Self employed people contribute strongly to the UK economy, with over 5 million self employed people and represent over 15% of the labour market. This blog aims to shout out to just some of the hard working and talented self employed people I know.
This week we profile Russ Jones from London cycling apparel brand Hackney GT. I first met Russ when we were next door neighbours at a London urban cycling show called Spin, probably almost 9 years ago now. Russ embodies his brand more than any other brand and founder that i know. His functional cycling apparel is made in England, something he is really proud of, and his brand Hackney GT is a true intersection of music, culture and design. Russ can often be found cycling around Hackney, and racing himself all over the UK, he manages to fit into one weekend the same amount of activity that most people would fit into a month.
Below he takes some time out from his active schedule to answer some of my questions about how he started his brand and how he sees it going in the future.
Describe your business (and your big idea): Cycle and recreational clothing with an urban aesthetic. The original idea was cycle kit you could wear in a club
What is your background? How does it link to what you are doing now? Music- DJing, promoting, radio, managing etc. The concept of creating brands and selling it is completely transferable. That is what I love to do.
What was your breakthrough moment?: Getting spotted randomly by a blogger in the USA and getting sales across the world.
What is one of your proudest business moments? Being ripped off by big brands. Means you are dong something right
What was your plan?: Avoid the 9-5 and continue to be creative.
How have things changed in Covid times? More people cycling and shopping online. its been great for hackney GT
How and when did you launch? 2011 with a big party at Look Mum No Hands. What else
Have you continued to build your brand? Always. Now producing running and swim wear and using recycled fabrics. There is always so much potential.
What challenges have you faced?: Digital marketing. It's for nerds who like analytics . Not for me
How do you stay motivated? Watching Goodordering! (haha, thanks Russ!😊)
What have you got your eye on for the future?: 4 hour working week (me too Russ!)
What are you favourite things to carry around with you? Swim wear. Any chance for wild swimming and I am there
Do you have a motto? If so , what is it? Better to try and fail than fail to try.
How can people get in touch with you? Instagram @hackneygt
If you too are self employed and would like to be featured here on our blog, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org #happycycling
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