Our guidance and innovation support helped bikewear pioneers FINDRA get on the right track.
Fashion-led but performance driven, FINDRA is a bike-wear brand designed specifically for women.
The brainchild of Alex Feechan, the brand was inspired by a sartorial dilemma.
On a bike trip with friends three years ago, Alex quickly became hooked on cycling. But when she went to buy appropriate clothing, she quickly realised that there wasn’t a great choice of female-focused cycling equipment on the market.
Having worked in the fashion and textiles industry for over 20 years, she has experience in designing for a number of international companies - but found our business support invaluable in helping her to business to get off the ground.
Bright ideas and market research
It was an e-mail from Scottish Enterprise that provided the motivation to kickstart her business plan.
“It asked, “'Does anyone have any bright ideas regarding businesses related to mountain biking?'” remembers Alex.
“I responded to that and went along to an innovation clinic. Through the support and help of Scottish Enterprise, I started to do really thorough market research.”
She undertook a series of focus group days with female bikers to gauge the potential success of the line.
“One of my favourite statistics from the questionnaires was that, out of the 500 women surveyed, 95% relayed the need for a female-specific clothing line.”
After the lightbulb moment
This validation gave her the confidence she needed to begin. Supported through the prototyping process by Scottish Enterprise and Business Gateway, she began working with a team of specialists at Heriot Watt University.
Supported by a Scottish Enterprise innovation grant in the earliest stages of business, Alex found the network of business support invaluable.
Travelling to Eurobike, the Munich cycling festival, with Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise gave her a platform and opportunities to sell.
I think when you start a new business and you’re on your own, you can feel like it’s just you...what’s been great for me was that through Scottish Enterprise, I had a ready-made team.
Alex Feechan, owner and founder, FINDRA
“I think when you start a new business and you’re on your own, you can feel like it’s just you – and there are so many aspects to the business.” Having to juggle the demands of market research, product development, accounts and finance can be daunting – but our dedicated support helped to alleviate that.
“What’s been great for me was that through Scottish Enterprise, I had a ready-made team” explains Alex. “All of a sudden, it wasn’t just me on my own – I had a team of people who i could turn to for support.”
FINDRA have since enjoyed a successful soft launch, with pop-up shops and customer consultations helping to shape the future direction of the business.
Going the extra mile
What does 2015 have in store? “The plan is to look for serious investment throughout the business – to really take the business forward to become not only a brand within the UK and Europe, but also to look at becoming a global brand – that goes beyond bike clothing into all aspects of outdoor clothing and apparel for women.”
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