107 – Supporting Their Local MTB Scene with Surrey Hills Clothing Co. Todays Guest
Ollie Robertson – Founder and Owner of Surrey Hills Clothing Co.
On episode #107 we are chatting with Ollie Robertson the founder and owner of Surrey Hills Clothing Co about his very cool MTB clothing and accessories brand. After coming across the Surrey Hills Clothing Co website and having a quick look around, I liked what I saw. The tee’s looked good, the images and designs were great and the site was simple and easy to use. As always my mind started to wonder about why Ollie started the brand, what his riding scene was like, what was his background in MTB and what his plans were for the future of his Surrey Hills MTB clothing brand. So I reached out, got in contact and Ollie was kind enough to come on the show and share his story.
Surrey Hills Clothing Co is still in its infancy. Ollie only started the brand in 2008 mainly because he couldn’t find any casual MTB styled clothing he really liked and with a knowledge of logo and image design he simply decided to make his own. Of course by this stage Ollie was thinking that he may be able to sell these to other budding mountain bikers looking for a great quality product, something that little bit different and something that represents their riding area, the Surrey Hills. One thing lead to another, Ollie built a website, designed a number of tees, posted them on the website and started receiving orders. Chatting to Ollie this seems to have come at some what of a surprise as he had mock images of the tees on the website but he was yet to get any tees produced or printed for sale, so he had to make a few quick calls and see if he could get these orders made and made fast. He managed to get a local business that would help him out with a small order, the items were produced and the Surrey Hills Clothing Co was born.
Tune in to find out how Ollie has build the brand, got local riders wearing his gear and what his future plans are for the brand.
Enjoy the show!
- Why Ollie decided to start a MTB clothing brand
- Where he got the ideas for his designs
- What his best selling tee has been
- How he went about finding a manufacturer
- Why Ollie believes that a close relationship with his manufacturer is super important
- Why Ollie doesn’t use any plastics in his packaging
- How Ollie is looking at future products and making them as environmentally friendly as possible
- Why Ollie makes sure his products are produced to a high standard
- What it takes to run a clothing brand on a part time bases
- The time Ollie spends on Surrey Hills Clothing Co.
- What his future plans are for the brand
- How to get in contact and purchase Surry Hills gear
As I have worked in fashion retail for a good part of my life it is always interesting for me to get people like Ollie on the show and share their passion about something they believe so strongly in, something they have started out of a need of their own and grown it into a business and a lifestyle they really enjoy and believe in. Of course for this to work and be financially viable you have to get other people to also believe in what you are doing and ultimately show their support by purchasing your product. It may sound easy but as Ollie and all the other start-up businesses out their know it takes a lot of hard work, personal time and in most cases a load of your own hard earned money to turn this into a reality, and even then it is a bit like looking into a crystal ball.
But in my opinion Ollie is on the right path with his brand image and future plans. He is taking his time, not rushing into producing large amounts of stock and is validating every new design and product idea by asking his followers on Instagram for their comments and feedback. This works great as Ollie is finding out what his customer base wants and what they would be willing to purchase, but not only that, he is also making his customer part of the Surrey Hills community by interacting directly with himself and giving their opinions on products and accessories, making them feel like part of the business. Ollie is well aware of this and truly wants to get his local community involved with the brand. It is easy to hear that Ollie is in love with the Surrey Hills scene, why else would he name his brand after it. By producing this brand Ollie is really saying to all MTB communities, come and see what Surrey Hills has to offer, great trails, great people and a thriving MTB scene that anybody would be happy to be a part of.
So take the weight off, tune in and find out what it’s like to be a part of the Surrey Hills MTB scene and what it takes to start a MTB brand with Ollie Robertson.
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Thanks so much to Ollie for coming on the show and sharing his story with us.
And thank you once again for tuning in. You make this show happen.
Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show!