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The pros and cons of wearing a helmet

By Jacqui Ma

I have been working in the cycling industry for quite a few years now and one of the most divisive topics remain to be the bicycle helmet. Recently I have noticed a lot of people changing their minds about helmets in both directions of the argument, which leads me to believe that people are really beginning to consider safety in more detail but actually having an opinion about helmets. 

So i have tallied up some of the reasons why people choose to wear or not wear bicycle helmets. Where do you fit in? Some of the reasons listed below could seem very vain or trivial, but believe me, in my research its often these kinds of things that people are basing their decisions on.

Why people DON'T wear helmets:

  • There have been studies showing that wearing a helmet makes people take more risks and therefore can lead to accidents
  • Wearing a helmet won't really protect against life-threatening injuries.
  • Helmets look uncool
  • Helmets mess up my hair or stop me from wearing the hats that i want to
  • Helmets are uncomfortable to wear
  • A French study in 2006 showed that pedestrians are 1.4 times more likely to receive a traumatic brain injury than an unhelmeted cyclist.
  • Mandatory bicycle helmets can deter people from riding bikes which in turn creates a less safe environment for cyclists

 Thousand helmets

Image: Thousand Helmets from Cool Hunting

Why people DO wear helmets: 

  • Higher visibility in general
  • Weather protection
  • Up to 47% of injured cyclists get head injuries
  • Wearing a helmet can provide up to an 88% reduction in the risk of head injury*
  • I want to set a good example to my children
  • It makes me feel less exposed and therefore safer

In a US study about the children and bicycle helmets, it was found that look and fit are the two main reasons why, despite helmets being proven to reduce brain injuries in kids by up to 85%, kids still don't want to wear them. 

Google trends is also a good way to get a snapshot on the search interest of a term over time. Below is a graph showing the interest in "bicycle helmets" over the last 5 years, as you can see there is a steady decline.

trends in bicycle helmets google trends

Graph from Google Trends

 Bicycle Habitat, NYC based bicycle company, illustrate their opinion using a nice list that also includes some more humorous reasons to wear a bicycle helmet

  • 900 People die each year in bicycle accidents, 75% of them from head injuries.
  • 88% of all cyclist brain injuries could be avoided.
  • It can help make you more visible.
  • Some people look really cool in a helmet.
  • You must wear a helmet on a Bicycle Habitat ride.
  • If you are under 14 years old the law requires it. (in the USA)
  • You won't have to listen to your mother say: "You should have been wearing a helmet," when you wake up in the hospital.   
  • A head injury can ruin your whole day.
  • Helmets are less likely to damage the asphalt.

Some of the other references from this article come from this fantastic article written by Howie Chong about how he consciously decided not to wear a helmet. 

Summary
Despite all the arguments for and against wearing helmets when riding a bicycle, i have to say that i am a helmet wearer. Its not to say that i don't acknowledge all these reasons why people don't. I think it comes down to people's general risk appetite. I admit sometimes i don't wear a helmet, or i forget it, but overall i think that the negatives are outweighhed by the positives. I'm still really careful when riding my bicycle around london and i don't think that because i'm wearing a helmet, i take more risks. The important thing for me is having the right fit. Right now my helmet is a little uncomfortable and i feel myself not wearing it more frequently. Just like other sports that have a risk of head injury involved like skiing, climbing and horse-riding, i am all for head protection. Also, with a bunch of new brands doing some really nice looking bike helmets and also helmets being more widely available, i don't think the wearing of helmets for cycling is going to go away any time soon.

Over to you, what are your thoughts? do you wear a helmet or not and if so, what are your reasons? 

Author - Jacqui Ma, Founder of Goodordering, East London bag company

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How we got into John Lewis Part 2

By Jacqui Ma

The rest of the story of how we finally, after 3 years trying, got into John Lewis.

I ended Part 1 of this article describing how for the second time (and second year), our bags got rejected from John Lewis. I looked at this positively in that at least it was a different reason. The first reason was that the bags were not really nappy bags and the second reason was that the brand was too new. 

There was nothing much i could do but let time go by and make sure that during that time, Goodordering's reputation, social following and press grew as much as possible. 

I gave it a year and then got back in touch with the buyer only to find out that my contact had left. I just looked back through my old emails and found that actually the new buyer contacted me asking for some information and prices on the range.

She made it really clear that there would be no guarantees and after i sent through information on the brand and product, she really pushed me for information on press. I can't stress how important this was for her.

It was early July 2016 at the time and this is an email extract

"By all means please send over a sample. What I do need to know is whether you are expanding your changing bag range and any press that you have had. I am away from tomorrow so we can pick this up mid August. I cannot guarantee we will stock this line with it being 1 SKU. It might be worth you looking for a distributor that works with our Nursery office already."

Goodordering buggy bag colour options

The vast time frames between email contact was a little stressful at this time, especially around the time of year that this took place - being July / August when you have no idea when people are coming and going from summer vacation. 

The fact that i had only one style that was specifically a buggy bag and I had never worked with a distributor before let alone know how i would get in touch with one. The sparse email contact, and the not giving anything away was definitely a feature of the communication.

I had offered to send the buyer some samples and had a few weeks up my sleeve whilst she was on holiday to make sure it arrived at her office when she got back. So i did a little bit of research and decided to put together a fun package.

Goodordering package to John Lewis buyer

As I'd been trying to get my bags into John Lewis for such a long time, it was really important that any chance I had for a touch point or contact with such a busy buyer was a chance to make a good impression. 

Rather than the bag samples being just about being bags, i wanted to frame Goodordering bags as something much more sentimental. I also wanted to make the message clear about what differentiated my bags from the competition. Our bags are not nappy bags or changing bags, they are bags that can be used as a nappy bag, but the reason to buy it goes way beyond baby's first years. 

Once you're baby turns into a small child, your buggy bag turns into a handlebar bag that you use on your bicycle.

Goodordering package to John Lewis buyer

I made a special trip around quite a few shops sourcing items for my themed gift box. Because it was summer, my aim was to create a 'festival in a box'. With all the things one might need for some fun in the sun.

I had sent boxes previously to buyers. One halloween i sent a halloween inspired box with spiders, sweets and an orange bicycle pannier. That one didn't really go down that well. The reason i think those ones didn't work and this one (as you would have guessed) did work, is because sending a box unsolicited, as generous as it might seem, is not really all that good. I think, now in hindsight, its actually a little detrimental. I think the best way to do it is to make contact with buyers first and then send a nice box. Otherwise, lets face it, it can be a bit creepy.

A couple of days after the buyer got back from holidays, i got an email from the buyer who seemed much friendlier. She suggested to actually introduce me to a distributor that they work with, and thanked me for the package. This is what she wrote,

Thank you for sending samples to us, it was a rather exciting box to open on a Thursday afternoon! 
She also asked me a bit more about the collaborations that i mentioned. We had some next steps. The first of which was to get in touch with the distributor that she introduced me to via email. 
I knew from a friend who had had lots of experience with distributors, that they alone are not easy to snag. I had tried before also, through my bike contacts to meet a cycling distributor, and whilst there are many, they don't seem to really like working with new or small brands. Many of them just want your product to fly off the shelf without them needing to do much, so i knew i had to impress the distributor and give them faith in me and Goodordering. For a distributor to take on a small or new brand, they need to see something in the potential of the brand.
After arranging to meet with the distributor, i packed up a few bags and went to see them at their offices. I was lucky enough for the MD to also be around and fortunately she also came to the meeting. It was a fantastic meeting and i felt we really connected and i was relaxed enough to be able to tell the story of Goodordering. I was also able to find out more about them as a business. At this stage, lets face it, i was probably not in a place to turn them down, but it did help a great deal that i was really excited about working with them. My contact at the distributor took a lot of time to explain to me their role, what they do, how they work with retailers and customers. She even showed me around their office and warehouse. I left the meeting feeling smarter and so happy, in fact, that i decided to give myself the rest of the day off! 

 

The next steps we really for the distributor to officially agree to represent me in relationship to John Lewis, and once this had happened, there was still a long waiting time to hear back from the buyer. John Lewis still had quite a few demands with regard to the product. One of which was that they wanted a change mat to be included in each product for the same price and physically paced into each product on delivery. 

Fast forward a few months, the official order came through. I had to fly a batch of change mats over from my factory in China to meet the delivery date. My warehouse also had to do a bit of re-packing. So far i have had 2 orders from John Lewis, and our bags only just last week were officially listed on their website. 

Through this experience i learnt about barcodes, delivery windows, forecasts, negotiating price lists and i also learnt that even though you might get an order from a large retailer like John Lewis, orders are small, margins are tight and, even though we are now selling with John Lewis online, there is a far way to go before they agree to stock us in their physical stores. That would hopefully be part 3 of this story!

I hope that this article may help to shed light on the process of getting into a large retailer. If you have any questions about the article and the previous part 1, please leave them in the comments below and i'd be happy to answer them. 

Author - Jacqui Ma, Founder of Goodordering, East London bag company

NOTE: If you are in the market for a nappy bag or know anyone who is, we'd love you to pass on the news that are now stocked there. Also, if you already are the proud owner of a Goodordering bag, we would love it if you could leave a review for us there on the John Lewis website.!! thanks!!! 

http://www.johnlewis.com/brand/goodordering/_/N-1z04ehs

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How we got into John Lewis

By Jacqui Ma

This is the story of how we finally, after 3 years trying, got into John Lewis

We are obviously beyond excited have our bags stocked in John Lewis, probably the UK's most reputable retailer. Our market shopper and buggy bag, the two Goodordering best sellers are now part of the range people can see in the nursery department online on the John Lewis website.

Goodordering on the John Lewis ecommerce website

As the founder of Goodordering i thought i'd write a post about how we got in. As a big support of small businesses i can only hope that our story might help and inform other brands hoping to get into this and other similar retailers.

The story begins 3 years ago when the business was in its first year of operation. I launched Goodordering whilst i was on maternity leave from my full time job at WGSN. Contrary to popular perception, working there did not help Goodordering at all in terms of reaching out to retailers. As a sidepreneur, i was always so paranoid about mixing work with my business that i kept the two very separate. The bags that i designed were always about cycling. As a regular commuter cyclist, ie no lycra in sight, bicycles have always been my mode of transport of choice. 

It was only when i started using the bags myself as a parent (hard to cycle with a 3 month old!) that i realised the potential that the brand might have within the nursery market. I then went onto seed out the bags to friends who also had babies at the time to see what they thought. It was then that i realised that i needed to begin thinking about the brand in the context of parents, so i asked some friends to review the bags on Mumsnet. 

You can see some of the review posted here by clicking here ---> Goodordering on Mumsnet

Goodordering buggy bag reviews on Mumsnet

The advantages of doing this was that a) it was free and b) it was able to give me real feedback on the bags. The site is pretty basic and you can't really advertise or influence the readership, nor can you edit or control the reviews, so you couldn't really get more genuine than this in terms of gathering feedback.

At this time all my Goodordering marketing collateral was geared around bikes (pardon the pun) as this was really the core DNA of the brand. Having originally set out to solve a problem and fulfil a need in this market, i didn't want to abandon cycling as a niche area. Not only were the bags designed to fit on bicycles, but my whole network of friends and fellow business owners were from the bike world.

I found myself in a little bit of a dilemma. How do i stay true to the DNA of the brand whilst also attempt to exploit a different market in which i saw potential?

I did, what every entrepreneur does probably on a daily basis and weighted up the pros and cons.

CONS:
*I had no photos or marketing material for this market, so it would be expensive to create as i would have to do new photoshoots

*The products were not really made for parents, ie had no changing mat, or details details like bottle holders that make them in nursery bags

*I could confuse and alienate my current customers who didn't want their bags to be associated with parents/families as they were cool hipster cyclists.

*I knew nothing about the nursery market, competition, positioning and had never been to a nursery tradeshow

* I didn't have any contacts in this industry

PROS
* My cluelessness and naiveté could work in my favour from a business point of view, had i known what a huge intimidating industry it was, i may never have considered entering it

* The designs could offer something fresh to the market due to the fact that they were designed as cycling bags not nursery bags and therefore be perceived as genuinely different

* I had a child myself and through this, had established a network of parents. I knew that the bags were popular within the aspirational east london yummy mummy and daddy market.

I had been given the advice previously that niche is best and to make sure that i exploit my niche fully before being too ambitious in expanding into different markets. I had this hanging over my head for many a sleepless night. Eventually a penny dropped, and i realised i could write a new brand proposition and it didn't have to be based on outdated management principles, but on my personal experience identifying a new breed of parents and families. So my proposition was: (a bit of a mouthful)

Parents are people too. They ride bikes, they have cool jobs. They don't want to be only seen as parents. They appreciate products that help them transition seamlessly between their parental duties and their life as regular people.

So, parents who ride became the segway (don't you love that word) between Goodordering as a cycling brand and Goodordering as a family brand.

Keeping in mind that the above few paragraphs were still just only in my head. There was nothing physical that supported this breakthrough. I still had no photos, i still had no idea of the market and i still was stretched as it was trying to connect into the cycling market.

I started to tackle some of the elements i needed, like a press release (below) and some very amateur home-shoots featuring my son. I also began to contact some small kids boutiques about stocking the bags.

Goodordering Junior Press release

Progress was slow and i was really stretched, but then, out of the blue, John Lewis' buyer from the Nursery department contacted me. I was requested to send a sample in and i would hear back in a few weeks. I was not to contact them in the mean time. I was very excited. 

Well, it couldn't have been that easy, could it? No. It turned out that the bags were not quite as parent-ified as they required. There was no change mat and other little functionalities that make a bag specifically a parent bag. From a merchandising point of view, it was a hard sell.

I went away and developed the changing mat immediately with my manufacturer. It was an easy win and even though John Lewis were not going to place an order, I realised i could offer this as an option through my own website to enable people to buy any bag and turn it into a baby bag through the addition of the changing mat for an extra £5. This turned out to be the beginning of our modular offering.

A year came and went and i decided to get back in touch with John Lewis. Fortunately the same buyer was there, which is a rare thing. I contacted her and she was happy to revisit the brand now that i had become a bit more established in the market and had my changing mat. She explained about the process of proposing products to the buying team. There was a very formal process by which products got narrowed down in the selection process. It sounded pretty brutal.

By then i also had a few more images of the products baby bags, which I also offered up, and had also started to transition our website to include nursery bags as a separate section under the Goodordering banner, evening out the cycling messaging with family messaging.

The waiting process was hard but i was more familiar with the process.  

Goodordering buggy bag orange

The feedback finally arrived that they liked the bags but they didn't believe they would sell in the right volume that was required. The overall feedback was that as a brand we were too 'new' and John Lewis was not taking on any new brands. Disappointment once again. But i didn't give up.

END OF PART 1, FOLLOW NEXT WEEK FOR PART 2.

 Author - Jacqui Ma, Founder of Goodordering, East London bag company

NOTE: If you are in the market for a nappy bag or know anyone who is, we'd love you to pass on the news that are now stocked there. Also, if you already are the proud owner of a Goodordering bag, we would love it if you could leave a review for us there on the John Lewis website.!! thanks!!! 

http://www.johnlewis.com/brand/goodordering/_/N-1z04ehs

 

 

 

 

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Lifestyle Shoot

By Jacqui Ma

A few weekend's ago we gathered a few mates together and did a photoshoot. Thanks very much to all our friends and family who came down to Broadway Market with their families, bikes and buggies to be in our shoot. We love to depict our products being used by real people and real families. If anyone is interested in being featured in our next shoot, we'd love to hear from you! 

Goodordering photoshoot in east london featuring real families

Goodordering photoshoot in east london featuring real families

Goodordering photoshoot in east london featuring real families

Goodordering photoshoot in east london featuring real families

Goodordering photoshoot in east london featuring real families

Goodordering photoshoot in east london featuring real families

Goodordering, east london bag company lifestyle shoot at Broadway Market

Goodordering lifestyle shoot featuring real families and multifunctional products

Goodordering, east london bag company lifestyle shoot broadway market

 

 

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Goodordering x Cyclefox

By Jacqui Ma

Cyclefox is all about building happy, vibrant and connected communities through cycling.... so are we at Goodordering. 

We have been featured on their website alongside a few other brands that we love - you can read more about the founding story of Goodordering and me, Jacqui Ma.

Jacqui "Travel the world and don't be afraid to take risks"

You can join CycleFox for just £10 and get 15% off straight away on loads of cool brands including Goodordering . This means that if you are looking to buy a Goodordering shopper at £65 (our best seller) , you technically only pay 0.25p for membership (yes i did the maths!), and then you continue to get 15% off a whole bunch of cool independent brands. did i say INDEPENDENT brands! woohoo (too much coffee!)

Click here to read more about Cyclefox

You can also read an interview on me where i a waffle a lot and tell people to travel the world and brush their teeth by clicking on the link.

Click here to visit the Goodordering page on Cyclefox

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Pretty good apps

By Andrea Carlotta Montaguti

After a of online rummaging and real life research peering into the phones of our busy friends, we have found that these apps are pretty good and pretty useful for people who a lead pretty busy lives. If you want to keep your life organised and importantly, keep balance in your life, these out these apps below.

KEEPING FIT

7 Minute Workout is perfect for a quick-fit workout anytime anywhere. All you need is a chair and a wall. It allows you to follow specific circuits depending on how much time you have and guess how long it takes?

Runtastic Let’s say to go for a walk, Runtastic records and saves the miles covered and tells you roughly the calories burnt, so that you can keep track of your fitness activities. 

MyFitnessPal works as a calories counter, helping you loosing weight keeping track of the foods you eat. You can also enter your exercise onto the app so you can eat more and keep within your calorie target.

KEEPING TRACK

LastPass it saves all those passwords that you keep forgetting. It’s quick as it’s sounds! This password management app helps you organise your digital life either in the smartphone and the laptop. 

Pocket allows the user to quick save interesting articles or webpages into a server for a later reading. A further upgrade allows extra space to storage more readings.

Evernote is there whenever you wish to note down thoughts, or to-do lists, and to save screenshots or interesting webpages. Also, it enables to share contents with friend and can be used in different devices. 

KEEPING SANE 

Sleep Cycle Power Nap: select the right nap mode you need and the app would help you fall asleep with relaxing melodies. With the phones your pocket, the app also keeps track of your movements during your nap, waking you up before you fall into deep sleep.

Insight Timer is a meditation app that helps with sleeping, dealing with anxiety and stress, getting through recovery and addictions. It gives you access to guided meditations, music tracks, talks and courses.

The Happiness Planner is a calendar and to-do list app that helps cultivate happiness and feeling more inspired, it builds introspection in you routine and improves positive thinking, self-awareness and gratitude. 

KEEPING HOUSE

Handy is the best and quicker way to book trusted home cleaner and handymen. You just have to book online in less then minute, schedule your home service for as early as tomorrow and a professionals will arrive to your place fully equipped.

Taskrabbit: whether you need to pack your boxes, build your furnitures or run your errands, this app helps you find the right person for that.

Nextdoor is a private social network where you can get to know your neighbourhood. Nextdoor is the best way to stay informed about what's going on in your neighbourhood, whether it's finding a last-minute babysitter, planning a local event, or sharing safety tips.

  

About the author

Andrea Carlotta Montaguti is a master graduate in Advertising and Branding. She has work experience with Leo Burnett and Poplar Harca, advertising agency and housing association, and is currently based in London. 

 

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Goodordering x Bel's Art World

By Jacqui Ma

Introducing a very special collaboration with Hackney based, Taiwanese designer Belinda Chen. Her colourful expressive patches are well known in the world of Etsy and form the perfect partner to our colour, retro Goodordering bags. 

Goodordering x Bel's Art World collaboration

Goodordering x Bel's Art World patch

Goodordering x Bel's Art World patch

Here is a video we made showing us attaching the patches to the bag by hand. A very limited number of these bags are available to buy on the Goodordering website. <CLICK HERE> to go straight to the link.

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Best instagram hashtags for Urban Cycling

By Jacqui Ma

Everyone is on instagram these days so use this quick guide on the range of hashtags out there documenting urban cycling.  

#GOSTYLEDOSE

This hashtag was created by yours truly at Goodordering. We would stalk london commuter cyclists on their way to work and snap pictures of them out and about on the weekends. We were fascinated by the variety of cyclists in London. The hashtag features mum's dropping their kids off, bicycle couriers, cargo bikers, kids, adults, and even a few unicycles. Standing for 'goodordering style dose', the hashtag is still a good resource for those wanting to check out the latest urban cycling style.

Best hashtags for urban cycling

#CYCLECHIC

As it says on the tin, this hashtag is all about cycle style. Many brands and individuals use this hashtag to document their take on cycling fashion. Cyclechic.co.uk is also great UK based online urban cycling store stocking a wide range of cycling apparel, accessories and gifts all targeted towards the non-competitive cyclist.

Best instagram hashtags for urban cycling

#OUTSIDEISFREE

Not strictly about urban cycling, this hashtag includes a wide range of outdoor activities, one of which is cycling. From early morning rides, cycling events and bikes against walls, this hashtag celebrates all things invigorating and inspirational about being outside.

The best Instagram hashtags for urban cycling

#CYCLESHOP

Bike shops are the core of the community when it comes to cycling. I don't know about you but my commute has always been accented by the bike shops along the way...just in case i have a puncture! I have probably visited all of them on the way from Hackney to the West End in London. I love everything about bike shops, the way they are a often a community hub, the way the bikes and tyres hang down from the roof. I love the diversity of them from the family owned ones to the ones that only sell used and vintage bikes. The ones that are also cafes, the ones that are ultra minimalist and the ones that are covered in grease. Check out this hashtag and don't forget to tag your local bike shop on it!

#cycleshop hashtag instagram

Some other great cycling hashtags that have an urban, commuter focus include:

#baaw
#cyclinglife
#bicyclelife
#citybike
#commuting
#gogreen
#cargobike
#ebike
#dutchstylebikes
#instabike
#bicycleporn
#cyclingportraits
#commutebybike
#bikecommute
#mybike
#bicicletta
#urbancycling

 

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