As founder of Cyclechic entrepreneur Caz Nicklin’s mission is to promote cycling as a desirable lifestyle choice; encouraging more women to take to 2 wheels by providing urban cyclists with the best range of stylish and practical cycling accessories, tips, advice and style inspiration.
“It was a combination of being frustrated in my job and hugely inspired by cycling that led me to set up my own business."
Could you give us a brief background into your career before starting Cyclechicand tell us how this has influenced you as an entrepreneur today?
I started out working in TV as a casting assistant for Casualty and EastEnders, which I loved but after a career break to go skiing for 6 months I ended up PA’ing to TV execs which I did not love! It was a combination of being frustrated in my job and hugely inspired by cycling that led me to set up my own business. My jobs in TV did teach me a lot about thinking outside the box and making bold, creative decisions and also gave me experiencing in networking – a vital skill for entrepreneurs.
A big lesson I have learnt is how to be ambitious without biting off more than you can chew. When Cyclechic first started out we had good sales in the USA so we set up a US branch, warehouse and website. We had not fully considered whether we had the time, knowledge or money to pull it off… and it turned out we didn’t. I now have a much more realistic approach when it comes to growing the business, so although it was disappointing at the time we learnt a valuable lesson.
You recently launched a book The Girls Bicycle Handbook – was this always your intention or did the book develop organically?
The book came about organically – I was approached by a publisher and it took me about 3 seconds to think about it and said YES! It was great to get all my thoughts and advice on cycling down in a book. I truly hope it will be a useful book and will encourage more women to start cycling and stay cycling.
Do you have any other projects on the horizon?
Nothing concrete at the moment, but I love the potential for merging lifestyle with online retail and if another opportunity or business idea came to me I would get stuck in with gusto.
As an independent business owner and mother how do you find time to relax?
I cook and drink wine with my other half, go on nice trips to the countryside and cycle about with my daughter.
Tell us about your cycle commute to work.
I cycle just over 3 mile each way from Chiswick to Shepherds Bush and then get the central line to Liverpool street. I am not a hardcore cyclists so this kind of distance is perfect for me. I go through a park and then have a nice long road where I can pick up some pace. It’s the perfect combination of greenery and urban London.
During the summer I am all about dresses. Dresses are great for cycling in as they look feminine and let the air circulate so keep you cool. When the weather is cooler I usually wears skinny cords, long boots and a tweed/wool vintage coat. And I always wear my Bern Lenox helmet in cranberry.
What is your favourite bag from the Michaux range and why? Tell us a bit about how you use it, where you go with it and what you carry in it.
I am in love with the Lightening rucksack in claret. I have been using it for work for about 6 months and it never lets me down. As my commute is part-way bike and part-way tube and then a walk, the rucksack is perfect as I can put it in my basket when I ride and then wear it on my back for the rest of the time. I always carry my laptop so the lightening rucksack works well as the straps are nice and wide to spread the weight out. Oh and it looks gorgeous, the dark red colour is one of my favourite colours and seems to go with all my clothes and shoes and is the perfect match for my helmet.
Caz Nicklin is an ambassador for sophisticated cycling bag brand Michaux, which was inspired by the 1895 New York Based Michaux Cycle Club; one of the first organisations in the world allowing women to cycle in public and whose female members were considered figureheads for a new era of freedom.
Taken from Michaux Club.
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