[This is the first of several vendor profiles we’ll share in the next month as we prepare to entice you to attend our super-excellent BikeCraft V event coming up on December 5th.]
Do you ever wonder how to solve that problem of cold, wet feet on your bicycle? Or do you have trouble finding a cycling cap that will actually fit your head and your sense of style? Ever wish you could carry and organize your cycling tools in a practical (yet oh-so-aesthetically-pleasing) way?
No problem! Check out Bike Cozy, a local, NE Portland based business that sells handmade cycling caps, tool rolls, shoelace wranglers toe cage covers, and more for “the fashionably practical rider.” Bike Cozy’s tag line doesn’t lie: its products come in a variety of colors and patterns and are made from practical, durable materials such as wool, canvas, and cordura.
Bike Cozy was founded by Rachel Dominguez-Benner, a Michigan transplant who first moved to Portland in 2006. Rachel became interested in Portland’s bike scene when a friend loaned her a bike for the first couple of weeks after her move. After successfully navigating through the quieter streets of Portland, Rachel caught the bug: “Riding around with other people who knew the best routes helped me get comfortable with the city by bike.”
Dominguez-Benner is a co-owner of A Better Cycle (that opened in late 2007), where one of her colleagues encouraged her to start a business after seeing a personalized cycling cap she made for herself.
From there, Dominguez-Benner used her fine arts background (she has a degree in graphic design and metalsmithing from the University of Michigan) to expand production to include tool rolls, toe cage covers, and some stationery products.
She originally called her business A Red Bee, but changed it after attending BikeCraft IV in 2008 because another “Bee” business was there and “the other business is more established and I didn’t want to step on any antennae.”
“I changed the name to Bike Cozy so my name would be relateable and memorable. While I don’t currently knit frame covers (which some people may first imagine upon hearing the name Bike Cozy)– I do construct neat stuff to make being a bicycle rider and being prepared a cozier experience.”
Future plans for Bike Cozy include creating seasonal items for the upcoming holidays and additional utilitarian products; she also hopes to expand to original artwork.
Dominguez-Benner’s advice to bike crafters and other people looking to jump into the BikeCraft arena? “Make a product that solves a problem or satisfies a desire. That may be utilitarian, it may be adornment, or it may be so people feel the camaraderie of being a cyclist.”
Bike Cozy products can be found online on Etsy, at BikePortland’s upcoming BikeCraft V holiday bazaar on December 5th, and the following local stores:
A Better Cycle
2324 SE Division Street
Black Star Bags
1011 NE Alberta (next to the Bye and Bye)
those toe covers look great! but my allegiance to heavy metal makes all the colorful other things totally off limits.
Ah, but they also come in black.
(which, I am told, is the new pink)
yeah, that’s what i meant. the black toe covers are nice looking (from the etsy page), but a pink and green tool roll, no way.