Hannah Myers, Director of Flare Clothing
“We’ve really enjoyed the process, and are happy that our products are now better than ever” – Hannah Myers
Starting your own business is nothing short of scary. But to start a business based on your own creativity, producing performance kit for a rapidly growing women’s sports market, is terrifying to say the least. But that’s exactly what Hannah did in 2013 when she launched the Flare brand.
Like with any new business venture, there’s going to be learning curves, mistakes made and lessons learned. Hannah shared with me her biggest learning curve to date: “The biggest learning curve has been finding the right people to work with. Getting products manufactured to the standards we expect has been a challenge, but we’ve really enjoyed the process and are happy that our products are now better than ever.”
Needless to say the fashion world is constantly changing. Trends, colours and styles change like the wind, and in mountain biking, it isn’t much different. Albeit a new market, women’s MTB is still finding its fashion identity, “the market is still too young for strong trends to be identifiable, and, whilst there are so many more products available for women, the selection is still relatively limited. ”
A part of the learning curve is to adapt to these trends and learn what works and what doesn’t. Hannah tells us: “It’s interesting that the colours/products that are the most requested tend to be the lowest selling. For example, at the beginning all of the people we asked during the initial research stages loved the idea of a tank top style jersey – you wouldn’t get tan lines and the racer-back looks really sporty, but feminine. But hardly anyone actually bought them because there’s usually only one day of the year that’s warm enough!”
I’ve met up with Hannah and the Flare family a few times, often at shows and races, and I’m always blown away by her passionate and outgoing attitude when speaking about the Flare brand, and when chatting with customers. Travelling hundreds of miles around the country attending events is a large part of the process, but Hannah explains that “it enables us to showcase our range at all the important races and exhibitions and to gain vital feedback from the consumer. A lot of our sales are made online, so events are a great opportunity for people to feel the fabric and try the fit.”