The RedWhite 2020 HQ
I get many emails from customers asking to visit the RedWhite Apparel Global Headquarters. There seems to be a common impression that RedWhite Apparel has a sprawling office space, teeming with staff.
The purpose of this blog post is to set the record straight.
The table from which RedWhite Apparel is run.
Welcome to the Mothership.
The RedWhite Apparel Global Headquarters is a 2012 Macbook Pro sitting on a dining table, inside a 700 square feet flat (apartment), in a Singapore Government public housing estate. Public housing is typically viewed unfavourably in many countries. Not in Singapore where 80% of the population live in one. Public housing is a national icon. Read about it here.
RedWhite Apparel started in 2014 with a laptop, a box of bibshorts and a spare bedroom in one of these flats. The company grew slowly and eventually ran out of space for inventory. In 2017, HQ moved to a 300 square feet office. We soon outgrew that and in 2019, we moved again to a 700 square feet warehouse / office. From 2014-2019, we packed and shipped every order ourselves.
As the business grew, packing and shipping every order started taking up more time. There was less time available for customer service, product development and the Sizing Helpdesk. Clearly something had to change.
In late 2019, I made the decision to move all inventory to a small fulfilment warehouse. Orders placed on this website are automatically routed to the fulfilment warehouse. The warehouse's team reviews every order, packs them correctly, and ships them out to you, complete with a tracking number.
As I no longer needed an office space, I decided to move operations into my flat. I am lucky to have a wife who tolerates the occasional mess (fabric samples, prototypes and production ready products often lie everywhere) and allows me to commandeer the dining table between 7am and 6pm, weekdays.
Do continue below to see images from the RedWhite Global HQ (and my home) :
I use a stovetop moka-pot for my daily cup of joe. It's easy to use and clean, makes a good strong cup and is cheap. Moka pots are usually hated, but with the right method, you can get really good coffee out of it. I highly recommend watching this video on how to use it well.
Every new product is ridden hard and washed countless times in this Samsung washing machine. I usually run hot and cold wash cycles to see how fabrics hold up to abuse. NEVER hot wash lycra by the way!
I have a small store in my home that's full of fabric samples and my bikes. I own a 2018 Ridley Noah SL and a couple of foldable bikes. I believe less is more and don't subscribe to the idea of N+1. But that's just me.
A complete athlete should be strong. I installed a pull-up bar to build upper body strength with. It's helped me maintain an aero position longer on my bike.
The wife built out a mini gym in our spare room. Complete with a mirror wall, impact-absorbing mat and a dumb bell rack. I do my core workouts here twice a week. I follow a minimalist strength training routine. Details are here.
I hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes post. If you did, leave a comment and tell me what you'd like to know more about RedWhite Apparel and myself. I read every comment and will do my best to respond to each one.
Yuva , Founder, RedWhite Apparel
Hi- I love your bibs but as a woman, it would be great to have a drop bib – this allows you to drop the back of the bib for bathrooms stops. Have you considered this for women ? Thank you !
@JIM PALISTRANT : I am lucky to live in Singapore where it’s always warm. I ride outdoors most of the time. My apartment is also too small for a bike trainer setup.
@TYLER PHELPS : Love to know more about your business Tyler. I’ve sent you an email :)
@ALVIN P. JACKSON : Bibshorts are totally life changing. I do struggle to convince people who have ridden in shorts all their lives, but the few who get convinced never look back at shorts again.
@DAVID : Really happy the shorts work for you. I don’t have any particular advice on starting a business since it is nuanced. The only advice I can give you is to de-risk the process by starting small and expanding after you figure out if a market exists or not. It’s quite a ride and if you can stomach the ups and downs, it is a rewarding experience. Do note that your income will take a big hit in the short run. It took me 3 years to start earning what I was earning as an engineer at Dyson (my last employer before striking out on my own).
No bike on a trainer? :-) That is where I find your bib shorts really shine as over the winter I do 4-5 hour rides on the trainer in my garage. I find riding the trainer that long is harder on the body and appreciate the RedWhite comfort. I am hoping to complete a vEveresting when the weather gets colder (too hot and humid now) in a pair of the RedWhite.
I appreciate the insight. I chose your products, because of how you run your business. My wife and I also run our business from our house. We have 3,500 customers in Flordia. This allows you and I to have a high quality product at ultra competitive prices. Cheers!
I value your opinion and insight when it applies to all things bib. I never wore a bib, and could not imagine wearing them, until I stumbled on your article on Facebook. Now I wear bibs only, and only your bibs year round. I don’t even consider wearing my long distance assos anymore. You guys are absolutely the best and cost 1/4 of the high end cycling gear. Keep up the great work.
Thanks for you blog post Yuva. It was good to read about your business and see where you operate. I admire your efficient process and how you’ve built it from the ground up. I own a pair of your Red White endurance bib shorts and they are my favourites and your sizing was spot on. Any suggestions for starting your own business? Thanks, David.
Thanks for sharing the company info!
The very lean business structure works, I sent a question to Yuva and receive a reply as soon as business opens (on his time zone). This is a great business, with great products and service. I ride 250-300 miles/week so shorts are important. These shorts are by far the best I have ever tried and at a great price. Thanks
Very fine set up! No need for more! I love the coffee apparatus. My Mocha pot comes touring with me on the bike, my morning coffee is the French Press, other espresso during the day is delivered by a La Pavoni lever machine! :)
That’s a great insight into your HQ operations Yuva. It shows what can be achieved. Still the best endurance bib shorts that I use for both MTB and road. Personalised customer support second to none. Keep up the great work!
Looks like I need to drop in at the ‘HQ’ next time I am back in Singapore! :-)
Great read and always good to learn more about SG’s homegrown brands – I really should put in that order for a bibshorts yeah?
@DAN LAPE : Couldn’t agree more. I had a small espresso machine and it’s really finicky to pull a shot in the mornings. I also have a french press I rarely use now because it’s tough to clean out. The Italian percolator has a nice puck that’s easy to knock out and leave almost no mess.
@DEAN J. PUCCINI : There’s a customer story blog on this website. I’d love to write about your 24 hour ride on that. Could you shoot me the story once you’ve done the ride? If possible, do include images as well?
@JOHN CLEMENTS : It’s actually possible to build a team that can deliver this level of service at scale. I’m working my way there slowly and it’s always on my mind. Running a company solo is possible for only so long. Regarding socks, I hear you. I actually have some on the website that’s being well received. I’m also working on some new designs.
@STEVE WILLIAMS : Thank you so much for getting yourself and your wife onto my bibshorts. I totally understand the need for N+1 when the weather turns in the norther hemisphere. I actually am working on a pair of thermal bibshorts and thermal long tights for release in Winter 2020/2021.
@RAMON VAN DEN ENDE : Thanks! I’m really happy my sizing recommendation was spot on. Actually, could you help me out by leaving a review on the website? Just head to any of the bibshort products pages, scroll down, and you’ll see a review box.
@ADRIAN WILLIAMS : Bibshorts actually are expensive and it’s because there are 3 different fabrics being used and a pad that has to be stitched in. This makes it far more expensive than a pair of yoga pants that uses 1-2 fabrics (maybe 3 at most). I also think cycling lacks scale. Not enough people can afford to ride expensive bikes and this lack of customer scale causes manufacturers to place a premium on fabrics and manufacturing in order to make a decent living. As cycling becomes more popular and more people buy clothing, you can expect prices to drop. RedWhite’s pricing is relatively affordable because I purchase in bulk and keep my range tight and focused. This allows me to drive pricing down that won’t be possible if I had a large range of designs.
@PATRICK : Glad I got that confusion sorted out. I think it doesn’t matter where a brand is based as long as the product and service is top notch. Do you have any photos from the Tour de Palm Springs 50 mile?
@PATRICK BENOIST : Really happy to become your local source! The internet is a magical thing and we’re really lucky to be living in a time where you can purchase anything from anyone, located anywhere.
Love the simplicity, particularly when it comes to making coffee. I recently started using a small, Italian stove top percolator and really enjoy the strong espresso it makes. Won’t suit everyone, but suits me! Cheers.”
Cool Stuff! I really enjoyed the glimpse into the YUVA world! I will post many rides this season as I plan on an epic riding season with my couple of pairs of your Bibs! I keep telling you, the best ever! I am working my way to a 24 hour ride! With your Bib! I will document this and share with you! Thank you!
I thought so. How else would you be able to respond to emails and enquiries so quickly if you weren’t totally on the job yourself. Or if you relied on others to do it. Here’s a request. Good biking socks are notoriously hard to buy. Most of the stuff out there is highly branded and getting large sizes is also hard. A simple coloured sock with r/w logo eould be great…cheers…john.
Great insight in to the company, having bought my first RedWhite bibs from you in mid 2017 then when you make it big (apple started small) I can say I was an early part of your fame 😉 now I have a couple of pairs and my wife has also, they are the “go-to” bibs for a long distance ride….. if there’s any issue then it’s that you don’t have a winter specific pair as here in the U.K. we aren’t blessed with the great weather you have for most of the year in Singapore 😁
Also the N+1 thing is essential here, I run a Cannondale synapse for the winter, a Merckx Mourenx and a Giant Propel for the summer (and a Giant TCX for playing in the mud)….
Keep up the great product….
I was fully aware of the size of your company. This story gives more insight and i like the fact you wrote down this story to share. I’ve purchased the stealth bibshort a while ago and never left feedback. But i can tell you the sizing help was spot on and i love the short for all rides (long or short). Keep up the good work ;-)
Ramon, the netherlands
I appreciate this- it’s actually the first one I have read from your company but glad I did. I’m often puzzled as to why we pay the prices we pay for cycling material but as I have followed your progression I love the way your company moves. It’s not about selling over priced bibs, it’s about selling a product that cyclist can purchase, over and over if you ride 4/5 days a week and not completely empty the bank. I have purchased several high end bibs and some entry level and true there is some comfort however at the expense of 200+ per bibshorts it outrageous. Needless to say I have not purchased your bibs yet, but I do have 3 jerseys and I love them. I guess my biggest concern is bibshorts sizing in the event the are too loose, or too tight and the return process- however I am willing to take a chance on them as the community feedback has been very positive. thanks for the posting the pics, cool to see how folks live abroad and To see a company that truly just wants to bring a quality product to the market. Thank you.
Well, I guess I have never needed customer service because I have never had a problem with your bibs. By far the best I’ve ever worn. I did think you were out of the U.K., so I stand corrected. Thanks for a great product. Knowing that you are a very small company and that you handle all orders makes me that much more a loyal customer. Just last weekend we rode the Tour de Palm Springs 50 mile. My butt made it through without hurting. Happy Trails.
Thank you for sharing this behind the scenes look Yuva. One of the main reasons I made the leap and purchased an important product for my loved hobby, from an unknown company over 9,500 miles away was the story. A passionate, fellow cyclist bringing a focused product to market. I support buying local and independent. RedWhite Apparel is definitely independent. And since the internet has made the whole world more accessible I’m going to go ahead and claim RedWhite my local bib short source. I’m spreading the word in St. Louis, MO USA.