June 16th, 2013 by Cynthia Shahan
Editor’s Note: Reposted from Bikocity, here’s an interesting article about some cool bikes that have flipped the switch on urban transportation as well as how to sell bikes.
Even though I am a lifelong biker, I don’t care about the latest in the “best” head gear, and even though I am naturally quite athletic, I don’t care about lycra sporting equipment and bikes that cost a fortune. It is not my aesthetic sense. I don’t care how many gears it has, or who made the brakes. I want practical, affordable, and simple. Yes, it is nice if it looks good, better yet if it is low/no maintenance.
Papillionaire appeals to my needs on this note. Papillionaire makes lovely, affordable Dutch-style bikes that are highly attractive to me and a lot of people… especially the ladies. Many of us do not even notice that charged-up, overly-yang bike store on the corner, yet put some sky blues and round reds on a bike in a composed quiet style and we will gravitate towards your store with delight.
Get these kindred spirits of nice-looking, easy-practicality, regular women on a bike and they find the experience swiftly begins to cultivate a fresh range and vital dimension exchanging the status quo of daily activity with a new adventure. Many of us do not want or have time to start a new hobby, or join a bike race, but we are able to form new patterns in regular life. Living a life you love in the outdoors, enjoying a new form or mobility, needs to be readily available as part of daily routine. The Olympian biker is not who or what many of us aim for or need to be. Fresh air and exercise without even trying, found from day to day habits, is what we do critically need.
Vintage Bicycles by Papillionaire
As Papillionaire describes, its bikes are modern, with great facility and easy riding. Papillionaire bicycles merge timeless aesthetics with contemporary design. Founded in Australia, it maintains stores across the globe. Drop in to its Brooklyn, New York location if you’re in the Big Apple or one of the other shops and take a test ride today, or visit its online shop for free shipping across the USA → Wow.
Melbourne-based Papillionaire (a made-up word playing off the French word for butterfly) launched US operations in Brooklyn shortly before Hurricane Sandy. It is a Dutch-influenced, Australian-designed bike company who’s taking quite a different approach: Yes, biking is good for sport, and yes, it has health and sustainability benefits, but it’s also part of an easy-going way of life. I think it is incredible that there are all these bike shops mostly just catering to serious athletic bicyclist. Nonetheless, it is time to have a store for a few for us simple, utilitarian, normal types. Papillionaire seems to be addressing this niche. Led by women, the company is still very aesthetically concerned — the Dutch-influenced bike style is solid, simple, stylish, and classic in looks but attracting a decidedly modern clientele.
Papillionaire says that it started out entirely online, and that continues to be the bulk of its business. I like the easy, online, step-by-step ability to customize a bike for order. And I’m sure it cuts down on expenses. The prices are very reasonable, equal or less than comparable one-option-only bikes. This is really nice.
Flipping the statistics is what Papillionaire is doing, and how wonderful this is. This flipping could really flip society more. Let’s hope so. In Australia, where the company began, 80% of its customers are women. They’re really breaking through to a new audience. And helping us all on an ecological note. Thank you. However, according to Papillionaire, we have some pretty fearless women buying the more athletic ones in the US.
“In the US, it’s 60-70%, but with an interesting difference: There’s what appear to be an emerging class of women buying bikes. They gravitate to their typically male geared Classic bike, and are as Saxon Baird, head of US operations says, ‘…very driven and strong-minded and athletic but also very particular about style. I’ve sold a handful of Classic styles to women who I know use it to commute every day to Manhattan from Brooklyn. In other words, they are simply bad-ass ladies. I am not even sure I would do that.'”
I am American, but I belong with the Aussies on this one.
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