PEPPERMINT Cycling Co. is the group of friends you wish you had. You want to ride bikes with them, chat with them, and share stories over lattes at the end of the ride. The sisters behind the brand wanted it that way. The company was founded by Michèle and Véronik Bastien, twin sisters overflowing with energy, passionate about cycling and aiming to create a new, innovative and engaging brand.
When did the thought first come to you to create your own brand?
We’re native to Montreal [Quebec, Canada] but while on a trip to Croatia we turned our intentions into a real project. After completing a Half Ironman, numerous cycling events, marathons, ski trips and much more, we decided to focus our energy on sharing our passion and our lifestyle all through one new brand, PEPPERMINT Cycling Co.
We have worked in communication and marketing for the past 10 years. While working with impactful brands, we’ve always wanted to inspire others, so the idea of creating an innovative and engaging brand was the result of all this.
Is there a story behind the brand name, PEPPPERMINT Cycling Co.?
Of course, there is always great story behind a name! We were looking for something significant and relevant and we wanted a name that would stand out and be easily remembered by women cyclists.
For us, cycling is something that mixes performance and fun, so our wish was to find a name that makes people smile.
• Peppermint provides the ability to create a real duality by combining performance and style, performance and fun.
• Peppermint represents the functional-fashion side of our products: The Peppermint leaf stands for the functional side and transformation of small candy represents the fashion side.
• “Pepper” usually come in a grape form (20 to 30 small grains) which also represents the idea of community that PEPPERMINT Cycling Co. wishes to create around women’s cycling.
What represent the “Co.”?
Co. stands for company, collections, community, collectivity, collaborations and co-founders.
Can you talk a little bit about the ‘sisterhood of cycling’ philosophy?
PEPPERMINT Cycling Co. was created to reinforce the collective dimension of women’s cycling. For us, cycling is about the overall experience: laughing with friends, sharing stories, discovering new playlists, enjoying coffee breaks and much more. This influenced us to focus on our brand on being product-centric as much as about creating cycling experiences. By having a unique and distinctive approach, we wish to make it easier for women to enjoy riding and falling more in love with cycling.
What has been the biggest challenge to building PEPPERMINT Cycling Co.? Biggest reward?
Biggest challenge : Doing everything by ourselves, only the two of us.
Biggest reward : Positive feedback we’ve received from our consumers and from the sports industry after only 5 months in market (toward the products and the brand).
It’s so hard to find stylish and well-fitting cycling gear for women. What sets PEPPERMINT Cycling Co. apart from the rest?
What set us apart is the female leadership behind the brand. Every product is designed, conceived, tested and commercialized for women, by women. Women are our priority; they’re basically our only focus. Our products feature great cuts and optimized design combining femininity and character. These high quality products fit perfectly into the cyclist’s code: “And because we believe that style is an expression of individuality and that every cyclist should be able to choose a kit that fit their image, our products are designed to offer the versatility of the Mix & Match”.
You are obviously in tune with women’s fashion, what kind of women are you targeting when you make your clothes?
We are targeting active women, women that are looking for high quality products defined by performance, style and comfort.
“One of the things that we recognize constantly in the women’s business, is that there is no performance without style”. Trevor Edwards (President of Nike)
What inspires your designs?
The beauty, the simplicity and the “refinement” of North America’s great natural environments. Indeed, our inspiration doesn’t only come only from the world of cycling. We get inspiration from our surroundings: alpine ski, surfing, yoga, running and by all the amazing women we meet.
What are your favorite pieces from the line?
We love them all. We work very hard to develop every item of the collection, and if we have a doubt about a product we simply don’t launch it.
As female cyclists designing a women’s cycling brand, what are the most important things about the Peppermint line that you refused to compromise on?
The fit of our products.
What are your cycling backgrounds?
We start cycling more than 10 years ago, as a way to train for our ski season. Then, we did a Half Ironman, and this is when we really fell in love with cycling. Since then, we ride as much as we can and, last summer, we also joined a cycling team in Quebec.
What does cycling bring to you personally?
For us, cycling is the most beautiful sport. It’s our way to stay in shape, spend time with friends and family, escape from daily stress and simply dream of everything we wish for. We believe cycling isn’t just a sport but a lifestyle! We truly wish to inspire and engage as many active women through cycling and make them realize the numerous benefits related to this sport.
Peppermint sponsors a racing team, Team Kinactif. How did the sponsorship come about? Did you start the team?
We launched the team last year (Summer 2016) and the team was sponsored by PEPPERMINT, but for 2017, the team will become the PEPPERMINT Cycling Womens Team. Michèle was working as a Sponsorship Director for the past years, so sponsorship is part of our marketing strategy. For us, a well developed partnership could be a really good way to promote our brand and our brand mission to “reinforce the women’s cycling community”.
What can we look forward to from Peppermint?
A new collection will launch next spring. New sponsorships, new brand ambassadors and a lot more to come. Stay tuned!