I've been meaning to write this blog for some time, but there's always something else that gets my attention in our busy, compact perfectly formed business - however the recent arrival of our new Evolution summer gloves prompted me to do so.
Prendas Ciclismo was created by Mick over 20 years ago in a pre-internet era of fax machines, dog-eared address books and manual credit card imprinters however one key aspect of our business has not changed at all.
Our direct-to-consumer business model is nothing ground breaking really, but when you also add our low-overheads, great customer service and decades of experience into the mix you have an agile business that is highly capable of competing against some big competitors.
The following diagram is based on a garment of cycle clothing using figures for a product that we know extremely well. The percentage increases (rounded +/- 2%) should not come as any surprise to any of you. It should also be noted that every time the garment changes hands - there is a transport cost - both in terms of financial and environmental cost.
Data correct as of 3rd May 2017.
In comparison, our supply chain removes a number of steps which ultimately reduces time to market, cost and complexity. So when we launch a new product, it arrives on your doorstep faster and cheaper!
There are of course numerous overhead costs that add to these figures - for example team sponsorship - that's not to say we don't spend any money on sponsorship.
We recently supplied the Drops Cycling Team with support during their inaugural season as well as providing visitors to the Rouleur Classic with a really stunning display of classic retro cycling jerseys.
But we do ensure that every pound spent will give us a decent return on that outlay.
Unlike many other e-commerce sites Prendas is both a brand as well as a re-seller.
We are still very much in love with the sport of cycling, riding to work every day which helps us keep our feet on the ground when setting our range and prices - ensuring that we can honestly say we're providing our customers with value for money.
Our range of own-brand accessory items is brought to you using a variety of factories in Europe - with northern Italy being the biggest source of manufacturing expertise.
Many of our suppliers are friends and we pride ourselves in not going down the cheap manufacturing route and work directly with high end manufacturers in Italy, Spain and Portugal.
We carry out our own research and development into our products - often using the same superior materials and techniques used by other well known high-end cycle clothing brands.
There is nothing more amusing (or sometimes annoying) than seeing a product we've helped develop appearing with somebody else's logo or being used by a top-flight professional rider!
When we do add a stock item from a supplier, there is always a good reason for it. Be it providing Craft base layers at a great price, hard-to-find Etxeondo clothing or colourful and hard-wearing DeFeet socks we always ensure that adding these stock items to our range is worthwhile and that they compliment the other items available.
I hope that helps explain why Prendas have survived over 20 yeas in this crowded marketplace, one which we hope to be just as successful in the next twenty years!
"I believe it's as true today as it was yesterday;
if prendas ciclismo didn't exist, we'd have to invent it".