Turns out that many of Philly Bike Expo’s small-business exhibitors work at other careers, and the variety of “day jobs” is intriguing. Bikie Girl Bloomers offers USA-made specialty cycling clothing for women. The company is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based attorney Karen Canady, an avid commuter (and recreational) cyclist. Karen is on a mission to inspire more women to get on a bike. Bikie Girl Bloomers’ line of tops, hitchable skirts, and lace-trimmed shorts is designed for both looks and comfort.
PBE Do you still work as an attorney?
KC Yes! I help clients (mostly universities) obtain patents for their biotech inventions.
PBE Did you have any special experience/training in the apparel and/or the bike industries that prepared you for starting Bikie Girl Bloomers?
KC Only my own experience wearing clothes and riding bikes! Luckily, I have a friend who has been working in the apparel industry for many years, and she has been my consultant/production manager ever since I first developed the idea.
PBE Are you a CA native? How did you wind up in your current location?
KC No. I was born & raised in Colorado, although we lived in the San Francisco area for part of my childhood. I went to college in Oregon, and grad school/law school in Seattle, then moved to Los Angeles to accept a job offer after law school. I ended up staying, as I fell in love with the City of Angels more & more the longer I lived here!
PBE What’s your favorite part of this business?
KC Meeting other people who love to bike in style, and also meeting women who are bike-curious. I get really stoked when someone comes to me because they’ve just started bike commuting or are getting ready to try it!
PBE How do you choose the colors, fabrics, designs etc., for inclusion in your line?
KC Choosing fabrics is like going to a candy store and picking my favorites. Lots of knit fabrics are made right here in L.A., and I love going to the supplier’s show room and marveling at all the adorable prints to choose from! Beyond the print and color selections, I’m thinking about what fabrics and styles/designs will be least restrictive and most comfortable for bicycling, while also looking good when you are off the bike. I always imagine biking to see my client and being able to get off the bike and walk in to the meeting without worrying about a change of clothes. That’s why the drape neck top is sleeveless: I don’t want to get too sweaty on the ride, and then when I get there, I just throw a blazer over it, and I’m good to go!
PBE Where do you find inspiration?
KC Ideas for new designs always come into my head as I’m biking to work. I don’t just wear my own styles, I try those of others and notice what aspects I like and don’t like, or what I wish existed.
PBE What’s your favorite ride?
KC One favorite? That’s hard! Here’s one: https://welove2bike.com/2018/01/29/bikiegirls-epic-new-years-donut-ride/ that was my favorite for having fun with friends. This next one was my favorite bike date: https://welove2bike.com/2018/03/14/bike-date-weekend-in-ojai/
And if you just mean to do on a regular basis, I like riding to the Griffith Park Observatory, which is a 23-mile loop from my house and features a stunning view of Los Angeles: https://welove2bike.com/2016/03/29/errandonnee-my-mad-dash-exploits/