Starting MACHINES FOR FREEDOM puts me on my third career. In my first life, post-college, I dabbled in entertainment marketing. Highlights include a short stint with the Olsen Twins helping take their 'tween empire global. Next, I moved into Interior Design where a series of dull drafting gigs finally led to 5 years traveling the US designing restaurants. And now, with MACHINES FOR FREEDOM, I get to combine my love of cycling with my passion for design. However diverse these life paths may seem, there is one thing they all have in common: getting started is a lot like banging your head against a brick wall.
Since October we've gone through dozens of iterations - tweaking, fitting, fine-tuning. Finding the right materials to use, the right chamois to ride in, and the right people to team up with to bring the kit to life. Each iteration was followed by weeks of road testing (let's face it, that's the best part!), and only when the stars, moons and planets all aligned in our favor did we get it right the first time (aka: never!). When a change is made, the ripple effect is felt through the entire garment, often changing the garment in ways we hadn't anticipated. When we decided to change the fabric, the greater compression effected the overall fit. When we decided to lengthen the arm straps a hair, the bib was suddenly baggy in the torso. Each revision had to be made incrementally in order to truly evaluate if the decision was correct, and hence our battle with that giant brick wall began.
But the good news is, just like in my previous two careers, eventually the wall comes tumbling down. It happened when time working with the Olsen twins led to a position at one of the largest film studios in the world. It happened a second time when years of slaving away at a drafting table led to an opportunity to work hands-on with a few of the most talented builders in the US. And it's happening now with the MACHINES kit. The latest round of prototypes are in, and they look and feel incredible! After 7 months of tweaking, fittings on dozens of cyclists, and logging over 2,000 miles in the MACHINES chamois, we've got the formula right and are ready to move into production.
And the best part of tearing that wall down? Seeing the long, winding road that awaits you on the other side.