Little Rider Co 'Industry Inspiration' Interview Series - HORNIT BIKES
Little Rider Co are on a mission to inspire more kids to ride from a younger age. We love working with like minded people and brands in the industry to support our next generation of riders.
The team will be carrying out industry interviews with people, brands and companies that are making a positive impact across the kids 2 wheel scene.
We are working hard to bring you the leading innovators in the space.
Today its our friends from HORNIT. We caught up with Tom the founder for the brand...
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR 'JOB'?
Everyone remembers their first bike don’t they? In my case the deep red colour was almost certainly rust and the hard faux leather seat no doubt devoid of all comfort, but I just remember the freedom.
Fast forward 25 years and I upped the intensity slightly having spent two years swimming, riding and running 1,000’s of miles in preparation for the 2005 Sherborne Ironman. I remember the race fondly, like it was yesterday. I’ve spent my life cycling everywhere including commuting in London, Madrid and Tokyo while I was a lawyer for 6 years and before I followed my dream and set up my own business.
On a shoestring budget and with bags of conviction I founded Hornit in 2012. The initial mission to improve cycling safety for commuters – 57% of accidents are caused by the driver not looking properly. I reasoned that inventing the world’s loudest bike horn – the Hornit dB140 – would make cycling in towns and cities a lot safer and a lot less stressful for everyone. Within a relatively short time I had a distribution network in 43 countries and had built a team of ten.
Around the same time as starting the business, I also started a family (it was a busy time). My passion for cycling took on new meaning as I saw my children start their own two wheeled adventures. Hornit now has a successful range cycle accessories for children and adults. Helmets, the award winning Clug, lights, horns and most recently our very own balance bike.
TELL US ABOUT HORNIT AND WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO?
In simple terms, Hornit provides well designed, innovative and fun cycling accessories (and now bikes). We want our customers, young and old, to feel excited about getting on their bikes and safe during their ride. There is an unconventional streak in there too. We like to be world beaters: the Hornit is the loudest bike horn, the Clug is the smallest bike rack and the balance bikes are the lightest – the ones with plastic wheels and foam tyres are cheating!
WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY IN THE LIFE LOOK LIKE AT HORNIT?
We mostly work from our beautiful office in the centre of Exeter, Devon. There rarely is a typical day. A couple of weeks ago I took the office sky-diving! But normally our days are less adrenaline fuelled, we might be discussing new designs, working out how to tell as many people as possible about Hornit or liaising with factories and warehouses to make sure customers get their products as soon as possible.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR HORNIT?
The next three years should see significant growth as a large number of products we’ve been working on in the background will all come to market. The balance bikes, a range of belt drive children’s bikes from 14” to 24”, a new bespoke helmet range for children and adults and four new indoor bike racks.
HOW DO YOU CURRENTLY SEE THE KIDS CYCLING SCENE?
There has been a recent resurgence in the popularity of cycling for both adults and children. Lockdown, whilst damaging in so many ways, has provided real inspiration for people to get back on their bikes. I anticipate that this enthusiasm will continue as people rediscover the enjoyment to be had on two wheels, not to mention the health benefits.
WHAT IMPACT WOULD YOU LIKE TO MAKE ON KIDS CYCLING, AND HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE?
We want to encourage as many children as possible to take up cycling and to continue into adulthood. To do this we want to continue making products that are not only safe but stylish and fun too. We want people to associate the Hornit brand with top quality products that they can rely on and know that they are getting incredible value for money.
WHERE DO YOU TAKE YOUR INSPIRATION FROM? WHO INSPIRES YOU IN THE INDUSTRY?
Actually, quite a lot of our inspiration has come from outside the bike industry. Companies like Joseph and Joseph have taken everyday products and just upped the game in terms of style and functionality. Then there are other companies, such as Lakeland, who excel at customer service. There is always someone at the end of a phone/email at Hornit to help with any questions you may have.
HOW CAN PEOPLE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOUR WORK AND HORNIT?
Visit www.hornit.com or follow us on social media @minihornit (Facebook & Instagram)