A short while ago we were introduced to a company whose name alone meant we had to find out more. Drink Tea Ride Bikes is a young company based in North Yorkshire who have taken their passion for cycling and drinking tea, and made it in to a full time business producing unique casual clothing for cyclists and a range of tea’s to suit everyone’s tastes. Perhaps an odd combination at first glance but when you really think about it, it could be a stroke of genius.
We caught up with the guys to find out more about their business, how they got started and where they are going.
(Q) SO HOW DID DTRB START OUT?
About a year ago Sam came up with a little sketch, the one that features on our Tea Drop T shirt. A post on Facebook featuring the sketch attracted a lot of interest and from there the concept was born. Initially it was more of a blog but it soon became apparent that the T shirt was very popular.
Robin then came on board at the tail end of 2012 and we started to scale things up quickly form there.
(Q) DID YOU ALWAYS PLAN IT TO BE A BUSINESS OR JUST A HOBBY/SIDE PROJECT?
It started very much as a hobby project but without the time to keep on top of it the decision came to either retire the concept or leap into it 100%. We’re very happy we decided to take the second option.
(Q) HOW SOON DID YOU REALISE THIS COULD BE A FULL TIME THING FOR YOU GUYS?
Good question! I think we believed it could be a full time thing for quite a while but to actually make that leap is a very big commitment. We pushed it as far as we could both working part time but the response has been so good there is no choice other than to get stuck in full time. This is happening more as a transition rather than definitive start point, with more and more hours being put in as the weeks go by.
(Q) WHAT MAJOR ISSUES DID YOU HAVE TURNING IT IN TO A BUSINESS, IF ANY?
Time has always been the biggest issue. We are both committed to creating a brand we truly believe in and can stand behind so we try to give every tiny detail of the business 110% attention. This takes a lot more time than either of us had, especially in the beginning but we’re getting on top now. What the future may hold excites us and keeps us motivated to keep things moving.
(Q) WHATS THE MOST POPULAR SIDE TO THE BUSINESS? TEA OR T-SHIRTS?
We are very happy to say it’s not far off 50/50, just as we hoped it would be. We have quite a flexible, open minded approach to the business so are happy to move with what we feel is right or what we enjoy most so this may well evolve in the future. We constantly listen to our customers so will let them help steer us in the right direction.
(Q) SO HOW DOES BEING BASED IN YORKSHIRE AFFECT THE BUSINESS? (IE; LOCAL SOURCING, GREAT CYCLING NETWORK ETC)
The cycling scene in Yorkshire has been very strong for a long time now, going back way beyond the recent upturn in the sport in the UK. Tea has solid roots in Yorkshire as well so the combination seems to have struck a chord, not just here but throughout the UK and beyond. We’ve been truly surprised by how far the word is spreading and have take orders from Russia, Australia, USA and Dubai to name but a few.
We take pride in designing, testing and developing locally. Our printing is also all sourced locally as is much of our product.
(Q) ROADIES OR MTB’ERS?
If you enjoy riding a bike then DTRB is for you. Sam lives for his time off-road and Robin is a true roadie, but we regularly mix it up. That’s a great thing for us as we have a deep understanding of the deferent scenes but extend that far beyond our own riding. We’re passionate about bikes and cycling in general. As long as you’re having fun, that’s all that matters!
(Q) THE DALES OR THE MOORS? OR BOTH?
Definitely both. North Yorkshire is just such a great place to ride bikes we’re really spoilt for choice.
(Q) ARE YOU PLANNING ANYTHING FOR THE TDF COMING (OR WOULD YOU RATHER NOT SAY!)?
Yes and no! Yes we are planning but no we’d rather not spill the beans just yet. Follow us on Facebook or keep an eye on our blog and all will be revealed…
You never know, we might be passing bottles of perfectly brewed Bike Shop Brew from our support vehicle!
(Q) ANY PLANS FOR FURTHER PRODUCTS?
Most definitely, in fact our current product offering is only just the beginning. We’ve got so many ideas and designs on the go it’s a very exciting time for us. The key for us though is to take it step by step to ensure we can instil our brand values and quality into everything we do. Therefore you can expect to see a continuous, steady influx of new products which we hope will keep DTRB fresh and interesting year round and keep our customers coming back.
(Q) SO WHAT’S NEXT, WHERE DO YOU SEE THE BUSINESS IN 5 YEARS?
We’re still so young as a company that that is a very big question. We’ve certainly got goals and aspirations but for now let just say we would like to continue to grow, to enjoy what we’re doing and to share our ethos which is to simply get out there and enjoy riding your bike, and then have a cuppa. After all, life doesn’t get much better than that does it?
Be sure to take a look at the website www.drinktearidebikes.co.uk and we will be reviewing their products pretty soon too so come back for that one.