background in cycling and fashion – basically I use a bike to get around town and I like to look good on or off the bike. I’m my own target market! Which makes product selection, marketing and finding content for the CycleStyle blog pretty easy.
What got you hooked on cycling and why do you think others should join in?
I have never been a sporty person but I LOVE cycling. I can honestly say that it’s transformed my life. When I was a kid I was pretty tentative on my bike and after a taking a chunk out of my knee when I was 11 I didn’t get on a bike for 15 years. In the meantime I’d moved to Melbourne to start my first job and discovered the joys of living in the inner city – I didn’t need a car and could get around easily via public transport or by walking. However, the cyclists who zoomed past me every morning on the Yarra path niggled at me. They were getting to places so much faster! So for my 26th birthday, I asked for a bike. I did a practice run on a quiet Sunday from my house to work and found the speed and sense of freedom exhilarating. And the more I cycled, the more confident I became. I’m not the world’s greatest cyclist and I have to hold onto the handlebars with both hands – but I’ve never hurt myself on the road and the joy of cycling has taken over my life.
So why should others join in? Because bikes make life better! Seriously. You’ll often get to places faster than public transport and whiz through gridlocked peak hour traffic. You’ll save money by not paying for petrol, parking meters or bus tickets. You’re helping the environment by not contributing to pollution. You’ll notice more about your neighbourhood – riding a bike makes it easy to stop for an impulsive cupcake, double-back to check out that great dress in the store window and smell what people are cooking up for dinner in their homes. You can bathe in the sunshine, feel the breeze and see the stars. Not to mention getting your heart rate up is good for your health and you’ll develop great legs!
What are your favourite products you stock and why?
One great benefit about owning a bike accessories store is that I get to use all the products and have people compliment me on how cool I am! I always carry a skirt garter with me so that I can cycle in my favourite skirts without flashing the traffic – particularly handy for windy days! They are also useful as an emergency elastic band for bunches of flowers or holding books together.
I use my Po Campo Bungee bag most days as it fits all my necessities, clips easily onto my handlebars (it also sits on a back rack) and has a stylish waterproof floral pattern.
I carry my La Pomme Bike Satchel almost daily as a stylish baby bag – it is very roomy, has heaps of pockets, is colourful and sturdily made with French canvas and doesn’t scream ‘cyclist’ or ‘nappies’! I have a set of bright orange Kitsch Kitchen panniers on my back rack and a wicker basket for my handlebars. Together I use them to carry groceries, parcels, my laptop, books and clothes. Pretty handy when you don’t own a car. Finally, with the cooler weather I wear a Jenny Reflective Cycling Cape because it makes me feel like an elegant Victorian lady (with added visibility on reversible side for low light when needed), a pair of stretchy Outlier pants and a pair of Freehands Gloves with fingertips that flip off so that I can I can answer my phone or use my camera without taking my gloves off.
Where are your favourite places in Melbourne to ride to?
I love cycling to the monthly Farmers Markets at Collingwood Children’s Farm. Early Saturday morning there’s hardly any traffic on the roads, I can cycle right up to the gate and fill up my panniers with sparkling fresh fruit and veg, a loaf of olive bread, potted herbs for my balcony and my favourite ice-cream from Gundowring.
My other favourite route is from Fitzroy to South Yarra at night – I breeze through the sedate streets of East Melbourne, go around the silent MCG, up over the railway bridge (good for the legs!), cross the most beautiful bridge in Melbourne, the Morrell Bridge, and always stop to appreciate the view – the romantic curve of the Yarra and the twinkling city skyline.
What can we expect at the Brisbane FK markets in July?
Cycle chic will hit Brisbane! I’ll be showing off funky reflective legwarmers, reflective sashes that make you look more like a pageant queen than a construction worker, bright waterproof panniers, pretty wicker baskets and all sorts of other fashionable and useful items for cycling in style.