Adventuring Entrepreneurs: The Story of Floyd&Co
During the set up and running of a new venture, you get to know some great people in the same circles, growing their own story. One such fellow entrepreneur and great friend with a brand that is quickly becoming one of the go-to motorbike apparel suppliers, is Kevin Floyd of Floyd&co.
We caught up with him to find out more about his story...
VW: From the looks of it, you’ve a long family line full of motor-lovers! Has this always been the case? When did you first jump on a bike and what’s kept you going since?
KF: It has been, my grandfather had a cycles repair business in the 1920’s based in West Sussex called B.C. Floyd which catered for a variety of machine and cycle repairs along with being one of the first BSA motorcycle agents for new bikes at the time. I then grew up with my father always having bikes, I remember many journeys on the back of his Honda CX500 growing up!
For me my very first experience was like most at the time of racing around in the back woods on the monkey bikes and a seemingly indestructible Honda Club 90, took my CBT as soon as I turned legal age and did my legal requirement at the time of 2 years restricted to a max of 125cc on an Aprilla RS 125, rode that bike everyday through rain, sleet, snow every season, then onto a Honda VFR400 for year before I went out and got a Honda CBR600RR. I did a few European trips on the CBR600 with the longest being to southern Spain on a 3000 mile round trip!
An uncle of mine was also into motorcycles with a passion for Harleys and once I spent time around his and a few others I parted with the CBR600 and purchased a stock 1999 Sportster Hugger, which I still have to this day some 12yrs later, a few modifications along the way and motor upgrades and the Harley has seen road trips all over the UK and also around Europe!
Three years ago almost to the day I also added a 2016 Triumph Thruxton R to the garage which has yet to make any overseas trips but has certainly been a joy riding around the British back roads, a ride down to Somerset being a highlight this year in the summer sun!
…..and finally a new addition to the garage only a few months ago now, a 2002 Triumph Thunderbird 900, already making a few changes to the bike since owning it, another fantastic bike and with the sound of the triple carb motor another 20yr old plus bike which I intend to not only keep for sometime but keep on the road and make use of all year round! A rule I’m trying to keep to currently of not riding the same bike twice in a row, and keeping all 3 ready to ride at any given time!
With having a licence and riding bikes for over 24yrs now…. Where does the time go! I won’t be off 2 wheels of any description anytime soon, the culture, the community, the passion and the friendships - it creates bonds that are simply unbreakable.
VW: So at what stage did you pick up the interest in the fashion business alongside your biking? Was there a particular moment that made you think “this is what I want to do..”?
KF: Great question, the motorcycle scene as a whole from the cafe racers of time gone by racing around the London ring roads was all about being the fastest point to point…. But not only that, it was looking good while doing it.
From the leather jackets and the hand painted club logos emblazoned across the back I’ve always loved looking back, now as we are today with the re-emergence of the cafe racer scene in recent years, I found myself as you do as an owner of bikes from different manufacturers buying into the brands merchandise along with other lifestyle brands.
6yrs ago I decided that I wanted to combine my passion for motorcycles, design, fashion and adventure and create my own brand.
VW: You now have taken that love of the biking and adventure lifestyle one step further by creating Floyd&Co. For those that haven’t got themselves a tee yet, what’s the story behind the brand, where can we find it?
KF: Floyd and Company is a brand that was created not only from a passion for motorcycles, amongst other things, but that also gets out and rides. The brand is a reflection of ideas, designs and more from experiences of being on the road and chasing the next adventure.
Our aim is to offer goods whether if be from our jackets to key rings that are well designed, well made and built to last, join us for the journey and find us at www.floydandco.co.uk
VW: No doubt starting up was a grind, was it as hard as you’d imagine? What’s been some of the challenges you’ve faced?
KF: I get asked this question a lot… and, I thought it would be hard, but then again I could have never imagined it would be this hard! Not many people are aware that I am the only person behind the brand, so the challenges, well there have been many and there continues to be challenges as the brand grows. If we never feel challenged are we truly pushing ourselves?
One of the earlier challenges has to have been day one understanding how to launch a brand, how to design a website, how to manage stock, social media and how to create social media content as a way of expressing the brand. Online website tutorials and a Nikon D3300 camera later, the brand was created….
As the brand grows I’ve grown with the brand, I still face challenges along the way from simple things such as packaging needs as the product ranges change and expand right through to the current day global shortages. As I solely look after the brand I feel it’s important to be fast thinking to move with the challenges faced now and in the future.
VW: What’s been the result of all that blood, sweat and tears and what advice would you give to those wanting to get into running their own business?
KF: The result is I feel the brand as a whole has never been in a stronger position, and with more and more releases upcoming I hope to keep growing the brand with the customers and the passion being the heart of that!
First thing I would say is stop thinking about it, get out and do it, follow your passions and get ready for a life changing experience! The hardest part is starting, the rest will come in time, I am always open to offer any help, any advice and to share any of my experiences with anyone I can to help, just reach out! I am still learning every minute of the day, I often ask for help and advice - the brand may not be here today if I hadn’t.
KF: I was, and thank you again! I first came across you guys via social media and I was immediately drawn to the Ainsdale, the brown leather strap against the stainless steel watch case and dark grey dial just spoke adventure with a vintage touch, I was immediately drawn to it.
I can say that one thing I was concerned about was the movement of the watch from the vibrations of the bike through the hands and wrist, previously I have aways worn a cheap digital watch whilst out on the bikes. I haven’t worn that old watch for over 6 months now.
I’ve worn the Ainsdale every single day since I received it. It’s been faultless whilst out on the bikes, day to day and its even been in the sea, even in those conditions its still as good as the day I received it.
The strap has little visible wear for so much use and exposure to salt water, I think that really reflects the craftsmanship and quality of the watch, I love it!
VW: Vazon watches were made for adventure - Can you give us an insight into three of your favourite spots to adventure - be that at home/abroad/UK-wide… and why/what memories are attached to those places?
KF: We took the Defender 90 earlier in the year over to the Isle Of Wight, we drove the coastal roads in what started as a crisp but sunny February day but soon turned into one of the wettest and windiest days I can remember. On a very interesting ferry ride back and learning it was the start of storm Eunice, but we were certainly in the right vehicle for it! I'll never forget dodging the street furniture flying around in the roads as we made our way home!
A few months back we headed over to San Diego for a few days and although we were without the truck or bikes, experiencing the downtown culture, a trip over to the beaches on Coronado Island and just watching the world go by sat outside a local pizzeria was one I wouldn’t forget from this year!
Locally we like to try many of the local byways when out in the Defender, Frankie the French bulldog normally in the back eager and more than happy for an off road adventure if it means a new place for her to explore! When it comes to the bikes they are in weekly if not daily use around the local area and beyond!
Some other recommendations based on rides this year on the bikes in the UK would be down to Dungeness, through the New Forest and down past Stonehenge onto the back roads around Devon, especially on a bike like the Thruxton!