A new cycling accessories shop has opened in Hackney, specialising in bags for style-conscious commuters and families.
The Goodordering range was created by Aussie expat Jacqui Ma, who has designed bags for Puma, Virgin Atlantic, Microsoft and Debenhams.
But east London is already a haven for cyclists, with the likes of Look Mum No Hands!, Hackney Cycles and London Bike Kitchen gracing its streets. What can Goodordering bring to the mix?
I have a chat with Jacqui to find out more.
Tell us about Goodordering and how it came to be
I started the company back in 2013 because I lived on top of a bike shop and was designing bags for Puma at the time.
When I worked there they had a test folding bicycle in the office. I decided to borrow it and rode it home a few time and then fell in love – both with the bicycle and with cycling!
I moved from Australia 15 years ago after studying product design there. Sydney wasn’t the safest place to ride, so I never cycled when I was younger.
In the past I’ve designed bags for a few companies, generally sportswear bags and luggage, and I wanted to design my own range. The theme through the previous designs is function so cycling fits into that.
What kind of features did you have in mind when making the bags?
The main thing with the commuter bags is that you’d just have one bag that you can attach onto your bike. When you lock up your bike, you go into your meeting.
You can imagine that the people who wear these clothes don’t get changed. They ride quite leisurely to work, they’re like an architect or a designer, a creative person or maybe a teacher.
On the days where they don’t cycle, they go through the same routine. The whole functionality isn’t about performance, but what activities the person’s doing throughout the day.
You decided to open a shop rather than go online-only. Why?
I wanted to open a shop so that we could have a bit of a showcase to let people what the brand was all about.
Our family often went out for meals together and after a very satisfying meal, we would all call out ‘Good ordering!’ to mum. This brand incorporates all the values of family get-togethers and those captured moments of happiness.
Sometimes a cycling shop will have a bag in the corner and you never really get to tell the brand’s story or bring them into your world.
We wanted to make a space for cycling accessories. Not just my bags, but helmets and other things too.
We do sell online and it’s a really important part of the business. We also have international distributors. We deliver to South Korea from the factory in China, for example. It helps bolster the company.
Have you had any funding or grants to open the shop?
We’ve done Kickstarter twice. The first time we raised £14,000 and the second time we raised £20,000.
I’m funding it myself and I’m part of Enterprise Nation which is a company that helps small businesses.
On top of that, I still work part-time doing other stuff – I’ve only recently gone to four days a week on Goodordering.
How does the other work you do feed into Goodordering?
I do trend forecasting. One of the trends I did spot was cycling as an emerging activity.
Cycling lanes, the Olympic park, people going to the velodrome – it has everything to do with being more active and taking pressure off cars by walking and cycling to work.
But we didn’t want to design something that was too trend-led. We wanted something classic. The first collection is inspired by Japanese school bags and 80s retro travel bags.
Things like materials and colours help me to figure out designs for the next collections. The idea is that they’re sturdy, strong and as waterproof as possible without being too performance-oriented. It’s got a touch of luxury, a touch of lifestyle.
One of my lines is “people who don’t wear Lycra who cycle” – people just ‘get it’ more now. Maybe before the Olympics people wouldn’t have understood what I was talking about.
What has support from the London cycling community been like?
The feedback’s been really good. I display at a lot of the trade shows and I try to be active in Ride London and other events. After four years people know I take on feedback so they write to me to flag certain things so I change them and fix them.
The community is really important to me – they help the company to evolve.
What’s on the cards for Goodordering in future?
My focus is to try and keep the shop running, so I’m going to team up with other cycling accessories brands, do more collaborations and expand the range.
We probably won’t go into clothing or anything. Accessories are my speciality.
It would be great to work with schools to try and be more integrated into all of their campaigns around cycling. I love Bike around the Borough in Hackney. They close all of their streets so a few thousand kids can ride their bikes. It all starts with the little ones.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start their own cycling brand?
Look at all the other cycling brands as they can help you. Reach out and try and be part of the community and learn from other brands that are in the same space. Don’t see them as competitors .
The cycling community is really friendly and everyone wants to help each other. No other brand is going to be directly competing with you – they’ll have slightly different price points or different materials or a different target audience.
There’s enough space for everyone.
Goodordering can be found at 61a Hackney Road, London E2 7NX
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.