Why start and why now...
Often you hear of a brand born from opportunity, or started because of some industry expertise from a sports professional and angle capital investments; well KOA Sportswear is not that brand, well not fully, and does not have that same story. We have our own...
KOA Sportswear was born out of a passion for Triathlon, an enjoyment of the 3 disciplines involved and a combination of timing and coincidence. I (the founder), like many in the world of triathlon, spend a lot of money on my sportswear and triathlon kit and I would often spend hours upon hours searching for that quality piece of sportwear that I have been after or need; often making some form of compromise in the final decision. More often than not one of the following; price vs quality vs performance benefits vs availability vs sizing. So with this in mind, I decided to create KOA Sportswear. Now the timing and coincidence came because I had just left my current role leading a large multinational retailer and had just spent several months training for my first full iron distance triathlon (ironman wales).
Find out about our mission: Our mission
WHAT WAS IT THAT KOA WANTED TO BE?
There was one thing that was clear from the start, KOA Sportswear needed to stand for something; it needed to represent me, the founder, and what mattered to me most. And, what mattered most was QUALITY and PERFORMANCE, the holy grail in Sportswear maybe. Now to deliver that, I needed to be clear on how I would "do business"; that means every stage of business, from how we sourced, how we developed, how we tested and how we valued our customers; it meant bringing my passion to the product I sold.
From this, the company values were established, take a look to find out more: Our Values
SHOULD YOU BUY FROM CHINA - Yes if you control the process.
Before we start, remember, Quality and Performance was the core to doing business.
Yes KOA sportswear has its products produced in China, but we are not one of the brands that re-labels a Chinese brand / product for the European market. There are already lots of those around, and they do a good job, but that's not I wanted for KOA Sportswear. I researched, searched for and tested many products, from many markets across the world, with one ambition; to deliver a quality performance product that allowed us to deliver our mission. This product needed to be accessible for as many people in the swim, bike and run community as possible without a single bit of sacrifice in quality and performance.
Our suppliers have been selected, not because of geographics, but because we have been able to work alongside them to deliver the performance product we wanted. They have the same passion for quality as we do and they have significant expertise in the development of the product I want to produce. The final product has some industry leading, high technical design and manufacturing processes. The materials are sourced from ASIA and Europe, where the final choices on what we use, are based on our core business of quality and performance.
READ more about our collections here.
So working alongside our chosen supplier, we produced our KOA Pro Aero, Pro, Elite and Classic Collections or Cycle jerseys, BIB Shorts, Classic Shorts and performance socks.
Was the journey tough, YES! Worth it... absolutely!
Read our next BLOG to find out more about our journey, the highs, the lows and where we are now.