Cana­dian Cre­ations

Ciele Ath­let­ics

Canadian Running - - SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER 2017 - Mary­lene Vester­gom

We’ve heard it be­fore: when it comes to work, fol­low your pas­sion. In Au­gust 2014, Mon­treal’s Jeremy Bres­nen and co-founder Mike Giles did just that with the launch of Ciele Ath­let­ics, a brand that fo­cuses on the run­ning life­style and its com­mu­nity, “start­ing at the top” with a run­ning cap.

Both come from de­sign back­grounds, bring­ing more than 15 years of en­tre­pre­neur­ial ex­pe­ri­ence – Bres­nen with his pas­sion for tech­ni­cal cloth­ing and Giles de­sign­ing fur­ni­ture. They al­ways wanted to find the right project on which to work to­gether. Their com­bined ex­pe­ri­ence fu­elled this next phase in their friend­ship.

But these aren’t your runof-t he-mill run­ning c aps. De­signed to per­form, they’ve found a fol­low­ing with run­ners look­ing for run-ready per­for­mance and maybe a lit­tle style as well – whether out run­ning or grab­bing cof­fee. With an im­pres­sive In­sta­gram fol­low­ing, t heir global aware­ness has fur­thered their reach, and they’ve built a big fol­low­ing and col­lab­o­ra­tions with other pres­tige brands like Stance.

Why caps?

When I got back into run­ning, I couldn’t find some­thing that was well thought out tech­ni­cally, and then if I did, I didn’t want to be seen wear­ing it. And from a busi­ness stand­point, there was no evo­lu­tion to the stan­dard caps, so there was space in the mar­ket.

OK – but it’s just a cap. What sep­a­rates Ciele from the rest of the com­pe­ti­tion?

Well, no one was pay­ing at­ten­tion to the fact that heat rises; we all sweat from the top of our heads. Our solution: COOLwick mesh on the top and the side of our hats. And be­cause in Canada the evenings get dark start­ing in Septem­ber, we’ve added ref lec­tive de­tail­ing. They also have a soft brim that is easy to pack; they’re ma­chine wash­able, com­fort­able, cool and stylish. And we also stand be­hind our caps with our Mil­lion Mile Guar­an­tee.

The cul­ture of run­ning is an im­por­tant driv­ing force. Why?

Run­ning has this great cul­ture of com­mu­nity and it’s also some­thing you could do on your own. Our view of run­ning is that every­body runs – it’s very in­clu­sive. Ciele is fo­cused on the con­nec­tion and dis­con­nec­tion you get out of run­ning. It re­ally is a life­style, and our caps ref lect this.

What does suc­cess look like?

I could tell you that we want to make money, but the brand is our driv­ing force, not sales. We be­lieve if we build a re­ally great brand and it in­ter­acts with the com­mu­nity, then sales will fol­low.

What’s next?

We launched our Every­body Run app (avail­able on iOS only for the mo­ment). It’s com­mu­nity-based and it’s about get­ting peo­ple to­gether and in­ter­act­ing in the run­ning com­mu­nity the world over. Cu­rated by run­ners, wher­ever you are, you’ll be able to find or plan run­ning events, clin­ics, coaches, even find a great spot where run crews go for a beer af­ter their run in your hood. Be­yond that, “we started at the top,” we’re not rush­ing into any­thing.

Run­ning goals?

The dis­ad­van­tage of start­ing a busi­ness based on things you love is, some­times it changes your re­la­tion­ship with that pas­sion. Now it’s about find­ing that place in my run where I dis­con­nect from my day-to-day and find my rhythm. I’m get­ting there.—

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