It's mad to think I have not yet met Larnia as I feel like we have bonded so well over social media! That is the power of social media, when you get on the good side of it. Friendships can be made, you can meet people you'd have never have crossed paths with in real life and find people you can connect with that you maybe otherwise wouldn't have. I have had to pleasure to have crossed this digital path with Larnia! She is one of the kindest most humble people I have met (well not in person yet!) And she has agreed to let me interview her for the blog so I can share her story (and her humour.) She is the founder of Ryde, a female led outdoor clothing brand with sustainability and kindness at the heart of everything she does. She is an inspiration to me and hopefully you will find inspiration too!
Tell me a little about yourself, what’s your background?
Larnia (Founder of Ryde)
My name is Larnia, founder of Ryde - without sounding like a job application, I like travelling, open water swimming, good food and cold draughts pulled in the sunshine. I am also self-motivated, can work independently or as part of a team.... 😂 just kidding.
How did you get into the outdoors?
I’ve always loved travelling and off-grid exploring. I grew up camping with family so that kind of stayed with me.
What’s your favourite outdoor activity?
Hiking is a solid favourite but I love open water swimming. In the last few years I really got into cold water swimming and the therapy side of things.
Who inspires you?
To be honest I’m inspired by people who try their best regardless of circumstance and don’t give up. To name a celebrity, I listen to a lot of Steven Bartlett’s podcast, I like that he decided to build something at a time when nobody else thought it would work and he didn’t lose faith along the way - that motivates me with Ryde. There’s so many people though I could talk about it all day!
What gets you out of bed on a morning?
Coffee ha. No I recently read a quote that resonated with me. It said if you flip your thinking from ‘urgh I have to get up’ to ‘I get to wake up’ then your whole perspective changes and it’s true, waking up and going to work is a luxury even if it doesn’t always feel like it.
"If you flip your thinking from ‘urgh I have to get up’ to ‘I get to wake up’ then your whole perspective changes"
Ultimate life goal?
I work two jobs at the moment so that I can build Ryde and provide high quality, sustainable clothing without the extreme price tag. I’d love to get to a point where all my focus can be on building a community that look out after one another - which is the exact reason I love Wild Wanderers.
What inspired you to create Ryde?
I think most ideas come from a need. I spend a lot of time outdoors and I wished I had certain clothing that did certain things. When I vocalised it people would be like ‘ me too!’ So I thought - ‘I’m going to make it.’
The most important reason though, was the chance to build a platform that not only cared about the products and sustainability but cared about the people wearing them. I give a lot of time to ‘customer service’ because customers are your whole brand and I think sometimes that’s forgotten.
What is Ryde all about?
I love the hardiness of the UK. We are that determined to be outdoors that we’ll BBQ in the rain and a gale force wind. That’s what our strap-line ‘Whatever The Weather’ is all about, clothing and accessories for whatever the weather, whatever the occasion.
Where do you see Ryde in 10 years?
My mission is to keep growing Ryde as a lifestyle and activewear brand built on community, warmth and wellbeing. As the brand grows, the bigger our sustainability offering too - I’m aiming for a zero waste business model.
Share an interesting fact about yourself?
I hate this question at networking events! I always freeze and look like the dullest person in the room haha. I’ve been vegetarian for 10 years is that interesting?! Probably not 😂
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