One year and 10 months after launch, Vulpine is expanding and looking to appoint five new staff members, including a commercial director to take some of the heat off business co-founder Nick Hussey. The bike clothing brand was originally consumer-direct but it is now available in a select number of shops, with more stockists sought, including internationally. One of the staff members to be appointed is a trade sales exec.
Despite numerous approaches by trade accounts, Vulpine has had to turn down many through lack of stock.
"Since we launched we've been unable to keep up with demand, running out of stock constantly, despite ramping up production repeatedly to cope with demand," said Hussey.
"At one point in September we only held £3000 worth of stock in the warehouse, which is ludicrous."
He added: "I've also been wearing far too many hats, being the sales and marketing guy and running the company day to day. It was crushing me and the company was in danger of losing the huge momentum we've built. So I have sought extra finance to fund a total of five staff and huge stock increases. With more staff we can be proactive in reaching retailers that we had to turn down before."
Hussey is seeking a commercial director to work alongside himself to help manage the company. "It's a chance for a mover and shaker in the cycling industry to break off their corporate shackles and help create an extremely dynamic, innovative and friendly company," said Hussey, with a twinkle in his eye.
"I want us to challenge the status quo, both for the brand in the cycling industry and in cycling culture as a whole. I don't mind annoying a few people on the way, because that means we're doing something right. We're a very passionate, and I feel, honest brand."
Hussey said the market was changing:
"Retailers recognise that there are a new breed of cyclists, looking for stylish garments, but with technical features. The number of women cyclists is increasing at a greater rate than men, and they feel they are almost entirely uncatered for at the moment, regards clothing choice. It's still all very much 'shrink it and pink it.' Our women's range is already 25 percent of our turnover."