INTERVIEW: JOE meets an Irish woman blazing a trail in global sportswear 3 years ago

INTERVIEW: JOE meets an Irish woman blazing a trail in global sportswear

JOE talks to an Irish woman who knows her sport.

As part of JOE's Start-Up series, we speak with Brid Ryan, co-founder of the Irish sportswear company, Queen B Athletics.

QueenB cool pic

We've been chatting to the Cork native about all things Queen B.

Brid tell us, what is Queen B Athletics all about?
We design and manufacture sports kit and whilst we are a rowing brand we have fantastic support from hockey, athletics, yoga… to name a few!

Twinned with our core business of making the best kit in sport.

We promote people and sport continuously through our social media and blog.

Queen B GB working out

What made you turn a hobby into a business idea?
Having spent a huge chunk of time playing sport, kit has always been a major part of my life.

It was also something I felt could be better and the idea of starting a sportswear company soon became a compulsion.

Queen B yoga

To be fair though, I'm lucky I have my business partner, Aedin, without whom Queen B wouldn’t exist.

Every owner is different, so what is your business philosophy?

To be honest, we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about competitors. We have a vision and we listen to our customers.

Queen B Ireland

At the same time, we're well aware of the other sports brands out there, but when it comes down to Queen B, we do what we feel is best and what our customers tell us they want.

How would you summarise everything so far?
Business is good now, but it was definitely tough starting out.
Derval O'Rourke Queen B

Here's one; before the launch, our research suggested our age demographic would be 19-29; the reality is that our customers range from 14-50 and beyond, so there's no accounting for taste and need.

Fashion Show Queen B
And the best is that many men buy from us – dads, boyfriends, husbands, brothers, all purchase kit for their Queen’s and Kit Bags for themselves. It's brilliant.

What does the future have in store for Queen B? 

It's about taking our Irish company and letting the rest of the world know we design first rate sportswear.

Queen B man

It is about creating jobs and encouraging everyone to give sport a go.

Can you give straight up, honest advice to any Irish person thinking of starting their own business?
I can’t say “Start your own business!! It’s great!!”, because it isn’t all great and can be stressful.
Queen B Team GB
But I think there are signs to look out for - Are you obsessed with your idea? Does talking about it give you an enthusiasm high? Do you have the support of those closest to you? If you said Yes to all of those, then it is time to get cracking!
Queen B GB team
To find out more about Queen B Athletics visit their Facebook and Twitter pages.