Meet the Maker: Quella
23 Jan 2015
Jordan Emery and Mark Langley decided to launch Quella after they seeing the fixed-gear single-speed bike market was full of uninspiring, low quality bikes at excessive prices. Both keen entrepreneurs, they wanted to see if they could do better, and so Quella came to be.
Each Quella bike is hand-built from their ‘Old Egg Shed’ in Cambridge, their customisable and come in a funky range of colours. Describing themselves as having “big brand capability with small brand personality,” Quella is a fun alternative to many of the market leaders. Their vintage and minimalist bikes, can compete at the top end of the Fixie market but importantly don’t break the bank.
Setting up shop in Old Street Station, Quella is looking to covert tube-weary commuters to the joys of single speed bikes. We caught up with the founders to find more...
What inspired you to launch your own bike business?
I was inspired by my father as he has always owned his own companies so it seemed like the natural progression. I used to trawl the web looking for "the next big thing" (as I still do now) and I came across an article on entrepreneur.com about fixie bikes and, being a keen cyclist, I knew the cycling industry was doing very well and have always had a passion for building and creating things.
Where does the name Quella come from?
I would like to give a chocolate box story about an Italian girl I met whilst travelling the world but if I'm honest it came from general research. I went through many names and this one just felt right. It means "the one" or "that one" in Italian, I liked the meaning and aesthetics, so went for it. I believe it's a brand name that is timeless and recognisable.
How did you originally get funding?
Via a personal loan and savings, they enabled me to take a punt and buy my first container of bikes I'd designed. I didn't really know at this point how I was going to sell them... only that I would.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
From starting building bikes in our Old Egg Shed, we are now stocked by the likes of Halfords and Wiggle and being a two man band we are having to really scale up. The main struggle is to keep up with demand!
Why is a physical retail presence important to you?
Being an online retailer and without our own physical retail showroom, it’s important we put ourselves and our bikes on display for customers who would like try before they buy, see the bikes in the flesh or just meet the team.
This is your second appearance in Old Street Station, why did you choose to return?
The response from commuters last summer was fantastic, its the perfect location for a brand like ours. The stall puts us right in the eye shot as commuters as they get off stuffy tube trains, wishing they had a faster, cheaper and more enjoyable way of getting to work... and we like to provide!