The Story Behind The Site: Casquette
London-based Casquette is a quarterly print publication geared toward female cyclists. The magazine launched in 2016 with the goal of getting more women into cycling and making the sport all inclusive and less intimidating. Since the launch, Casquette has maintained these ethos, aiming to demystify bicycling and foster a supportive community of riders.
Tan Doan and Danielle Welton, the founders of Casquette, drew their inspiration for the magazine from the desire to dedicate a space to inspiring entrepreneurial women in the cycling realm. Building Casquette from the ground up as a two-person team, this duo is an aspirational example of people using an online platform to share their one-of-a-kind vision with the world.
Casquette aims to level the playing field for cycling and make the practice more accessible to female cyclists in particular. How does Casquette achieve these goals?
Whether you’re a pro cyclist, weekend warrior, or a fair weather commuter, cycling is supposed to be fun, full stop. We try to look at things through an intelligent and stylish lenses; however, we never forget that cycling is supposed to be fun—we think that’s what makes us inclusive and more accessible. We tell stories about incredible women who inspire others to JFDI (Just Focus and Do It) and probe and highlight subjects which others sometimes fear to discuss. All of this seems to have struck a chord with our readers as we’ve had great feedback from them.
What types of stories and individuals do you aim to feature in Casquette? Do you have a favorite experience to share?
We try and provide a platform for stories of inspirational women who are out there doing incredible things on bikes. Not many publications are doing this in a really direct way. It's important to celebrate their achievements—like Kate Rawles who is riding around the world on a bamboo bike exploring biodiversity; Kathryn Bertine, the former pro who is rallying against sexism and inequality in the pro cycling scene; and Alicia Bamford, who set up her own cycling brand because she was fed up that kit for girls wasn't really properly designed for them.
We also talk about the subjects no other cycling sites are covering and we do it with a sense of humour. Take saddle sore. The science says that it's a clit and labia thing, but lots of people shy away from that. We don't. And our frank and honest coverage of this by former courier and endurance race winner Emily Chappell has made a huge ripple among the cycling community.
It's this directness, wit, and focus on awesome ladies doing awesome things that has helped us make an impact.
Who are your most engaged allies in the cycling community, and how do you reach your intended audience through the magazine?
The women’s cycling community in general has been really supportive—it’s like one big family. We’ve had amazing support from some really influential women in the the cycling world who have helped to spread the word about ourselves. Beyond the print magazine we publish, having the website as a channel for us to stay in touch with our readers with more “snackable” stories has been a big part of our strategy to reach more women, especially on a global scale. It’s been awesome.
We think the magazine is beautifully designed. Can you tell us more about the process of producing a print magazine in the digital age? How does this impact your day to day?
It’s not hugely different to producing content for our website—while the website has more of a continuous publishing schedule and things are done in sprints, the print edition has defined milestones and is more of a mini marathon. Typically at any one time they are both being worked on in parallel and content is often edited or curated to suit either one or the other. For example, if we have some epic photography it might find itself appearing in the print edition rather than on our website. It’s about picking the best channel to give our readers a particular experience.
Also from an editorial point of view, for each print edition we come up with a theme which sets the tone and arc for each issue. In previous editions we’ve had themes like “pass it on” with articles not only about sharing practical knowledge within the women’s community but also highlighting inequalities within our sport, and [highlighting] that we should be striving for more gender parity.
Being a two-person team who creates so much content is impressive. What has been the biggest milestone for Casquette to date?
Although it’s just us two running the day to day, we do have a great team of friends and contributors who have helped us get to where we are. In terms of milestones, the biggest thing for us has been the way it’s coming together so quickly. In the space of two or three months, [we went] from having an idea to producing our first print magazine and going live with the website. And then to receive such warm and positive feedback from our readers and make new friends along the way has been the icing on the cake.
Your site is a one-stop shop for everything cycling. Can you speak to how you use your website to foster a sense of community online?
Our website has been a big part of development. It’s quite often the first touchpoint anyone has with us and we’re really pleased with how it looks and functions. It’s a great extension of our brand.
It’s allowed us to reach a truly global audience with readers coming from the US, Europe, and all the way from Australia. We’ve produced some cycling caps with our Friends from Condor cycles, with #JFDI (Just Focus and Do It) on the peak which pretty much sums up our attitude. It’s been really popular with lots of online orders. So it’s an honour to think people have been to our website or read the print magazine, and then buy the cap and wear it to champion women’s cycling. It’s awesome to think they share our values and beliefs.
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