In this post we meet Angela Armitage, the owner of the successful new kids’ triathlon clothing range – Dolphin Kick. We’re really impressed with this range of childrens’ tri gear and we wanted to share a little more about the brand and how it began.
When did you set up Dolphin Kick and what were you doing before?
We set up Dolphin Kick what seems like years ago! March 2011. It took us a long time to take our idea and make it happen!
I suppose I am the key player & Mother of 3. I have been in the fitness industry now for 20 years, personal training, teaching Pilates and Sports Massage Therapist. I am a Triathlete myself , a keen Marathon runner & passionate about the role fitness has to play for a long and healthy life and increasingly concerned with the growing problem of childhood obesity and the general apathy to exercise amongst the younger generations. This is a problem that has to be tackled while they are young in order to build good habits for the future.
What inspired you to start the business?
We took our daughter to a Triathlon event about 5 years ago and it opened our eyes to not only the amount of children keen to participate but also the lack of any Children”s Triathlon Specific Clothing.
So with that in mind we set about investigating importing Triathlon clothing for children from Australia. They were decades ahead of us on that front but were so expensive and took an age to get here, we just could not sell them here and make any profit.
Lets make our own we thought?? Much easier said than done. The problem was that because nothing really existed we had to start from scratch and that was a long and lengthy process of samples going backwards and forwards. The first batch of samples would have been too big for an adult basketball player!!
The transition for children is probably the most daunting part of the race, a sea of bikes and no idea which one is theirs and then there is the wrestling to get a t-shirt and shorts on over a wet body.
Dolphin Kick Airtex Cycle Jersey for children
Who designs the range and where are the clothes made?
Before the Fitness Industry I achieved a design degree. I design all the clothing. I wear a lot of sports clothing for work, my children wear a lot of sports clothing and my youngest daughter wears a lot of swimwear and swimming skins. I am constantly exposed to it. What competitive children are wearing, what is trending, what colours are popular and I have 3 very critical judges to get feedback from.
What’s been most fun thing about running Dolphin Kick?
The most fun thing has been attending the Triathlons, obviously seeing the children swim bike running in their Dolphin Kick suits and really enjoying themselves.
What’s been the least fun?
The least fun, well being on my own in China for 10 days in November was not too much fun while I oversaw the suits being manufactured. The factory is a 4 hour train journey from Shanghai and once there apart from the factory owner and one other staff member I was very much on my own, not a word of English was spoken or written, it was challenging. The factory workers were a really special hard working bunch and I really enjoyed spending time with them, understanding the process and the problems that they face in the manufacture of the suits.
What ambitions do you have for the business?
We would love to see Dolphin Kick go from Strength to Strength. We are slowly starting to push the line out into small specialist retailers like The Little Bike Company. This we would like to build on, as we feel this gives people an opportunity to see, feel & try the clothing. We are constantly striving for good quality, this is very important to us. We are also always thinking of ways to develop our range to include other sports items relative to children training and racing in Triathlons. We will have to make more trips to China to do this so we had better brush up on our chop stick skills!