First look: The Cycling Store
We chat style picks, Chloe Sevigny and having the courage to launch your own business with Naomi Mahendran - the woman behind The Cycling Store
If you fancy whiling away a few hours poring over beautiful cycling gear, check out The Cycling Store.
With gorgeous Merino cowl neck jumpers, lust-worthy panniers, banging SPD high tops and leather gloves that wouldn’t look out of place on the set of a Wes Anderson movie, this handpicked haven for independent brands makes your heart flutter and wallet sigh.
Here, we chat to the style magpie behind the brand and get a sneak preview of some hot new pieces.
What inspired you to launch The Cycling Store?
Cycling in London really changed my life. It gave me confidence and helped me discover new corners of the city. But a lack of stylish and practical everyday clothing that I could wear on and off the bike made getting up and cycling to work hard - especially on days when it was raining or freezing cold.
It was this that inspired me to launch The Cycle Store with a range of pieces sourced from independent designers from all over the world, including DZR from San Francisco, Thousand helmets from LA, and a range of homegrown UK designers like Tracey Neuls, Kate Sheridan and Findra from Scotland.
How would you describe the ethos behind TCS?
Every item is chosen for its functionality, practicality and simple clean lines. Most of the brands we stock are exclusive to us, so you know you’ll be wearing something completely unique. I love discovering new brands from around the world and getting the word out about them.
What have you learnt about yourself through launching this business?
This year has been one of the toughest of my life, but also the most incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. The biggest realisation was how much inner strength and resilience you find you have when you accept yourself for who you are. I put a lot of pressure on myself initially to try and be the person I 'thought I should be’ but it was when I let go and just accepted myself that I found the answers I was looking for.
What advice would you give someone who would like to start their own venture?
My advice to anyone starting up is that it will get tough, so tough that you want to give up. But keep at it and reach out if it gets difficult - that’s what friends and family are there for.
If you could do it all again, is there anything you would do differently?
I went through a particularly rough patch at the beginning of this year and went down a path and took some advice that I perhaps shouldn’t have. If I had to do it all again, the only thing I would change is to tell myself to keep being me, I’m shit hot just as I am. There will always be people who don’t support you, who try to change you - I would tell myself to have faith in myself.
Who do you most admire in business?
There isn’t just one person I admire, there are so many people in my life doing amazing things that I am in total awe of. First up, my dad, who has always inspired me to be an entrepreneur and who has been unwavering in his support. Also, the women in the London cycling industry who are doing incredible things for endurance cycling, racing, adventuring and urban cycling who I am so lucky to be able to call my friends.
Tell us about your latest shoot - what, why, who?
The last shoot we did for Autumn was very special as it featured real women who inspired (and continue to inspire) women everywhere to ride longer, farther and faster.
Laura Scott and Jess May are two incredible cyclists who are doing amazing things – Laura, as an endurance cyclist who rode the Trans Am earlier this year, and Jess who set up and captained the first all-female track cycling sports team.
We shot in East London in a beautiful brick studio with a fantastic team. The days were long, but we had so much fun - it really shows in the final images!
If you could feature any woman in the world in your next shoot, who would it be and why?
I am a massive fan of women just doing their thing. I’d LOVE to shoot Chloe Sevigny - because that woman just does not give a f*ck and totally bosses it.
Are there any super-hot products that you are loving right now?
I love the helmets by Thousand. I know this is terrible, but I never used to wear a helmet, but the Thousand ones are so beautiful and minimal that I finally bowed to safety.
The clip-in SPD-compatible sneakers by DZR are also amazing. I love riding fast, and these shoes are the best because I can ride clipped in, but without looking like I’m wearing cycling shoes. They also mean I can jump off the bike and straight into meetings without having to change.