Little Rider founder Mike Douglass talks collaboration, expansion and being purpose-driven
Can you give us a little background on Little Rider Co?
We started looking for a brand when our first son started to get into balance bikes and racing. There are lots of great kids’ bike brands out there, but we really struggled to find quality tech wear and protection for the little ones. A lot of the mainstream brands don’t cater well for ages 2-14, and
the brands that do were just not what we were looking for in a brand.
We wanted to build a brand with a mission; to get more kids on bikes and get them looking like pros. We launched in 2019 with our hero product being our technical jersey, but have expanded into technical shorts, gloves, pants and apparel. We now have over 100,000 little riders across the globe and rapidly growing. You can get a feel our brand, mission and Little Rider Army over at www.littlerider.com and www.instagram.com/littleriderco.
What makes Little Rider unique?
Our main strength is that we are purpose-driven. We treat ourselves as a media brand, and everything we do is to support our mission of getting more little riders riding and inspiring the pros of the future. Whether that be high-quality products, collabs with like-minded brands or online content to support our community. A lot of the bigger brands don’t invest enough in the age range we support, and as mentioned the ones that do fall short on quality or brand.
Another focus for us is our style and brand appeal. We are inspired by brands like Troy Lee, Hoonigan, Oakley etc., and we find it’s the Little Riders parents that relate to this and want their kids to look and feel the part. We find that when the little riders feel confident, it boosts their enthusiasm for riding and progression.
Tell us about your brand collaborations.
We have a saying: ‘We don’t do custom, we do collabs’. We are really excited about our Little Rider Collab Programme. We allow other brands, teams and pros to leverage the Little Rider Co brand and network by creating unique co-branded products and campaigns.
We work with people that are aligned with our mission in supporting kids cycling. We find a lot of the cool brands and bike companies out there that make quality bikes or gear don’t want the headache of designing and manufacturing technical bike wear for kids.
That’s where we come in. We work with the brand to align concepts, and give the brands access to a technical wear portfolio that is great for their social media, campaigns or upsell products to their existing business. We have worked with great brands like Prevelo Bikes, GT Malverns Classic, Hornit Bikes and VPACE. We are just about to launch a collab jersey with BMX legend Bob Haro (founder of Haro Bikes and Freestyle BMX) which we are really excited about! You can read more about our collab programme on the Little Rider Co website.
What impact has COVID-19 had on Little Rider Co?
It’s been a tough 12 plus months for everyone, for varying reasons. However, to take a positive slant we have seen a boom in cycling too with more kids getting onto bikes which has to be good. There have been challenges across the board in terms of getting stock into the country, and shipping to customers in Q4 during ‘shipagedon’ was a challenge, but all part of the game. We see light at the end of the tunnel with summer coming, and hope everyone is moving to a safer place with lots more bike time.
What are your more recent product developments?
We have recently launched our Little Rider technical glove range to complement our jerseys. These have been a great success – we saw a massive need for a better quality glove, for the really small fingers.
What are your plans for 2021 and beyond?
We have a lot we want to achieve in 2021/22 – where to start! We are working on expanding our tech jersey range, we want to do a jersey release each quarter. We are working hard to expand the product range, and aiming to release a protection range for the little riders this year – we feel safety gear is another underserved area for ages 2-14. Another big focus is our collab programme – we want to work with more awesome brands, teams and pros to get kids cycling to the next level.