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A brief introduction! Here's a few words about me

A brief introduction! Here's a few words about me

Hello everyone!

This is Giorgos Siima from siimajackets.com.
Its great being a part of your community. Allow me to introduce myself below:

I had always wanted to buy gear but I couldn’t afford it. I was a student and 21 and like all students I was quite tight on cash. I would have sacrificed a good amount of money to get an average jacket but even that was expensive for me. I only had a helmet which eventually saved my life.

Siima MotoWear was a project I started out of the need to protect myself after a bad accident I had. My lane was cut and I had a head on collision with a driver. I was young at the time and inexperienced. My 125cc motorcycle was totalled. The mechanic at the garage showed me 3 other totalled bikes crashed in the same way as mine. Two of the riders died and one was in the intensive care unit. He called me a “lucky bastard”.

I was indeed pretty lucky as I didn’t have any major injuries. However, I suffered from muscle shock and injuries mainly on the legs and back – and a massive 5cm long and 1cm deep scratch on my helmet! I could not move for about 10 days. It took me a month before I could freely stand and walk without support. Unfortunately, the consequences of that accident are still affecting my health today with knee pains and tendon problems, especially when season is changing from summer to winter and vice versa. It was definitely a life changing experience that forever changed my perception towards riding motorcycles.

A few years later, in 2012, and after I have seen many friends and friends of friends fatally injured, I have realized that bikers in Cyprus don’t wear gear because they just can’t afford it. And that was tragic. I realized that I could have avoided all the injuries if I was geared.

So I decided to create my own since it was cheaper than buying a new branded one. I had had no design knowledge but that didn’t stop me. After all, I didn’t have something to lose. I did a lot of market research, both in Cyprus and abroad. I searched for suppliers and asked to send samples. I learnt how to use design programs and based on those samples I have created the first jacket. As soon as I made the first sample I sold it. It was a plain black very basic jacket that anyone could do. Nothing great really.

Then I decided to import that model in larger quantities. And the business took from there…

The first jacket was a plain black jacket with CE approved protectors on elbows, shoulders and back. It was called Siima Condor R Pro. The design started in early 2012. The jacket was meant to be value-for-money jacket aimed at those who could not afford an expensive one.

One year later, in early 2013, after a lots of samples and exchanges with manufacturers the Siima Condor R Pro was finalized.

The jacket was marketed mainly through online free listing websites who generate a lot of traffic. The main idea for doing this was to spread the word locally. It was an easy and cost effective way to market the product. I was able to get the customer database from there. At a later stage I have worked on the social media presence and managed to further expand the clientele to an international level. I am still working on it. Its hard work that takes a lot of time.

At the same time, it was passed to experienced riders and motorcycle magazine specialists abroad in order to provide feedback for improvements.

A website was still under construction and was finished by the end of 2013.

Did you have a mentor to help you navigate design or business challenges? If so, please tell us about him or her.

No. Apart from a friend who was helping me with the website and marketing and social media presence. I will be forever grateful to him. I didn’t have anyone else. I can’t hide my disappointment when I tried to approach local motorcycle stores and all I found was rejection. Cyprus is a small market and it would be a good start if they could help.

Instead, I focused on the international market despite the disagreements I had with my friend on the subject.

Being trusted as a new brand in the market was, and still is, the biggest challenge. I am constantly trying to convince potential partners about the quality of Siima MotoWear products. It is definitely the hardest part and very few “brave” ones take the “risk” to collaborate.

Siima MotoWear competes in an endless chaotic and anarchic sea of different motorcycle apparel brands many of which are not good and others that are excellent. It is really hard to stand out as a quality brand of motorcycle gear but this is challenge we accepted from day of the creation of Siima MotoWear.

Many big brands have established themselves as leading motorcycle apparel brands internationally. They do this by spending millions in sponsorships trying to convince riders around the globe that they are the best while in reality only their premium products actually worth the money and they are very costly.

The reason for the rising costs of the apparel industry is partly because of the millions spent in sponsorships.

Thanks for reading my story!
You can check out what i am doing here: www.siimajackets.com

Giorgos Siima
Siima MotoWear

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