Your Name: Mariana Chambers + Debra Zusin
Business Name: GiveLoveCycle, a maker of cycling accessories for women
Type of Business: Clothing & Accessories
Business Location: New York, New York, United States
Reason for starting
Cycling was always a part of our lives. Living in two big cities (Debra in Washington DC and Mari in NYC) for us, biking has always been the best way to get around. We noticed however, that we would have to keep biking at bay when it came to our work week routine as the accessories available were not suitable for the office in both look and efficiency. As a lawyer (Debra) and a Fashion Product Developer (Mariana) we couldn’t walk into our professional lives with helmet and nylon bike bag in tow. We searched high and low for a product that can be both stylish and practical and accommodate our everyday lives but fell short everywhere we looked. We started GiveLoveCycle to create a product that is reflective of ourselves -real women that bike as a means of transportation. Our accessories are versatile, stylish and most of all help women transition from their bike to their regular day.
How do you define success?
For us, success is defined by the number of women that tell us they have recently started biking/commuting on bike and feel so great because they didn’t believe that it could be so easy. We take that as another “player” on our team that can show women that they CAN bike as a part of their everyday lives.
Our biggest success has been being recognized by the fashion world (Refinery29, DC Luxury, Momentum Magazine), the health world (Well+Good) and the biking world (Momentum Magazine, Transportation Alternatives in NYC, Capital Bikeshare in Washington DC) as these are the boundaries we try to transcend that have previously been looked at as completely different sectors. We want to show that biking and fashion can harmoniously co-exist.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Our top challenge is to show people that biking can be a part of your everyday life and you can commute on bike; especially women. In the US, people do not view biking as a means of transportation to get to and from places. Most people feel that riding a bike means putting on your spandex and going for a 50 mile ride. Over the past decade, Europe has seen the benefits (to the environment, their cities and personal health) of biking and some US cities like Washington DC, Chicago, Minneapolis, soon to be NY and many more have followed suit and are implementing large scale bike share systems. We want to ensure to do everything in our power to stimulate the change in our cities and promote biking by providing everyday practical solutions that make it easy to commute on bike. Our bags are designed to make a seamless transition from your bike to your everyday life.
Who is your most important role model?
Our role models are women -people in general, who ‘are the change they want to see in the world’ and work hard to achieve it. This can be anyone from a public figure that fights against social inequality to our 89-year-old neighbor that fights his ailments and refuses to ‘go gently into the night’ to the school girl who gets picked on but faces her bullies daily for the sake of an education. Role models come in all shapes and sizes and fight all different kinds of battles for our future.