BIKE SHOP FEATURE
Words: Coetzee Gouws
Activize Apparel activates
new lifestyle store A passion for cycling and a desire to introduce their own brand to the marketplace inspired George and Shannon Mc Phail to open a lifestyle centre in Benoni.
Shannon Mc Phail
“THROUGH Activize Apparel we wanted to offer different cycling-related services under one roof,” says Shannon. With a marketing and PR background and having been involved in event management for more than a decade, Shannon was inspired to run her own business and decided to do so in the form of a cycling accessories retailer. “It has been a wonderful experience. I have realised that if you have a quality product that looks good, and at a reasonable price, you’re halfway there. Our clothing line is very distinct and caters for men and women of all ages.” The store, at 19 Defiant Avenue in Airfield, officially started trading on January 30. “I was pleasantly surprised at the turnout for our opening. We were well supported and had around 70 guests who are all part of the cycling fraternity in one way or another.” Shannon says what sets Activize Apparel apart from some other cycling retailers is their personalised service. “We are passionate about keeping our clients looking great and feeling their best while they enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle.” Activize Apparel is largely a family enterprise that includes George’s sons, Bryan and James. An in-house massage
Cyclingnews March / April 2015
therapist and ErgoFit professional bike set-up facility complete the service offering. “Each one is involved in sport in one way or another so everyone understands the dynamics of our clients and their needs,” says Shannon. Because the Mc Phails are cyclists themselves, they have a deep understanding of their clients’ needs and relate to them in a special way. The store caters for road riders as well as mountain bikers and the owners have partnered with ASG Sport Solutions to stock well-known brands such as Rudy Project, Sidi, Scicon and High 5. Another of their partners is FiT Sports Laboratories, which enables them to stock their supplements and products as well as the Louis Garneau range. “As a fun element we introduced a range of locally produced casual wear called Joe Blikzem, which is very popular,” says Shannon. The shop offers a juice and coffee bar on a patio overlooking a pool and garden, which has become an instant hit with groups of cyclists looking for some refreshment en route home. As an add-on service to their corporate clients and clubs, the Mc Phails offer custom cycling kits.
It is for all these reasons that their customers often describe the store as a little piece of heaven, says Shannon. Activize Apparel have also introduced an initiative to assist the less fortunate in the community. “We take in donations of good second-hand cycling kit and resell the items for R50 each.” Proceeds are donated to the Apricot Tree Centre for Stimulation and Development of Special Needs Children. The store also supports the Manger Care Centre, which provides upliftment and empowerment in the community through various initiatives. Future plans include an Activize MTB Clinic, which will be launched in the not too distant future. “I also hope to expand on our apparel range to ensure enough variety to cater for all needs,” says Shannon. “It’s an incredibly humbling feeling to see your kit being worn at cycling events and to know you have been a part of making that person’s cycling experience a great one.” Sample their offering from 08.30 to 17:00 on weekdays and every second Saturday. Visit their online store at www.activizeapparel.co.za or give them a call on 082 926 9421. •CN